Brightly coloured fruits, veggies protect against arthritis

August 17, 2005 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Brightly coloured fruits, veggies protect against arthritis

According to recent research, consuming brightly coloured fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of arthritis. Researchers from the University of Manchester in the UK found that certain carotenoids, compounds that give fruits and vegetables their orange, red and yellow colours, can reduce inflammation through antioxidants effects.

The study of more than 25,000 participants found that the average daily intakes of carotenoids (specifically beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) were 40 and 20 percent lower, respectively, for arthritis patients compared with healthy subjects.

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. By contrast, consumption of two other well-known carotenoids, lutein and lycopene, did not seem to offer any protection against arthritis.

Good sources of beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin, the two carotenoids shown to have the greatest effect include peaches, squash, oranges and mangos.

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