Vitamins and carotenoids are organic compounds that are important for vital functions of the human organism. Since the human body is not able to synthesize most of these micronutrients, they need to be supplied by the intake of food or supplements. The aim of this study was to analyze whether a whole food based, encapsulated fruit, berry, and vegetable juice powder concentrate provides bioavailable carotenoids and vitamins A (all-trans retinol), E and C. Eighteen healthy subjects received 6 capsules a day for 8 weeks, which provided 2.91 mg β-carotene, 490 μg vitamin A, 18.7 mg vitamin E, 159 mg vitamin C, 6.1 mg lutein and 1 mg lycopene. Plasma concentrations of several carotenoids and vitamins before and after supplementation were measured. After 8 weeks of supplementation, the plasma concentration of the following carotenoids increased significantly: α-carotene increased from 59.6 ± 22.4 nmol/L to 85.7 ± 24.2 nmol/L (p = 0.002), β-cryptoxanthin from 106.7 ± 39.8 nmol/L to 151.9 ± 57.9 nmol/L (p = 0.017), and lycopene from 1.2 ± 0.5 μmol/L to 1.7 ± 0.5 μmol/L (p = 0.005). Significant increases were also observed for plasma concentrations of vitamin C from 70 ± 20 μmol/L to 90 ± 10 μmol/L (p < 0.001), all-trans retinol from 1.99 ± 0.24 μmol/L to 2.30 ± 0.66 μmol/L (p = 0.015), and α-tocopherol from 27 ± 6 μmol/L to 32 ± 6 μmol/L (p = 0.008). For those micronutrients with accepted plasma reference ranges, all observed increases levelled off around the upper limit of the individual reference range. The data demonstrate that the investigated supplement is able to increase plasma concentrations of certain carotenoids and vitamins of healthy subjects within 8 weeks.
Keywords: Bioavailability; Juice Powder Concentrate; Nutraceutical; Phytonutrients.