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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 Talegawkar (a1), Elizabeth J Johnson (a1), Teresa C Carithers (a2), Herman A Taylor (a3), Margaret L Bogle (a4) and Katherine L Tucker (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 2008

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.


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.


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.


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.

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