Navigation Links
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies for Longer Life

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming high amounts of beta-carotene's less well-known antioxidant cousin, alpha-carotene, in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of dying from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, new research suggests.

Both nutrients are called carotenoids -- named after carrots -- because of the red, yellow and orange coloring they lend to a range of produce. Once consumed, both alpha- and beta-carotene are converted by the body to vitamin A, although that process is believed to unfold more efficiently with beta-carotene than with alpha-carotene.

However, the new study suggests alpha-carotene may play the more crucial role in defending cells' DNA from attack. This might explain the nutrient's ability to limit the type of tissue damage that can trigger fatal illness, researchers say.

In the study, a team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that over 14 years of follow-up, most people -- regardless of lifestyle habits, demographics or overall health risks -- had fewer life-limiting health troubles as their blood concentrations of alpha-carotene rose.

The effect was dramatic, with risks falling from 23 to 39 percent as an individual's alpha-carotene levels climbed.

"This study does continue to prove the point there's a lot of things in food -- mainly in fruits and vegetables that are orange or kind of red in color -- that are good for us," said registered dietitian Lona Sandon, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. But Sandon stressed that, right now, the study only proves an association between alpha-carotene and longer life, and can't show cause-and-effect.

The findings are to be published in the upcoming March 28 print issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, with an online version of the report published Monday.

Researchers led by Dr. Chaoyang Li, from the CDC's division of behavioral surveillance with epidemiology and laboratory services, note that a host of yellow-orange foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and winter squash, and mango and cantaloupe are rich in alpha-carotene, as are some dark-green foods such as broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach, turnip greens, collards, kale, brussels sprouts, kiwi, spinach and leaf lettuce.

These foods fall within the U.S. Department of Agriculture's current dietary recommendations, which highlight the benefits of consuming two to four servings of fruit and three to five servings of vegetables daily.

Li's team focused on more than 15,000 American adults, 20 years of age or older, who took part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All underwent a medical exam between 1988 and 1994, during which time blood samples were taken. Participants were tracked for a 14-year period through 2006.

By that point, more than 3,800 participants had died. Blood analyses revealed that, compared with those who had blood alpha-carotene levels of between 0 and 1 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL), those falling in the range of between 2 and 3 mcg/dL faced a 23 percent lower risk of death from all causes.

Risk of death for those with alpha-carotene blood levels in the range of between 4 and 5 mcg/dL, between 6 and 8 mcg/dL, and 9 mcg/dL or above dropped 27 percent, 34 percent and 39 percent, respectively, versus those in the 0 to 1 mcg/dL range.

The team also linked higher blood alpha-carotene levels to a lower risk for dying from the nation's two top killers: cardiovascular disease or cancer.

Li's team said that while more research is needed, the findings generally suggest that eating more fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk for premature death.

Sandon agreed, but cautioned against over-interpreting the findings.

"This is very preliminary," she said. "There haven't been many clinical trials looking into this. And it's always tricky when you're singling out a single nutrient, because components in foods may work individually or synergistically. The question is: Is alpha-carotene acting in conjunction with something else? We don't really know," Sandon explained.

"The alpha-carotene itself is probably not the cause of longer life," she added. "But we can still say that if you're getting more of these kinds of phytonutrients found in foods, this may help you live longer and healthier."

The bottom line, according to Sandon: "I certainly think it would be wrong for people to take away from this that they should set out to specifically consume alpha-carotene. What people should take away from this is that they should go out and eat the foods that have alpha-carotene in them."

And what about nutritional supplements? Li's team pointed out antioxidant supplements currently on the market do not contain much, if any, alpha-carotene, and the study therefore only looked at the impact of consuming the compound via foods.

