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Monday, April 27, 2009

Carotenoids may halve metabolic syndrome risk

Increased intakes of antioxidant carotenoids, and particularly lycopene, may reduce the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome by about 50 per cent, says a new study.
 
Writing in the new issue of the Journal of Nutrition, Dutch scientists report that middle-aged and elderly men with highest average intake of all carotenoids had a 58 per cent lower incidence of metabolic syndrome, while the highest intake oflycopene was associated with a 45 per cent lower incidence, compared to men with the lowest average intakes.
A potentially protective effect was also observed for beta-carotene intakes, report the researchers, led by Ivonne Sluijs from the University Medical Center Utrecht.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterised by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type 2 diabetes and CVD.
Fifteen per cent of adult Europeans are estimated to be affected by MetS, while the US statistic is estimated to be a whopping 32 per cent. Obesity is established to be the main risk factor for MetS.

“Higher total carotenoid, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lycopene intakes were associated with lower waist circumferences and visceral and subcutaneous fat mass,” wrote Sluijs and her co-workers. “Higher lycopene intake was related to lower serum triglyceride concentrations,” they added.

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