Objectives: to identify the plasma antioxidant microconstituents mainly affected by tomato product consumption, to check whether tomato product consumption can affect antioxidant status, and to identify tomato-product antioxidant-microconstituents mainly involved in the effect of these products on oxidative stress.
Design: Medium-term dietary supplementation study.
Setting: Human Nutrition Laboratory, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Subjects: Twenty healthy young (20 < years < 40), non obese (18 < BMI (kg/m2) < 25), females were recruited by advertisement. All of them completed the study.
Intervention: The usual diet of the subjects was supplemented for three weeks with 96 g/day tomato puree. The volunteers then avoided tomato-product-rich foods for a subsequent three-week period.
Measures of outcome: Fasting blood samples were collected the day before supplementation, the day after the supplementation period, and the day after the depletion period. The status of several antioxidant microconstituents (plasma microconstituent concentrations), and the antioxidant status (plasma total antioxidant capacity) were assessed.
Results: Supplementation with tomato puree significantly increased plasma lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein. Conversely it did not significantly affect plasma vitamin C and E, plasma antioxidant trace metals (Cu, Zn and Se), and plasma total antioxidant capacity. Avoidance of tomato-product-rich foods for three weeks significantly (p < 0.05) decreased plasma lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and vitamin C, as well as plasma total antioxidant capacity. Plasma total antioxidant capacity, as measured by chemiluminescence, was positively related (p < 0.05) to the status of lycopene, vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Conclusions: Tomato product consumption can affect not only the lycopene status, but also that of other antioxidant microconstituents (beta-carotene and lutein). Lycopene, but also beta-carotene, are apparently the main tomato microconstituents responsible for the effect of tomato products on antioxidant status.