More information

For more on alpha-carotene, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Lona Sandon, R.D., American Dietetic Association spokesperson, and assistant professor of clinical nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; Nov. 22, 2010, Archives of Internal Medicine, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Most Americans Still Not Eating Enough Fruits, Veggies
2. Can Fruits, Veggies Help Ward Off Lung Cancer?
3. Not All Fruits Are Superfruits: Not One Network Marketing Superfruit Company Has Accepted Tahitian Noni's Challenge
4. Fruits, Veggies Have Modest Effect on Cancer Risk
5. Tahitian Noni International Leaves the Superfruits Behind
6. Americans Falling Short on Heart-Healthy Fruits and Vegetables
7. For Teen Boys, Heavy Drinking & Impulsivity May Be Vicious Circle
8. Life Sciences Discovery Fund to support drug discovery, foster new R&D initiative
9. Scott & White Healthcare receives Consumer Choice Award for seventh year
10. 2010 Chemistry Nobel laureate Ei-ichi Negishi leads C&EN webinar
11. Scott & White breast cancer program receives accreditation
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies for Longer Life
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... ... A new health tool that helps identify if a sore throat is ... – just in time for the cold and flu season, which the Center for ... the U.S., the real start of cold/flu season is the start of the school ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... Dentist in ... the orthodontic system that uses clear, plastic aligners. This alternative to braces has ... teeth, which allow patients to complete treatment in privacy. Additionally, Invisalign aligners are ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2015 , ... ... agreement from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve the ... 14 years that AAFA has been awarded a project by the CDC and allows ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... Prescription Hope, the ... walks of life to save money on the high cost of their prescription ... per medication, individuals and families can receive their medications delivered direct from over ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2015 , ... ... one of the oldest and largest recreational dispensaries in Colorado, says the latest ... business is growing rapidly and maturing into a legitimate industry. , Last ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
... The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG ... Healthcare Center, a 150-bed skilled nursing facility in ... 2009. The facility has been renamed Southland Rehabilitation ... is a strategic acquisition, and adds to our ...
... 5 The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... acquired Cabrillo Care Center, a 156-bed skilled nursing ... was effective January 1, 2009. The facility has ... )"We are excited to extend ...
... Properties in Denver, Colorado , ... Newport Beach, Calif ... firm, LFC Group of Companies, launched a new auction campaign of ... website, Freedom Realty Exchange ( ). The auction, a builder ...
... January 30th noon to 5PM in our new Hyundai Dealer showroom at 271 Main ... first 50 to donate blood. , ... Wilmington, MA (PRWEB) January 5, 2009 -- Bill Dube ... as the recent ice & snow storms that hit New England have canceled blood ...
... adopted research informatics platform, OnCore®, achieved another ... a world-class multidisciplinary research organization. At the ... Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UWICTR) ... research data collection and administration needs. OnCore ...
... -- China Nepstar Chain,Drugstore Ltd. (NYSE: ... retail,drugstore chain in China based on the number ... Mr. Ian Wade, a retail industry veteran,with an ... Executive Officer.,Concurrently, the Company announced the appointment of ...
Cached Medicine News:
(Date:10/9/2015)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) and Locemia ... Locemia,s intranasal glucagon, a potential treatment for severe hypoglycemia ... which is currently in Phase III clinical trial testing, ... hypoglycemia. --> --> ... formulation that is delivered in an emergency situation using ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... , Oct. 9, 2015 Regardless ... Device environments, corporate communications is perpetually evolving. Due ... and professionals must continuously adjust their business-to-business (B2B) ... these adjustments is difficult, but also critical as ... options. --> ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... -- Regulatory affairs groups within medical device organizations face a ... These specialized groups are charged with ensuring that their ... to the development and marketing of medical device products. While ... their own internal effectiveness and efficiencies to remain productive and ... --> Optimal resourcing and staffing help ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
... kids are outside playing soccer, baseball, or lacrosse, jumping rope, ... know, there is a trip to the emergency room. Childhood ... is the refined work of physicians and hospitals but it ... while injured. A common problem parents face is how to ...
... Mass., May 15, 2012  IntelligentMDx (IMDx) announced today that ... qualitative in vitro diagnostic test designed for ... (GBS) for use in screening pregnant women and those ... GBS is responsible for life-threatening bacterial infections in newborns, ...
Cached Medicine Technology:
ArcticTemp Upright Freezer -20C. Thick wall insulation keeps your samples colder. Reversible door with magnetic gaskets. 2 shelves and a wire basket. Heavy duty compressor with 5 year warranty....
Undercounter Freezer -25C. White. Front opening freezer. 4 cubic ft capacity. Reversible door. Three slide-out drawers. Extra thick CFC insulation. Front lock. Front indicator lights. Attractive tabl...
... a portable system for routine pH, mV ... compensated pH results can be obtained when ... a 3-in-1 electrode. • Fast and easy ... automatic buffer recognition for five buffers (pH ...
... The F 265 is a highly accurate portable, ... and temperature measurements. Temperature compensated pH results can ... (ATC) or a 3-in-1 electrode. • This GLP/GMP ... to a printer or a computer. Up to ...
Medicine Products: