Associations of soluble fiber, whole fruits/vegetables, and juice with plasma Beta-carotene concentrations in a free-living population of breast cancer survivors

Women Health. 2012;52(8):731-43. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2012.728189.


Objective: Soluble fiber and the physical state of fruits/vegetables affect plasma ß-carotene concentrations; however, most of this research was conducted in laboratory-based settings. These analyses investigated the relationship between soluble fiber and juiced versus whole fruits/vegetables to plasma ß-carotene concentrations in a free-living population.

Method: This cross-sectional analysis used 12-month follow-up data from the Women's Healthy Eating & Living Study (1995-2006), a study to improve diet in breast cancer survivors in the Western United States. The dietary nutrients considered in this analysis included intake of soluble fiber (g), ß-carotene from fruit/vegetable juice (mg), and ß-carotene from whole fruits/vegetables (mg). A linear regression model was used to assess the relationship of the variables to plasma ß-carotene concentrations.

Results: Out of 3,088 women enrolled in the Women's Healthy Eating & Living Study, 2,397 women had complete data (mean age = 54). The final model accounted for approximately 49% of the explained variance in plasma ß-carotene concentrations. Fruit/vegetable juice had the largest positive relation to plasma ß-carotene concentrations (standardized parameter estimate = 0.23, p < 0.01), followed by whole fruits/vegetables (standardized parameter estimate = 0.09, p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Soluble fiber may inhibit ß-carotene absorption; therefore, consumption of juice may increase plasma ß-carotene concentrations more than whole fruits/vegetables in free-living populations.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fiber*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Report
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Telephone
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vegetables*
  • Young Adult
  • beta Carotene / administration & dosage
  • beta Carotene / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Fiber
  • beta Carotene