Recent research has discovered a link between carotenoid intake and the reduction
of arthritis and therefore further highlights the importance of these nutrients
in our diets.
The findings from previous studies have suggested that dietary carotenoids,
the chemicals responsible for the orange and yellow coloring of fruits and vegetables,
can reduce inflammation through antioxidant effects.
Analysis was carried out at The University of Manchester, by Dr. Alan J. Silman
and colleagues and used data from a study of more than 25,000 subjects to investigate
the association between dietary carotenoids and arthritis risk. Between 1993
and 2001, the subjects were followed to assess the occurrence of arthritis affecting
The findings to this research appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Eighty-eight subjects developed arthritis during follow-up and they were matched
to 176 healthy comparison subjects.
Average daily intakes of the carotenoids beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin
between the arthritis patients and healthy subjects were 40 and 20 percent lower,
respectively. By contrast, consumption of two other well-known carotenoids,
lutein and lycopene, did not seem to protect against arthritis.
Further analysis showed that subjects with the highest beta-cryptoxanthin and
zeaxanthin intake were about half as likely to develop inflammatory arthritis
as those with the lowest intake.
This suggests that those with a family history of, or developing symptoms
of arthritis should consider increasing carotenoid and vitamin C intakes. This
can either be achieved by dietary means such as consuming more brightly coloured
fruits and vegetables, or by using supplements which contain these nutrients.
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