2004 Volume 50 Issue 6 Pages 410-415
Beta-cryptoxanthin (β-CRX) is a carotenoid pigment found especially in Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) fruit, which is mainly produced in Japan. Previously, we found that serum β-CRX concentrations rose to extreme levels as the frequency of consumption of Satsuma mandarin increases. Using 94 non-smoking female volunteers, the present study evaluated the relationship between serum concentration of β-CRX and serum lipid levels in September, when the Satsuma mandarin is not in season, and in January of the next year, when it is in season. The mean of increment in serum β-CRX concentrations from September to January was 95.9±84.0g/dl (mean±SD). Although the changes in serum lipid levels did not correlate with the changes in serum β-CRX, the serum HDL-cholesterol and apo-lipoprotein Al levels in the highest quartile of the increment in serum β-CRX from September to January were significantly higher than those in the lowest quartile in both September and January. In cross-sectional analyses, serum β-CRX concentrations were correlated positively with those of LDL-cholesterol and apo-lipoprotein B levels in September, but these correlations were not observed in January. In contrast, serum β-CRX concentrations were correlated positively with those of HDL-cholesterol and apo-lipoprotein Al levels in January. These results suggest that habitual eating of Satsuma mandarin while it is in season may influence lipid metabolism throughout the year.