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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #398713

Research Project: Dietary and Physical Activity Guidance for Weight Loss and Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Biochemical validation of a self-administered carotenoid intake screener to assess carotenoid intake in non-obese adults

item Casperson, Shanon
item SCHEETT, ANGELA - University Of North Dakota
item PALMER, DANIEL - University Of North Dakota
item JAHNS, LISA - National Institute Of Food And Agriculture (NIFA)
item Hess, Julie
item Roemmich, James

Submitted to: Current Developments in Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2022
Publication Date: 1/24/2023
Citation: Casperson, S.L., Scheett, A., Palmer, D.G., Jahns, L., Hess, J.M., Roemmich, J.N. 2023. Biochemical validation of a self-administered carotenoid intake screener to assess carotenoid intake in non-obese adults. Current Developments in Nutrition. 7(2):1-10.

Interpretive Summary: Carotenoids are bioactive compounds associated with many health outcomes and can only be obtained from eating plant foods. The gold standard for determining carotenoid intake is by measuring carotenoid concentrations in the blood. This makes the assessment of carotenoid intake challenging. Hence, dietary intake questionnaires are frequently used to estimate carotenoid intake. These questionnaires are usually comprised of 100 to 200 questions and take at least 30 minutes to fill out. But these more burdensome questionnaires provide only a minimum increase in the accuracy of the information obtained about a person’s diet. For that reason, we developed a 44-item carotenoid intake screener and validated it against carotenoid concentrations found in the blood. We showed that our carotenoid intake screener is a valid tool and provides a good estimation of total carotenoid intake in non-obese adults.

Technical Abstract: Background: Epidemiological studies demonstrate an association between carotenoid intake and health. However, an accurate measurement of carotenoid intake is challenging. The food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) is the most commonly used dietary assessment method and are typically comprised of 100-200 items. However, the greater participant burden that accompanies a more detailed FFQ only provides a marginal gain in accuracy. Therefore, a brief validated carotenoid intake screener is needed. Objective: To validate a newly developed 44-item carotenoid intake screener against corresponding plasma carotenoid concentrations (primary) and skin carotenoids (secondary) in non-obese adults. Methods: Adults (n = 83; 25 males and 58 females) 18 to 65 years of age (mean age 32 ± 12 years) with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.5 to 29.9 (mean BMI 25 ± 3 kg/m2) were recruited between April 2018 and May 2019. Participants completed the carotenoid intake screener at baseline (week 0) and at each weekly study visit during the 8-week parent study (The Juice Study: Sensitivity of Skin Carotenoid Status to Detect Change in Intake). Plasma carotenoid concentrations were assessed at weeks 0, 4 and 8 using the dilute-and-shoot method. Skin carotenoids were assessed weekly using pressure-mediated reflection spectroscopy (RS). Correlation matrices from mixed models were used to determine whether carotenoid intake correlated with plasma and skin carotenoids over time. Results: Total carotenoids intake, as determined by the carotenoid intake screener, correlated with both plasma total carotenoids concentration (r=0.52; p<0.0001) and RS-assessed skin carotenoids (r=0.43; p<0.0001). Correlations between reported intake and plasma concentrations for a-carotene (r=0.40; p=0.0002), cryptoxanthin (r=0.28; p=0.0113) and lycopene (r=0.33; p=0.0022) were also observed. Conclusions: The results from this study demonstrate an acceptable relative validity of the carotenoid intake screener to assess total carotenoid intake in adults classified as having a healthy body or with overweight.