Consumption of fruits and vegetables has long been considered as healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants fight against diseases and lower risks of health problems such as cancer and heart disease. However, it is still not known which elements contribute to the health effects or how they do so. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that higher blood levels of α-carotene are associated with a lowered risk (39%) of death from any cause, including heart disease and cancer.
Alpha-carotene is part of a group of antioxidants known as carotenoids, which also includes beta-carotene and lycopene. Carotenoids are believed to provide protective effect through mitigation of oxygen-related damage to DNA, proteins, and fats, which may play an important role in chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Vegetables particularly high in alpha-carotene include yellow-orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash, and dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach, turnip greens, collards, and lettuce.
Alpha-carotene is chemically similar to beta-carotene, but in vitro studies have demonstrated that alpha-carotene is approximately 10 times more effective in inhibiting proliferation of human neuroblastoma cells.
About the study
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined alpha-carotene levels in the blood of 15,318 adults, age 20 or older, who p
1px 12px;" title="Antioxidants" src="http://www.knowabouthealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/101.jpg" alt="" width="339" height="239" srcset="http://www.knowabouthealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/101-300x211.jpg 300w, http://www.knowabouthealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/101.jpg 565w" sizes="(max-width: 339px) 100vw, 339px" />articipated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study. The participants provided blood samples between 1988 and 1994 and were followed through 2006 to evaluate how many of their participants had died and from what cause.
The results showed that 3,810 had died over the study period, and the risk of dying during the follow-up period was consistently lower in people with higher levels of alpha-carotene in the blood. The protective effect of alpha-carotene also increased as blood levels of the antioxidant increased.
Researchers identified that higher levels of the antioxidant were also linked to a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer as well as from any other cause.
The results of the study provide the evidence that eating fruits and vegetables, specifically those are rich in alpha-carotene may prolong life. I hope this study will provoke our readers to increase the vegetables and fruits in their diet.