Enhancing in vivo retinol bioavailability by incorporating β-carotene from alga Dunaliella salina into nanoemulsions containing natural-based emulsifiers
The use of microalgae as a source of bioactive compounds has gained interest since they present advantages vs higher plants. Among them, Dunaliella salina is one of the best sources of natural β-carotene, which is the precursor of vitamin A. However, β-carotene shows reduced oral bioavailability due to its chemical degradation and poor absorption. The work aimed to evaluate the influence of the emulsifier and oil concentration on the digestive stability of Dunaliella Salina-based nanoemulsions and study their influence on the digestibility and the β-carotene bioaccessibility. In addition, the effect of the emulsifier nature on the absorption of β-carotene and its conversion to retinol in vivo was also investigated. Results showed that the coalescence observed in soybean lecithin nanoemulsion during the gastrointestinal digestion reduced the digestibility and β-carotene bioaccessibility. In contrast, whey protein nanoemulsion that showed aggregation in the gastric phase could be redispersed in the intestinal phase facilitating the digestibility and bioaccessibility of the compound. In vivo results confirmed that whey protein nanoemulsion increased the bioavailability of retinol to a higher extent (Cmax 685 ng/mL) than soybean lecithin nanoemulsion (Cmax 394 ng/mL), because of an enhanced β-carotene absorption.
Journal or Serie
Food Research International, 2023, vol. 164, núm. 112359, p. 1-9