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Several recent studies have indicated that increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with enhanced mood and psychological wellbeing and decreased depression.1-3 Fruit and vegetables are rich in essential micronutrients, many of which have been associated with improved mood via a number of proposed mechanisms.4,5 Thus, it is plausible that increased consumption of micronutrient-rich fruit and vegetables might enhance mood, particularly in individuals with normally low dietary intakes. Fruit and vegetables are particularly rich in vitamin C and \u03b2-carotene (pro-vitamin A) and circulating levels of these antioxidants have been shown to correlate with fruit and vegetable consumption.6 Vitamin C, being water soluble, is readily excreted and is an indicator for recent fruit and vegetable intake, whereas the lipid soluble carotenoids are retained by the body and are indicators for longer term fruit and vegetable intake. We have measured skin carotenoid status in several groups of individuals using a non-invasive biophotonic scanner. Scores of <10 to 25 indicate low fruit and vegetable consumption, scores of 25 to 35 moderate consumption and scores of 35 to 50+ indicate high consumption. We screened a group of 134 young non-smoking males (primarily graduate students aged ~18-35 years) and found a mean skin carotenoid score of 28 \u00b1 9. We also measured the skin carotenoid status of 24 laboratory personnel, both male and female (aged ~20-70 years) and found a mean score of 31 \u00b1 9. There was no significant difference between men and women (P = 0.894) and their scores did not differ significantly from the group of male students (P = 0.238), even though the latter group are typically associated with less than ideal diets. Of interest, however, we also measured 35 individuals who attended a Hauora Mori Day in Christchurch (2011). This group consisted of mixed genders, ages and ethnicity, although predominantly Mori. We found a skin carotenoid score of 24 \u00b1 12, which was significantly lower than both the male students (P = 0.009) and laboratory personnel (P = 0.016). Depressive disorders are a major health problem in New Zealand and appear to be more common in Mori than non- Mori.7 Circulating carotenoids have been associated with enhanced optimism and decreased depression.8,9 and are likely an indicator of overall fruit and vegetable intake.6 Consumption of fruit and vegetables is closely associated with socioeconomic status, with fruit and vegetable consumption decreasing with increasing neighbourhood deprivation.10 Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey indicated that more than one third of New Zealanders consumed less than the then recommended five or more half-cup servings of fruit and vegetables per day.10 However, now that the USDA has updated its dietary intake recommendations to nine half-cup servings of fruit and vegetables for adults, significantly more members of the general public will be consuming less than the new recommendations. The new recommendations are significantly higher than the familiar five plus a day, and a difficult target for many people to meet. Since younger age groups (i.e. 15-30 years) consume significantly less \u03b2-carotene-containing foods than older age groups,10 this suggests that they are the most appropriate target group for messages encouraging an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, especially as a way to combat the increasing prevalence of depression and to improve overall mood.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Anitra C Carr Research Fellow & Study Co-ordinator Juliet M Pullar Research Fellow & Study Co-ordinator Margreet C M Vissers Professor & Associate Dean (Research) Centre for Free Radical Research, Department of Pathology University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

- Blanchflower DG, Oswald AJ, Stewart-Brown S. Is psychological well-being linked to the consumption of fruits and vegetables? Soc Indic Res. 2012;DOI 10.1007/s11205-012-0173-y. White BA, Horwath CC, Conner TS. Many apples a day keep the blues away - Daily experiences of negative and positive affect and food consumption in young adults. Br J Health Psychol. 2013;DOI 10.1111/bjhp.12021:1-17. Tsai AC, Chang TL, Chi SH. Frequent consumption of vegetables predicts lower risk of depression in older Taiwanese - results of a prospective population-based study. Public Health Nutr. 2012;15(6):1087-92. Kaplan BJ, Crawford SG, Field CJ, et al. Vitamins, minerals, and mood. Psychol Bull. 2007;133(5):747-60. Carr AC, Bozonet SM, Pullar JM, et al. Mood improvement in young adult males following supplementation with gold kiwifruit, a high vitamin C food. J Nutr Sci. 2013 (In Press). Block G, Norkus E, Hudes M, et al. Which plasma antioxidants are most related to fruit and vegetable consumption? Am J Epidemiol. 2001;154(12):1113-8. MaGPIe Research Group. Mental disorders among Maori attending their general practitioner. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2005;39(5):401-6. Boehm JK, Williams DR, Rimm EB, et al. Association between optimism and serum antioxidants in the midlife in the United States study. Psychosom Med. 2013;75(1):2-10. Milaneschi Y, Bandinelli S, Penninx BW, et al. The relationship between plasma carotenoids and depressive symptoms in older persons. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2012;13(8):588-98. Ministry of Health. A focus on nutrition: key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry for Health; 2011. p. 359.-

