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Daily intake of multivitamins during long-term intake of olestra in men prevents declines in serum vitamins A and E but not carotenoids

Study area: 
General Wellness
Tulley RT, Vaidyanathan J, Wilson JB, Rood JC, Lovejoy JC,
Most MM, Volaufova J, Peters JC, Bray GA
Project period: 
Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70112, USA.

The objective of this study was to determine whether vitamin supplementation during long-term (36 wk) ingestion of olestra supplemented with vitamin E could prevent decreases in vitamin E, vitamin A, and carotenoids. This was a 36-wk study of 37 healthy males randomly assigned to consume a control diet composed of 33% energy from fat, a similar diet in which one third of the energy from fat had been replaced with olestra, or a fat-reduced (25% of energy from fat) diet. Subjects also ingested a daily multivitamin (Centrum). Serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol, retinol, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein + zeaxanthin were analyzed by HPLC. Subjects eating the olestra-containing diet had substantial decreases in serum beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein + zeaxanthin, which occurred by 12 wk; these changes were found despite correcting for serum total cholesterol or BMI. Serum beta-carotene and lycopene concentrations were below the lower limit of the reference range (<0.186 and <0.298 mumol/L, respectively) at one or more time points. The slight decline in serum alpha-tocopherol concentration, significant at 24 wk, was caused by the decline in serum cholesterol. Retinol concentrations decreased with time in all 3 groups, but were not affected by olestra. We conclude that supplementation with a multivitamin containing vitamins A and E was adequate to prevent olestra-induced decrease in serum alpha-tocopherol and retinol. Olestra-induced decreases in serum beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein + zeaxanthin were not prevented by the vitamin supplement used in this study.