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Carotenoids help prevent Arthritis

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Carotenoids Help Prevent Arthritis

Carotenoids are a group of powerful antioxidant nutrients found in many fruits and vegetables. The best known is beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps destroy free radicals before they can cause excessive damage to joints. A diet rich in beta-carotene also helps slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

Beta-carotene is easy to spot because it gives fruits and vegetables their bright orange color. Excellent food sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, winter squash, collard greens, chard, cantaloupe, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, cayenne pepper, peppermint leaves, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, and apricots.

When it comes to arthritis, the carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin may reduce the risk of developing inflammation-related disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers at the University of Manchester’s School of Medicine in UK, have found that men and women whose diets contain higher amounts of beta-cryptoxanthin – a carotenoid found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as oranges and carrots – as well as vitamin C have a lower risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis (IP), including rhematoid arthritis.

Working with researchers from the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, Dr Dorothy Pattison and her Manchester colleagues determined the intake of carotenoids from the diet diaries and the results of health questionnaires completed by over 25,000 participants in the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer Norolk study of diet and chronic disease. The subjects, who were between the ages of 45 and 74 upon enrollment, were followed for nine years during which 88 cases of inflammatory polyarthritis were diagnosed.

When participants with inflammatory polyarthritis were compared to 176 age and gender-matched control subjects, beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxathin emerged as the carotenoids offering the greatest protection against the disease. Dr Pattison summarized the results: “We found that the average daily beta-cryptoxanthin intake of the 88 patients who had developed inflammatory polyarthritis was 40% lower than those who hadn’t, and their intake of another carotenoid, zeaxanthin, was 20% lower. Those in the top third for beta-cryptoxanthin intake were only half as likely to develop IP as those in the lowest third, and vitamin C was also found to be an important factor.”

Earlier research has indicated that the antioxidant activity of beta-cryptoxanthin and vitamin C are protective against oxidative damage in the body that leads to inflammatory conditions. The results of the current study confirm previous findings by Dr Pattison that associated low fruit and vegetable intake with an elevated risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis.

Some of the best foods for beta cryptoxanthin are winter squash, pumpkin, persimmons, papaya, tangerines, red peppers, corn, oranges and apricots.

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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