Background: High prevalence of obesity and cardiovascular disease is attributable to sedentary lifestyle and eating diets high in fat and refined carbohydrate while eating diets low in fruit and vegetables. Epidemiological studies have confirmed a strong association between eating diets rich in fruits and vegetables and cardiovascular health. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether drinking fresh carrot juice influences antioxidant status and cardiovascular risk markers in subjects not modifying their eating habits.
Methods: An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of consuming 16 fl oz of daily freshly squeezed carrot juice for three months on cardiovascular risk markers, C-reactive protein, insulin, leptin, interleukin-1α, body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, antioxidant status, and malondialdehyde production. Fasting blood samples were collected pre-test and 90 days afterward to conclude the study.
Results: Drinking carrot juice did not affect (P > 0.1) the plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, Apo A, Apo B, LDL, HDL, body fat percentage, insulin, leptin, interleukin-1α, or C-reactive protein. Drinking carrot juice decreased (P = 0.06) systolic pressure, but did not influence diastolic pressure. Drinking carrot juice significantly (P < 0.05) increased the plasma total antioxidant capacity and decreased (P < 0.05) the plasma malondialdehyde production.
Conclusion: Drinking carrot juice may protect the cardiovascular system by increasing total antioxidant status and by decreasing lipid peroxidation independent of any of the cardiovascular risk markers measured in the study.