Associations of serum β-carotene and retinol concentrations with insulin resistance: The Toon Health Study

Kana Higuchi, Isao Saito, Koutatsu Maruyama, Eri Eguchi, Hiromi Mori, Sakurako Tanno, Susumu Sakurai, Taro Kishida, Wataru Nishida, Haruhiko Osawa, Takeshi Tanigawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Although green and yellow vegetables have beneficial effects against type 2 diabetes, the relationship of their nutritive content with insulin resistance is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to examine the associations of serum β-carotene and retinol concentrations with glucose and insulin concentrations. Methods: We recruited 951 Japanese men and women ages 30 to 79 y who were not undergoing treatment for diabetes and measured their serum β-carotene and retinol concentrations. A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test was performed and the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and the Matsuda Index were calculated as measures of insulin resistance. Several confounding factors were adjusted for with multivariable logistic models. Results: Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios of the highest quartile of serum β-carotene compared with the lowest quartile for HOMA-IR >1.6 and Matsuda Index <4.9 were 0.56 (95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.94) and 0.62 (0.37-1.02), respectively. When stratified by sex and overweight status, these associations were observed for women and non-overweight individuals. Serum retinol concentration was not associated with either index. Furthermore, according to the nutritional survey, serum β-carotene concentration was associated with green and yellow vegetable intake (P = 0.01). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that higher serum β-carotene levels, associated with higher intake of green and yellow vegetables, confer beneficial effects against insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-980
Number of pages6
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Insulin resistance
  • Serum retinol
  • Serum β-carotene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations of serum β-carotene and retinol concentrations with insulin resistance: The Toon Health Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this