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Several recent studies have indicated that increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with enhanced mood and psychological wellbeing and decreased depression.1-3 Fruit and vegetables are rich in essential micronutrients, many of which have been associated with improved mood via a number of proposed mechanisms.4,5 Thus, it is plausible that increased consumption of micronutrient-rich fruit and vegetables might enhance mood, particularly in individuals with normally low dietary intakes. Fruit and vegetables are particularly rich in vitamin C and \u03b2-carotene (pro-vitamin A) and circulating levels of these antioxidants have been shown to correlate with fruit and vegetable consumption.6 Vitamin C, being water soluble, is readily excreted and is an indicator for recent fruit and vegetable intake, whereas the lipid soluble carotenoids are retained by the body and are indicators for longer term fruit and vegetable intake. We have measured skin carotenoid status in several groups of individuals using a non-invasive biophotonic scanner. Scores of <10 to 25 indicate low fruit and vegetable consumption, scores of 25 to 35 moderate consumption and scores of 35 to 50+ indicate high consumption. We screened a group of 134 young non-smoking males (primarily graduate students aged ~18-35 years) and found a mean skin carotenoid score of 28 \u00b1 9. We also measured the skin carotenoid status of 24 laboratory personnel, both male and female (aged ~20-70 years) and found a mean score of 31 \u00b1 9. There was no significant difference between men and women (P = 0.894) and their scores did not differ significantly from the group of male students (P = 0.238), even though the latter group are typically associated with less than ideal diets. Of interest, however, we also measured 35 individuals who attended a Hauora Mori Day in Christchurch (2011). This group consisted of mixed genders, ages and ethnicity, although predominantly Mori. We found a skin carotenoid score of 24 \u00b1 12, which was significantly lower than both the male students (P = 0.009) and laboratory personnel (P = 0.016). Depressive disorders are a major health problem in New Zealand and appear to be more common in Mori than non- Mori.7 Circulating carotenoids have been associated with enhanced optimism and decreased depression.8,9 and are likely an indicator of overall fruit and vegetable intake.6 Consumption of fruit and vegetables is closely associated with socioeconomic status, with fruit and vegetable consumption decreasing with increasing neighbourhood deprivation.10 Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey indicated that more than one third of New Zealanders consumed less than the then recommended five or more half-cup servings of fruit and vegetables per day.10 However, now that the USDA has updated its dietary intake recommendations to nine half-cup servings of fruit and vegetables for adults, significantly more members of the general public will be consuming less than the new recommendations. The new recommendations are significantly higher than the familiar five plus a day, and a difficult target for many people to meet. Since younger age groups (i.e. 15-30 years) consume significantly less \u03b2-carotene-containing foods than older age groups,10 this suggests that they are the most appropriate target group for messages encouraging an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, especially as a way to combat the increasing prevalence of depression and to improve overall mood.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Anitra C Carr Research Fellow & Study Co-ordinator Juliet M Pullar Research Fellow & Study Co-ordinator Margreet C M Vissers Professor & Associate Dean (Research) Centre for Free Radical Research, Department of Pathology University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

- Blanchflower DG, Oswald AJ, Stewart-Brown S. Is psychological well-being linked to the consumption of fruits and vegetables? Soc Indic Res. 2012;DOI 10.1007/s11205-012-0173-y. White BA, Horwath CC, Conner TS. Many apples a day keep the blues away - Daily experiences of negative and positive affect and food consumption in young adults. Br J Health Psychol. 2013;DOI 10.1111/bjhp.12021:1-17. Tsai AC, Chang TL, Chi SH. Frequent consumption of vegetables predicts lower risk of depression in older Taiwanese - results of a prospective population-based study. Public Health Nutr. 2012;15(6):1087-92. Kaplan BJ, Crawford SG, Field CJ, et al. Vitamins, minerals, and mood. Psychol Bull. 2007;133(5):747-60. Carr AC, Bozonet SM, Pullar JM, et al. Mood improvement in young adult males following supplementation with gold kiwifruit, a high vitamin C food. J Nutr Sci. 2013 (In Press). Block G, Norkus E, Hudes M, et al. Which plasma antioxidants are most related to fruit and vegetable consumption? Am J Epidemiol. 2001;154(12):1113-8. MaGPIe Research Group. Mental disorders among Maori attending their general practitioner. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2005;39(5):401-6. Boehm JK, Williams DR, Rimm EB, et al. Association between optimism and serum antioxidants in the midlife in the United States study. Psychosom Med. 2013;75(1):2-10. Milaneschi Y, Bandinelli S, Penninx BW, et al. The relationship between plasma carotenoids and depressive symptoms in older persons. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2012;13(8):588-98. Ministry of Health. A focus on nutrition: key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry for Health; 2011. p. 359.-

