Alpha-carotene: critical for metabolic health modulation in healthy overweight subjects

A new study reveals that alpha-carotene (a type of pro-vitamin A) plays a critical role in the maintenance of phenotypic flexibility in the context of plasma micronutrient status in healthy overweight subjects

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled and crossover study, 36 healthy overweight and obese male subjects were supplemented with an anti-inflammatory dietary mixture (resveratrol, green tea extract, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C, n-3 [omega-3] polyunsaturated fatty acids and tomato extract) in hard and softgel capsules for 5 weeks, followed by a nutritional challenge test (NCT) with high content of fat.

The correlation of the plasma status of four carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and lycopene), retinol, alpha- and gamma-tocopherol (vitamin E) and vitamin D3 with metabolic and inflammatory parameters at baseline are examined in response to NCT and at fasting using proteomic and metabolomic platforms.

When examining the correlation at fasting, plasma alpha-carotene shows an inverse relationship with pro-inflammatory proteins.

Conversely, in the micronutrient status correlation network, alpha-carotene shows an inverse correlation with inflammatory parameters upon NCT.

The results also show that gamma-tocopherol helps with the modulation of peptides that are associated with insulin sensitivity.

In addition, higher plasma gamma-tocopherol levels ameliorated the inflammatory response. The results from this study, collectively, show that both alpha-carotene and gamma-tocopherol may help in the modulation of metabolic-inflammatory processes.

“A previous study conducted by the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also proven that high serum levels of alpha-carotene are associated with lower risks of death from metabolic health issues — such as cardiovascular disease — during a mean follow-up period of almost 14 years."

"The current study is the first to provide insights into the importance of alpha-carotene (pro-vitamin A) and gamma-tocopherol (vitamin E) in health with regard to phenotypic flexibility, such as the attenuation of inflammatory response that may link to metabolic health. Hence, the role of alpha-carotene in metabolic health maintenance is once again being highlighted,” says CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist of ExcelVite.

“When compared with other commercial carotene sources with negligible amounts of alpha-carotene, EVTene, a natural mixed-carotene complex from palm, contains the highest concentration of alpha-carotene (approximately 33%) in the market."

"It not only contains alpha-carotene, but also beta-carotene and a small amount of other carotenoids. What makes EVTene unique is that its carotenoids composition is exactly the same as found in carrots."

"Therefore, EVTene is a good natural source of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene that can be incorporated in our daily diets and/or dietary supplements to maintain metabolic health via immunomodulation,” added Lau.

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