TitleEvaluating the relationship between plasma and skin carotenoids and reported dietary intake in elementary school children to assess fruit and vegetable intake
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsNguyen, LM, Scherr, RE, Linnell, JD, Ermakov, IV, Gellermann, W, Jahns, L, Keen, CL, Miyamoto, S, Steinberg, FM, Young, HM, Zidenberg-Cherr, S
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Pagination73 - 80
Date Published04/2015


  • We compare skin, plasma, and reported intake of carotenoids in children ages 9-12.
  • Skin carotenoids measured by RRS strongly correlate with plasma carotenoids.
  • Skin carotenoids measured by RRS also correlate to reported carotenoid intake.
  • RRS may be used as a valid tool to assess fruit and vegetable intake in children.
  • RRS is well tolerated by children and may be used in research in school settings.

Accurate assessment of dietary intake of children can be challenging due to the limited reliability of current dietary assessment methods. Plasma carotenoid concentration has been used to assess fruit and vegetable intake, but this testing is rarely conducted in school settings in children. Resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS) is emerging as a useful method to objectively assess fruit and vegetable intake. This methodology has been validated in adults, but limited work has been done in children, particularly in the school setting. The purpose of this research is to further validate the RRS methodology in children. Children (9–12 year) participating in a school-based intervention were recruited. Plasma carotenoids were quantified using HPLC, skin carotenoid status was measured using RRS, and dietary intake of carotenoids was measured with the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire Ages 8–17. Total plasma carotenoid concentrations and skin carotenoid intensities were strongly correlated (r = 0.62, p < 0.001, n = 38). Reported total carotenoid intake correlated with skin carotenoids (r = 0.40, p < 0.0001, n = 128). Skin carotenoid status as measured by RRS can be a strong predictor of plasma carotenoid status and dietary intake of carotenoids in children. RRS may be used as a valid, non-invasive, and useful method to assess fruit and vegetable intakes in this population.

Short TitleArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics