The correlation between the intake of lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene from vegetables and fruits, and blood plasma concentrations in a group of women aged 50-65 years in the UK

Br J Nutr. 1996 Mar;75(3):409-18. doi: 10.1079/bjn19960143.


The correlations between the mean of 4 d weighed intakes of lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene and mean plasma concentrations during each of the four seasons were lutein r 0.64, lycopene r 0.47 and beta-carotene r 0.45. Intake was not significantly correlated with plasma concentrations during every seasonal time-point. There was a significantly higher intake of lutein during the spring compared with summer and autumn, lycopene intake was significantly higher during the summer and autumn and there were no significant seasonal differences in beta-carotene intake. There were, however, significant seasonal differences in plasma carotenoid concentrations, the highest levels occurring between May and October. There were large inter- and intra-individual variations in intake and plasma concentrations of carotenoids. BMI was inversely correlated with plasma beta-carotene (r-0.41). The findings suggest that plasma carotenoid concentrations are indicative of dietary intake, but the large intra-individual variation in plasma concentrations indicates that any assessment of longer-term status from data at any one time-point should be treated with caution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage*
  • Carotenoids / blood*
  • Female
  • Fruit / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lutein / administration & dosage
  • Lutein / blood
  • Lycopene
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Seasons*
  • Vegetables / metabolism*
  • beta Carotene


  • beta Carotene
  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene
  • Lutein