Alpha-Carotene Associated With Lower Risk of Death

Those with higher α-carotene have lower risk of all-cause, CVD, and cancer death

TUESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Having higher serum concentrations of α-carotene is associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes, according to research published online Nov. 22 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Chaoyang Li, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from 15,318 adults aged 20 and older who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-Up Study. Participants provided a serum sample, which was assessed for α-carotene.

The researchers found that people with serum levels of α-carotene higher than 1 µg/dL had a lower risk of all-cause death compared to those with lower levels. Relative risk of death ranged from 0.77 for those with concentrations of 2 to 3 µg/dL to 0.61 for those with concentrations of 9 µg/dL or higher. Serum α-carotene was also associated with risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all other causes.

"Because current antioxidant supplements or food additives contain little if any α-carotene, we assumed that members of our study cohort obtained α-carotene primarily from consumption of fruits and vegetables," the authors write. "The inverse relationship that we found between serum α-carotene concentrations and risk of death from various causes adds further support to previous findings that fruit and vegetable consumption is beneficial to people's health."

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