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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Novotny, Janet
item Britz, Steven
item Pawlosky, Robert
item Harrison, Dawn
item Kelm, Mark
item Flanagan, Vincent
item Brown, Ellen
item Beecher, Gary
item Clevidence, Beverly

Submitted to: Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2001
Publication Date: 4/15/2001
Citation: Novotny Dura, J., Britz, S.J., Pawlosky, R.J., Harrison, D.J., Kelm, M.A., Flanagan, V.P., Brown, E., Beecher, G.R., Clevidence, B.A. 2001. Absorption of beta-carotene from carbon-13 labeled kale. Experimental Biology.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Bioavailability of nutrients from fruits and vegetables is key to determining how well they provide health benefits. The objective of this study was to quantitate the absorption of beta-carotene from a green, leafy vegetable. Kale was grown in an environmental chamber to be entirely labeled with carbon-13. The growth chamber was sealed, and the only source of carbon available to kale plants during the growth cycle was carbon-13. Nutrients were found to be labeled at >97%. Upon harvest, the labeled kale was fed to a healthy male volunteer as a single 400 gram dose with 30 grams of oil. Serial blood samples were collected several times on the dose day, and several times per week for 6 weeks following the dose. Plasma was analyzed for labeled beta-carotene and retinol by LC-MS and GC-MS, respectively. Compartmental modeling was used to analyze the plasma data. The plasma showed a significant rise in C13-beta-carotene and C13-retinol following ingestion of the labeled kale, representing substantial absorption of the beta-carotene from the plant matrix. The labeled beta-carotene was detectable for 6 weeks following the dose, and the labeled retinol was detectable for over 3 weeks following the dose. In conclusion, labeling of green, leafy vegetables with carbon-13 is a feasible way to study bioavailabiltiy of nutrients from plant foods.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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