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Carotenoids Linked to Arthritis

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 multiple joints.

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 than those with the lowest intake.

The authors stated that, These data add to a growing body of evidence that some dietary antioxidants, such as the carotenoids beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin as well as vitamin C, may be protective against the development of arthritis.

This suggests that those with a family history of, or are 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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