Effect of beta-carotene supplementation on African skin
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The quantification of skin carotenoid levels has a range of applications in Caucasian populations, from serving as a versatile and noninvasive biomarker (e.g., of systemic carotenoid levels, carotenoid consumption, the antioxidative capacity of skin, and oxidative stress) to being used in appearance-based interventions. Yet, no study has investigated the quantitative effect of carotenoid supplementation on African skin. The aim of this study was to determine if beta-carotene supplementation produces a significant color change in three different regions of African skin. To do so we supplemented the diet of African participants with beta-carotene over an eight-week period. Reflectance spectrophotometry measurements were taken on a weekly basis for the duration of the supplementation study. Results show a significant increase in the carotenoid coloration of lightly pigmented skin (palm of the hand) and highly pigmented skin with low sun exposure (inner arm) after supplementation. The latter was no longer significant after Bonferroni correction. The carotenoid coloration of highly pigmented skin areas with high sun exposure did not increase significantly. Skin carotenoid measurements of the palm of the hand might, therefore, serve as a potential biomarker for systemic carotenoid concentrations in people of African descent.
Coetzee , V & Perrett , D I 2014 , ' Effect of beta-carotene supplementation on African skin ' Journal of Biomedical Optics , vol 19 , no. 2 . DOI: 10.1117/1.JBO.19.2.025004
Journal of Biomedical Optics
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The authors were funded by the South African National Research Foundation (V.C.), the British Academy, and Wolfson Foundation (D.P.).
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