Skin Carotenoid Response to a High-Carotenoid Juice in Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Published:August 05, 2015DOI:



      Previous studies have shown an increase in serum carotenoid status among children when fed carotenoids. This study looked at the effect and dose–response of a known amount of carotenoid consumption on change in skin carotenoid status among children.


      Participants were children aged 5 to 17 years from Cache County, UT (n=58). Children were randomly assigned to one of three groups: high (n=18) or low (n=18) dose of a carotenoid-rich juice (2.75 mg carotenoids/30 mL juice), or placebo juice (n=22). Children were asked to drink an assigned dose of the juice (30 to 120 mL/day) based on the weight of the child and group assignment, every day for 8 weeks. Skin carotenoids were measured every 2 weeks by resonance Raman spectroscopy. Participants were asked to maintain their usual diet throughout the study. Usual diet was assessed using three averaged 24-hour recalls; diet constancy was measured using food frequency questionnaires administered at baseline, Week 4, and Week 8. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to assess the group differences in skin carotenoid status over time.


      The high-dose and low-dose groups had mean±standard deviation increases in skin carotenoid status of 11,515±1,134 and 10,009±1,439 Raman intensity counts, respectively (both P values <0.001, for change in means compared with baseline) at Week 8, although they showed significant change from baseline by Week 2. The placebo group’s change of 985 Raman intensity counts was not statistically significant. The difference in change between the 2 experimental groups was not significant at Week 2, 4, 6, or 8.


      Consumption of 30 to 120 mL (2.75 to 11 mg carotenoids) of a carotenoid-rich juice significantly increased skin carotenoid status over an 8-week period among children aged 5 to 17 years. The amount of carotenoids found in this amount of juice is equal to the amount found in approximately 23 to 92 g cooked carrots per day.


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      S. S. Aguilar is a senior research dietitian, Center for Human Nutrition Studies, Utah State University, Logan.


      H. J. Wengreen is an associate professor, Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences, Utah State University, Logan.


      J. Dew is an associate professor, Family, Child, and Human Development, Utah State University, Logan.