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Predictors of adipose tissue carotenoid and retinol levels in nine countries: The EURAMIC study

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Author: Virtanen, S.M. · Veer, P. van 't · Kok, F. · Kardinaal, A.F.M. · Aro, A.
Source:American Journal of Epidemiology, 10, 144, 968-979
Identifier: 233556
Keywords: adipose tissue · alcohol drinking · body mass index · carotenoids · fatty acids · smoking · waist-hip ratio · alpha carotene · antioxidant · beta carotene · cholesterol · fatty acid · high density lipoprotein cholesterol · low density lipoprotein cholesterol · lycopene · retinol · selenium · triacylglycerol · adipose tissue · adult · age · aged · alcohol consumption · article · body composition · body mass · cancer · cardiovascular disease · controlled study · dietary intake · europe · female · human · human tissue · israel · lipid blood level · male · needle biopsy · normal human · sex difference · smoking · Adipose Tissue · Adult · Aged · Aged, 80 and over · Alcohol Drinking · Anthropometry · Body Composition · Body Constitution · Carotenoids · Coffee · Female · Humans · Lipids · Male · Menopause · Middle Aged · Smoking · Vitamin A


The adipose tissue carotenoid (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lycopene) and retinol levels and their predictors were determined in 686 male and 339 female middle-aged and elderly subjects from eight European countries and Israel during the years 1991 to 1992. Adipose tissue carotenoid levels in men were 50-76% of those in women, whereas the retinol level in men was 116% of that in women (p < 0.001). When all significant predictors of antioxidant levels were considered in men, waist circumference was shown to be an independent predictor of adipose tissue alpha-carotene; age, waist circumference, and alcohol use were independent predictors of beta-carotene; age, body mass index, and waist circumference were predictors of lycopene; and waist circumference, smoking, and alcohol consumption were predictors of retinol. In the same way, in women waist circumference was shown to be an independent predictor of alpha-carotene level, BMI was a predictor of beta- carotene, smoking was a predictor of retinol, and alcohol consumption was a predictor of lycopene. The observed association of age with beta-carotene was positive, that with lycopene was inverse, and those of body mass index and waist circumference with the antioxidant levels were inverse. Alcohol use was inversely associated with beta-carotene level, and smoking and alcohol use were positively associated with retinol and lycopene levels. Epidemiologic studies on diet-disease relations using adipose tissue levels of carotenoids and retinol should consider gender, body size and composition, smoking, and alcohol consumption as potential confounders in diet-disease relations.