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Shortfalls in Carotenoid Intake May Impact Women's Health
Date:10/5/2010

for calorie, older women are eating more of these important nutrients," said Keith Randolph, Ph.D., Technology Strategist for Nutrilite.  

The Carotenoids by Color Category

This new report examined consumption of five different carotenoids across three phytonutrient color categories including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin in the yellow/orange category, lutein/zeaxanthin in the green category and lycopene in red. In every color category, older women consumed equal or greater amounts compared to younger women after adjusting for differences in caloric intake. Specifically, women age 45 and older consume:

  • 50 percent more beta-carotene;
  • 40 percent more alpha-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin;
  • and, 10 percent more beta-cryptoxanthin.

For lycopene, younger and older women consume comparable amounts.

Carotenoids Shown To Reduce Cancer Risk

A growing body of research suggests carotenoids may be associated with protective benefits against certain cancers. The research points to an apparent lowered risk for breast and ovarian cancers among women of all ages who increase their intake of fruits and vegetables rich in various carotenoids including lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin according to Randolph.

Top Food Sources

It turns out that a limited number of foods account for significant portions of carotenoid intakes, according to the new report.  Following are the single largest food contributors in the diets of American women by color category of phytonutrient:

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