The effects of daily consumption of ß-cryptoxanthin-rich tangerines and ß-carotene-rich sweet potatoes on vitamin A and carotenoid concentrations in plasma and breast milk of Bangladeshi women with low vitamin A status in a randomized controlled trial.

The American journal of clinical nutrition

PubMedID: 24004891

Turner T, Burri BJ, Jamil KM, Jamil M. The effects of daily consumption of ß-cryptoxanthin-rich tangerines and ß-carotene-rich sweet potatoes on vitamin A and carotenoid concentrations in plasma and breast milk of Bangladeshi women with low vitamin A status in a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;.
BACKGROUND
The potential of ß-cryptoxanthin (CX)-rich foods to form vitamin A (VA) in humans in not well understood.

OBJECTIVE
We measured the effects of consuming CX and ß-carotene (BC)-rich foods on plasma and breast milk VA and carotenoids in lactating women with low VA status.

DESIGN
Participants were randomly assigned to 4 groups (n = 34, 34, 34, and 33, respectively) receiving orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSPs) (12 mg BC/d), tangerines (5.3 mg CX/d), white-fleshed sweet potatoes (WFSPs) with a VA supplement (0.5 mg/d), or WFSPs 2 times/d, 6 d/wk for 3 wk. All except the VA group received placebo capsules identical in appearance to VA supplements. Changes in plasma and breast milk VA, BC, and CX were measured.

RESULTS
Plasma retinol increased in the VA group. Plasma BC in the OFSP group and CX in the tangerine group increased 250% and 830%, respectively; apparent relative absorption in the CX group, considering the amounts consumed, was 4 times that in the BC group. Mean (±SEM) changes in milk VA in the OFSP (0.028 ± 0.074 µmol/L) and tangerine (0.067 ± 0.091 µmol/L) groups did not differ from those in the control (-0.077 ± 0.068 µmol/L) or VA (0.277 ± 0.094 µmol/L) group. Milk CX increased in the tangerine group.

CONCLUSIONS
VA capsules increased plasma and milk VA concentrations. The greater change in CX concentrations in the tangerine group than in BC concentrations in the OFSP group suggests that CX in tangerines was better absorbed, but both foods failed to increase milk VA concentrations. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01420406.