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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 #402660

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

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Change in skin carotenoid status is associated with changes in body Composition during moderate weight loss in women

item DE LEON, ANGELA - Former ARS Employee
item Roemmich, James
item Casperson, Shanon

Submitted to: American Society for Nutrition
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Background: Carotenoid status is often used to assess the effectiveness of interventions to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, particularly as part of weight loss trials. However, carotenoids are sequestered in adipose tissue, so observed increases in carotenoid status during weight loss may also be due to the release of carotenoids as adipose tissue is catabolized. Objective: Our aim was to determine the effect of changes in body composition on skin carotenoid status during moderate weight loss. Methods: Healthy women with overweight/obesity (n = 46) were provided with all foods for daily consumption at a level of 20% reduction of usual energy intake for a period of 8 weeks. This was followed by an 8-week period during which participants returned to purchasing and preparing their own foods with instructions to maintain the same dietary pattern and energy intake as in the controlled feeding phase. Body composition assessed via dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and skin carotenoids assessed via pressure-mediated reflection spectroscopy (RS), were measured at baseline and at the end of weeks 8 and 16. Data are reported as mean ± standard error. Results: Total body weight decreased from 96.5 ± 2.1 kg at baseline to 92.1 ± 2.1 kg at week 8 and to 90.7 ± 2.1 kg at week 16 (p < .0001). Body fat mass decreased from 44.0 ± 1.4 kg at baseline to 40.3 ± 1.4 kg at week 8 and to 39.2 ± 1.4 kg at week 16 (p < .0001). Percentage body fat decreased from 45 ± 1% at baseline to 44 ± 1% at week 8 and to 43 ± 1% at week 16 (p < .0001). RS intensity increased from 261 ± 9 at baseline to 290 ± 10 at week 8 and 301 ± 10 at week 16 (p < .0001). Body weight, body fat mass, and percentage body fat were inversely correlated with skin carotenoid status (r = -.48, p = .0006; r = -.49, p < .0001; and r = -.45, p = .0016, respectively). Conclusions: These results suggest that increases in skin carotenoid status during weight loss may, at least in part, be a function of carotenoids being released from adipose tissue. Weight loss studies with an increased fruit and vegetable component should take these findings into consideration in the interpretation of changes in skin carotenoid status.