Fruit and Vegetable Intake

April 9/Women's Health Law Weekly -- According to recent research from Dusseldorf, Germany, "To explore the effects of increasing fruit and vegetable intake and the resulting effects on levels of circulating micronutrients in a community-dwelling population with an already high consumption of fruits and vegetables, 112 volunteers (86% women) underwent targeted dietary counseling for three months. At the beginning of the study and after four, eight and 12 weeks a food frequency questionnaire was filled in, and plasma levels of dietary antioxidants as well as biomarkers of oxidative lipid and protein damage were determined."

"Compared to baseline, especially the intake of fruits was significantly improved after three months of intervention, and mean plasma levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, alpha- and beta-carotene, retinol, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C and vitamin B6 were increased. Biomarkers of oxidative stress remained unchanged. Thus, a nutritional counseling program is capable of improving plasma levels of antioxidants even in a health-conscious population," wrote M.C. Polidori and colleagues, University of Dusseldorf.

The researchers concluded, "A decrease in biomarkers of oxidative stress, however, does not occur."

Polidori and colleagues published their study in Nutrition Journal ("Plasma Micronutrient Status is Improved After a 3-month Dietary Intervention with Five Daily Portions of Fruits and Vegetables: Implications for Optimal Antioxidant Levels." Nutrition Journal, 2009;8():10).

For additional information, contact M.C. Polidori, University of Dusseldorf, Institute Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 1, Dusseldorf, Germany.

From the April 13, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition