Mixed carotenoid supplements may help obese children

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Obesity

© iStock
© iStock
Dietary supplements containing a mixture of carotenoids and vitamin E may reduce BMI scores, waist to height ratio, and fat levels in obese children, suggest data from a new pilot study.

Supplementation with Jarrow Formulas’s CarotenALL mixed carotenoid supplement for six months produced statistically significant reductions in BMI of 0.19 kg/m2, a 3% reduction in waist circumference, and a 0.03 reduction in the waist to height ratio, compared to placebo.

In addition, subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) decreased by 4% in the carotenoid group, but increased by 4.2% in the placebo group, according to findings published in The Journal of Clinicial Endocrinology and Metabolism​.

“The 96% increase in beta-carotene as compared with the 18% decrease in retinol in the current study is remarkable because beta-carotene is considered a major provitamin A carotenoid,” ​wrote the researchers, led by J. Atilio Canas, MD, from the Wolfson Children's Hospital/Baptist Health in Jacksonville, FL.

“The unique inverse relationship between measures of abdominal adiposity and beta-carotene and the enhancement of beta-carotene along with the attenuation of SAT accrual are important findings and may indicate a putative role for beta-carotene in the regulation of adipose tissue biology in children with obesity.”


The CarotenALL supplement is formulated with 2,000 IU (or 1,200 micrograms) of beta-carotene, 500 micrograms of alpha-carotene (EVTene, ExcelVite), 10 milligrams of lutein, 2 milligrams of zeaxanthin, 10 milligrams of lycopene (Lyc-O-Mato, Lycored), 500 micrograms of astaxanthin, and 10mg gamma-tocopherol per capsule. Participants consumed two capsules every day.

The researchers recruited 20 obese children with a mean age of 10.5 years to participate in their double-blind, randomized pilot study. The children were randomly assigned to receive the CarotenALL supplement or placebo for six months.

The data showed that the mixed carotenoid supplement was associated with reduction in BMI z-score and waist to height ratio, while HOMA-2 (homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance-2) was stabilized.

Impacts on adiponectin

The study used Jarrow Formulas’s CarotenALL product

Beta-carotene levels were also significantly increased, as were total adiponectin and high molecular weight adiponectin levels.

CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist of ExcelVite, which supplied the EVTene ingredient used in the supplement, commented: “Adiponectin is a hormone that regulates body metabolic processes, and generally obese people have lower plasma adiponectin than non-obese people. Many studies have found adiponectin to be inversely correlated with body mass index in obese populations.

“This study shows that the mixed-carotene supplemented obese children have increased level plasma adiponectin. This is definitely interesting as elevated adiponectin is thought to help enhance insulin sensitivity, mitigate inflammatory processes and promote heart-healthy effects. Long term supplementation of mixed-carotene may help to regulate metabolic health in obese children.”

The study authors concluded: “The data from the current study on the increase in serum beta-carotene, [high molecular weight adiponectin], and the concomitant decrease in the accrual of abdominal SAT in response to mixed carotenoid supplementation in children with obesity suggest a putative beneficial role of beta-careotene in the prevention and/or management of obesity and related comorbidities.

“Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.”

Source: The Journal of Clinicial Endocrinology and Metabolism
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1210/jc.2017-00185
“Effects of Mixed Carotenoids on Adipokines and Abdominal Adiposity in Children: A Pilot Study”
Authors: J.A. Canas, et.al. 

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