This study was performed to evaluate the effect of tomato intake on total antioxidant activity of plasma measured by the radical trapping antioxidant parameter assay in 11 healthy female subjects. After 7 d of a diet low in carotenoids and free from lycopene, subjects ate 25 g tomato puree daily (containing 7.0 mg lycopene and 0.25 mg b-carotene) for 14 consecutive days. At the beginning and end of tomato supplementation, the carotenoid plasma concentration and the total antioxidant activity of plasma were assessed. Before tomato puree consumption, mean +/- SE total lycopene and b-carotene plasma concentrations were 0.13 +/- 0.02 mmol/L and 0.24 +/- 0.04 mmol/L, respectively. After tomato puree supplementation, both concentrations increased significantly (0.57 +/- 0.06 mmol/L, P < 0.0001 for total lycopene, and 0.31 +/- 0.04 mmol/L, P = 0.0036 for b-carotene); however, total plasma antioxidant capacity values did not change significantly. From our results, intake of a food rich in carotenoids does not seem to modify the antioxidant capacity of plasma as evaluated by the radical trapping antioxidant parameter assay.
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