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

Several recent studies have indicated that increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with enhanced mood and psychological wellbeing and decreased depression.1-3 Fruit and vegetables are rich in essential micronutrients, many of which have been associated with improved mood via a number of proposed mechanisms.4,5 Thus, it is plausible that increased consumption of micronutrient-rich fruit and vegetables might enhance mood, particularly in individuals with normally low dietary intakes. Fruit and vegetables are particularly rich in vitamin C and \u03b2-carotene (pro-vitamin A) and circulating levels of these antioxidants have been shown to correlate with fruit and vegetable consumption.6 Vitamin C, being water soluble, is readily excreted and is an indicator for recent fruit and vegetable intake, whereas the lipid soluble carotenoids are retained by the body and are indicators for longer term fruit and vegetable intake. We have measured skin carotenoid status in several groups of individuals using a non-invasive biophotonic scanner. Scores of <10 to 25 indicate low fruit and vegetable consumption, scores of 25 to 35 moderate consumption and scores of 35 to 50+ indicate high consumption. We screened a group of 134 young non-smoking males (primarily graduate students aged ~18-35 years) and found a mean skin carotenoid score of 28 \u00b1 9. We also measured the skin carotenoid status of 24 laboratory personnel, both male and female (aged ~20-70 years) and found a mean score of 31 \u00b1 9. There was no significant difference between men and women (P = 0.894) and their scores did not differ significantly from the group of male students (P = 0.238), even though the latter group are typically associated with less than ideal diets. Of interest, however, we also measured 35 individuals who attended a Hauora Mori Day in Christchurch (2011). This group consisted of mixed genders, ages and ethnicity, although predominantly Mori. We found a skin carotenoid score of 24 \u00b1 12, which was significantly lower than both the male students (P = 0.009) and laboratory personnel (P = 0.016). Depressive disorders are a major health problem in New Zealand and appear to be more common in Mori than non- Mori.7 Circulating carotenoids have been associated with enhanced optimism and decreased depression.8,9 and are likely an indicator of overall fruit and vegetable intake.6 Consumption of fruit and vegetables is closely associated with socioeconomic status, with fruit and vegetable consumption decreasing with increasing neighbourhood deprivation.10 Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey indicated that more than one third of New Zealanders consumed less than the then recommended five or more half-cup servings of fruit and vegetables per day.10 However, now that the USDA has updated its dietary intake recommendations to nine half-cup servings of fruit and vegetables for adults, significantly more members of the general public will be consuming less than the new recommendations. The new recommendations are significantly higher than the familiar five plus a day, and a difficult target for many people to meet. Since younger age groups (i.e. 15-30 years) consume significantly less \u03b2-carotene-containing foods than older age groups,10 this suggests that they are the most appropriate target group for messages encouraging an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, especially as a way to combat the increasing prevalence of depression and to improve overall mood.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Anitra C Carr Research Fellow & Study Co-ordinator Juliet M Pullar Research Fellow & Study Co-ordinator Margreet C M Vissers Professor & Associate Dean (Research) Centre for Free Radical Research, Department of Pathology University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

- Blanchflower DG, Oswald AJ, Stewart-Brown S. Is psychological well-being linked to the consumption of fruits and vegetables? Soc Indic Res. 2012;DOI 10.1007/s11205-012-0173-y. White BA, Horwath CC, Conner TS. Many apples a day keep the blues away - Daily experiences of negative and positive affect and food consumption in young adults. Br J Health Psychol. 2013;DOI 10.1111/bjhp.12021:1-17. Tsai AC, Chang TL, Chi SH. Frequent consumption of vegetables predicts lower risk of depression in older Taiwanese - results of a prospective population-based study. Public Health Nutr. 2012;15(6):1087-92. Kaplan BJ, Crawford SG, Field CJ, et al. Vitamins, minerals, and mood. Psychol Bull. 2007;133(5):747-60. Carr AC, Bozonet SM, Pullar JM, et al. Mood improvement in young adult males following supplementation with gold kiwifruit, a high vitamin C food. J Nutr Sci. 2013 (In Press). Block G, Norkus E, Hudes M, et al. Which plasma antioxidants are most related to fruit and vegetable consumption? Am J Epidemiol. 2001;154(12):1113-8. MaGPIe Research Group. Mental disorders among Maori attending their general practitioner. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2005;39(5):401-6. Boehm JK, Williams DR, Rimm EB, et al. Association between optimism and serum antioxidants in the midlife in the United States study. Psychosom Med. 2013;75(1):2-10. Milaneschi Y, Bandinelli S, Penninx BW, et al. The relationship between plasma carotenoids and depressive symptoms in older persons. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2012;13(8):588-98. Ministry of Health. A focus on nutrition: key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry for Health; 2011. p. 359.-

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