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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Effect of beta-carotene supplementation on African skin
Author(s): Vinet Coetzee; David I. Perrett
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Paper Abstract

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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 2014
PDF: 6 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 19(2) 025004 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.19.2.025004
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 19, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Vinet Coetzee, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)
David I. Perrett, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)

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