B a- Plus ß-Carotene/LDL Cholesterol

FIGURE 15.7 Percent changes in absolute (A) and LDL cholesterol-standardized (B) plasma concentrations of alpha- plus beta-carotene at different intakes of plant sterols or stanols.

consumption.53 These lipophilic substances are transported in lipoproteins and the observed decrease may be simply due to a decrease in serum LDL cholesterol. Therefore, plasma concentrations are usually standardized for plasma LDL cholesterol concentrations. In general, LDL cholesterol standardized changes were negative for the hydrocarbon carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lycopene), about zero for oxygenated carotenoids (lutein/zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin), and positive for tocopherols.54 Results of several studies of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and alpha-tocopherol are shown in Figure 15.7 and Figure 15.8. For LDL cholesterol, standardized concentration effects are most pronounced at daily intakes above 2 g; effects are hardly evident below this level. Whether the lowered serum hydrocarbon carotenoid concentrations at higher intakes have any functional consequences is unknown. However, all plasma concentrations remained within normal ranges. Plasma concentrations of fat-soluble vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K are not affected by plant sterols and stanols.

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