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Bone and Dental Nutrition Osteoporosis

Carotenoids protect against bone loss

10 years, 3 months ago

1606  0
Posted on Jan 16, 2009, 7 a.m. By Rich Hurd

Carotenoids, antioxidant pigments found in fruit and vegetables, may help to keep bones strong and healthy, new research suggests.

Carotenoids, antioxidant pigments found in fruit and vegetables, may help to keep bones strong and healthy, new research suggests.

Katherine Tucker and colleagues used a 126-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to determine the total and individual carotenoid intake (including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and lutein plus zeaxanthin) of 213 men and 390 women aged 75 and over. Participants bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip, spine, and radial shaft, was determined at the start of the study and again 4-years later.

Results showed that lycopene appeared to offer significant protection against BMD loss in the lumbar spine in women and in the hips of men. Total carotenoid intake was also found to protect against BMD loss in the hips of men. The researchers suspect that carotenoids may help to preserve BMD by combating oxidative stress, which is thought to increase bone resorption.

The authors concluded: “In summary, although we observed few cross-sectional associations between carotenoid intakes and BMD, we observed several inverse associations between carotenoids (except for beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene) and four-year loss in BMD in men and of lycopene and bone loss at the lumbar spine in women. These results suggest a possible protective effect of carotenoids, particularly of lycopene, against bone loss in older adults.”

Sahni S, Hannan MT, Blumberg J, Cupples LA, Kiel DP, Tucker KL. Inverse association of carotenoid intakes with 4-y change in bone mineral density in elderly men and women: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:416-424.  doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.26388

 

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