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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To validate skin carotenoid detection as a marker of fruit and vegetable intake to study the possible health effects that accumulate in human skin, which reflect dietary intake from food sources. Validation through a skin carotenoid detection device would allow researchers better tools for studying strategies to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in large populations and groups of people in whom non-invasive techniques are especially preferred (e.g. children).

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (GFHNRC) studies healthy diets based on the Dietary Guidelines and how they can help people maintain a healthy body weight, as well as prevent obesity and other chronic health problems. Fruits and vegetables are an important component to a healthy diet and many Americans do not eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. There are many research efforts looking at ways to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, however, there is a need to develop better ways to assess fruit and vegetable intake in people. Validation of skin carotenoid detection as a marker of fruit and vegetable intake will be accomplished through a controlled feeding study conducted at the GFHNRC. Study volunteers will be fed (on an outpatient basis) a diet initially devoid of carotenoids (“wash-out period”) followed by a diet rich in carotenoids. A skin carotenoid detection device will be used to monitor skin carotenoid levels in response to increases in intake of vegetables and fruits.

3. Progress Report:
This research project includes an ancillary project validating the use of resonance Raman spectroscopy for measuring skin carotenoid levels as a non-invasive tool to assess fruit & vegetable (F&V) intake (blood carotenoid levels are the current standard biomarker for F&V intake). This project is a collaboration with investigators at Yale University and the University of Utah. Data collection for half of the volunteers is completed; the 2nd half of the volunteers will completed the study in August 2012. One abstract has been published (and presented as an oral abstract at the annual Experimental Biology meeting).

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/15/2017
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