Submitted to: Asian Congress of Dietetics
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/22/2005
Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Citation: Ribaya-Mercado, J.D., Maramag, C.C., Tengco, L.W., Blumberg, J.B., Solon, F.S. 2006. Bioavailability of plant carotenoids in filipino schoolchildren: influence of amounts of dietary fat. Asian Congress of Dietetics. p. 65. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Background: Although it is recognized that fat-soluble nutrients require some fat (vs no fat) for absorption, the amount of fat required in a meal for optimal absorption of plant carotenoids is not clearly defined. Objective: We studied the influence of amounts of dietary fat on the bioavailability of plant carotenoids in 9- to 12-year-old schoolchildren residing in rural Philippines. Methods: Anthelmintic treatment with albendazole was provided at baseline. Three groups of participants (n=39, 39, and 38) were fed 3 meals a day, 5 days a week, for 9 weeks in their schools. The meals were standardized and contained locally available vegetables (e.g., spinach, carrots, squash, beans, pechay) and other food ingredients and were prepared using traditional cooking methods. The meals provided to the 3 study groups differed only in the amounts of dietary fat (coconut oil) which was either 2.5, 5, or 10 g fat per meal, or about 6.5%, 14.4%, or 27.4% of total energy intakes. Fasting blood obtained at baseline and at post-intervention were analyzed for serum carotenoids by HPLC using a C30 column. Results: After 9 weeks, median serum alpha-carotene increased 23-fold; lutein, 6-fold; trans-beta-carotene, 5-fold; 13-cis-beta-carotene, 3-fold; zeaxanthin, 2-fold; beta-cryptoxanthin, 2-fold; and lycopene, 1.5-fold. The changes in serum carotenoid concentrations were not different among the three study groups. Conclusion: Based on serum carotenoid measurements, it appears that optimal uptake of plant carotenoids requires only a small amount of dietary fat (2.5 g) per meal. Funder: National Research Initiative of the US Dept of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, grant number 2003-35200-13607.