Hispanic and non-hispanic white elders from Massachusetts have different patterns of carotenoid intake and plasma concentrations

Odilia I. Bermudez, Judy D. Ribaya-Mercado, Sameera A. Talegawkar, Katherine L. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Carotenoids have been linked with protective roles against diseases associated with aging, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. With data from a semiquantitative, validated FFQ, we examined carotenoid intake of 340 Puerto Ricans, 98 Dominicans, and 146 non-Hispanic whites (>60 y old) in Massachusetts. Compared with non-Hispanic white men, Hispanic men reported a higher intake of lycopene and lower intakes of α-carotene, lutein + zeaxanthin, β-carotene (from diet only), and total β-carotene (diet and supplements) (P < 0.001). Hispanic women reported higher intakes of β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene but lower intakes of lutein + zeaxanthin (P < 0.001) than non-Hispanic white women. The frequency of consumption of fruit and vegetables was higher among Hispanic women, relative to non-Hispanic white women (P < 0.05). Plasma concentrations of α-carotene and lycopene were higher in Hispanic than in non-Hispanic white men and women. For both ethnic groups, higher intakes of carotenoids were associated with higher plasma concentrations of the respective carotenoids, except for lycopene (Hispanics) and lutein + zeaxanthin (non-Hispanic whites). Food sources contributing most to total intakes differed among the groups. The major sources of α- and β-carotene were carrots for non-Hispanic whites and winter squash for Hispanics. The major source of lycopene was cooked tomato products for Hispanics, and pasta dishes for non-Hispanic whites. Traditional foods such as beans and plantains were also important contributors of carotenoids for Hispanics. Because of the potential importance of carotenoids as protective factors against chronic diseases, more attention to food-related practices associated with carotenoid intake in differing population groups is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1496-1502
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Carotenoids
  • Dominican
  • Elderly
  • Hispanic
  • Puerto Rican

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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