Washington: A new study has revealed that consuming a whole fresh avocado with either an orange-colored tomato sauce or raw carrots significantly enhanced provitamin A carotenoid (alpha- and beta-carotene) absorption and conversion of these carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A.
The researchers revealed that vitamin A is involved in reproductive health and growth promotion; helps support healthy skin, immune function, and vision; and has antioxidant properties. Provitamin A carotenoids, like alpha- and beta-carotene, impart the orange and yellow colors to many fruits and vegetables. The body converts these plant pigments into an active and usable form of vitamin A.
The research was based on two randomized, two-way crossover feeding studies in 12 healthy men and women. The first study investigated if fresh avocado, when eaten with high beta-carotene tomato sauce, would promote the absorption of provitamin A carotenoids, and the conversion of these carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A .
The second study investigated the same outcome, but replaced high beta-carotene tomato sauce with raw carrots.
Scientists said that the results of this study strengthen the current body of research on this topic and complements a previous study (2) conducted in my lab that showed a similar enhancement in carotenoid absorption with one-half of an avocado.
The findings were published in The Journal of Nutrition.