Differences in bioavailability and tissue accumulation efficiency of (all-E)- and (Z)-carotenoids: A comparative study

Masaki Honda, Soo Takasu, Kiyotaka Nakagawa, Takanori Tsuda

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30 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the differences in bioavailability and tissue accumulation efficiency between all-E- and Z-isomer-rich carotenoids after oral administration to rats. Three commercially important carotenoids (lycopene, β-carotene, and lutein) were chosen for the study. For all carotenoids, feeding with Z-isomer-rich diets increased their concentrations in plasma and tissues at least similar to or more than the all-E-isomer-rich diets, e.g., in rats fed a Z-isomer-rich lycopene, the lycopene concentrations in the plasma and liver after the 2-week administration were respectively 6.2 and 11.6 times higher than those fed an all-E-isomer-rich diet. These results strongly indicate that carotenoid Z-isomers have higher bioavailability and tissue accumulation efficiency than the all-E-isomers. Moreover, diets rich in carotenoid Z-isomers significantly improved the total Z-isomer ratio in plasma and several tissues compared to the all-E-isomers. Since carotenoid Z-isomers potentially have higher antioxidant activity than the all-E-isomers, their accumulation in the body might bring remarkable health benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130119
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 1


  • Bioavailability
  • Geometrical isomer
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Tissue accumulation
  • β-Carotene


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