Public Health Nutrition

Research Paper

Carotenoid intakes, assessed by food-frequency questionnaires (FFQs), are associated with serum carotenoid concentrations in the Jackson Heart Study: validation of the Jackson Heart Study Delta NIRI Adult FFQs

Sameera A Talegawkara1, Elizabeth J Johnsona1, Teresa C Carithersa2, Herman A Taylor Jra3, Margaret L Boglea4 and Katherine L Tuckera1 c1

a1 Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, 711 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111, USA

a2 Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA

a3 The Jackson Heart Study, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA

a4 USDA Agricultural Research Service, Little Rock, AR, USA


Objectives Intake and status of carotenoids have been associated with chronic disease. The objectives of this study were to examine the association between carotenoid intakes as measured by two regional food-frequency questionnaires (FFQs) and their corresponding measures in serum, and to report on dietary food sources of carotenoids in Jackson Heart Study (JHS) participants.

Design Cross-sectional analysis of data for 402 African American men and women participating in the Diet and Physical Activity Sub-Study (DPASS) of the JHS.

Results Mean serum carotenoid concentrations and intakes in this population were comparable to those reported for the general US population. After adjustment for covariates, correlations between serum and dietary measures of each carotenoid, for the average of the recalls (deattenuated), the short FFQ and the long FFQ, respectively, were: 0·37, 0·35 and 0·21 for α-carotene; 0·35, 0·26 and 0·28 for total (diet plus supplements) β-carotene; 0·25, 0·17 and 0·20 for dietary β-carotene; 0·42, 0·34 and 0·26 for β-cryptoxanthin; 0·33, 0·15 and 0·17 for lutein plus zeaxanthin; and 0·37, 0·19 and 0·14 for lycopene. Major dietary sources of α-carotene were orange vegetables; of β-carotene and lutein plus zeaxanthin, mustard, turnip and collard greens; of β-cryptoxanthin, orange juice; and of lycopene, tomato juice.

Conclusions On average, carotenoid intakes and serum concentrations are not lower in this southern African American population than the general US population. The two regional FFQs developed for a southern US population and used as dietary assessment tools in the JHS appear to provide reasonably valid information for most of these carotenoids.

(Received April 04 2007)

(Accepted September 13 2007)


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