Lending fruits and vegetables their bright orange, red, and yellow colors, carotenoids are abundant in antioxidants, for which previous studies have associated a lower risk of premature death. A recent study assessed the potential relationships of carotenoid intake with lipid and oxidative stress markers in middle-aged men. Data analysis revealed that higher total carotenoid intake was associated with lower lipid and oxidative stress markers, and in middle-aged men higher beta-carotene intake was also associated with five of the six lower lipid stress markers.
If you decide to obtain beta-carotene from a nutritional supplement be sure and use one that is derived from carrots, algae and other natural sources rather than synthetic beta-carotene which has been associated with some negative effects in a previous study.
A total of 296 apparently healthy middle-aged men with a mean age of 50.5 years and a mean BMI of 25.8 kg/m2 were recruited to participate in the study. Dietary intake, anthropometry, blood pressure, lifestyle features, blood and urine biomarkers were assessed using validated procedures. The lipid markers included NEFA, Castelli index, and TAG:HDL ratio; oxidative stress markers included urinary 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), 8-iso-PGF2 and plasma oxidised-LDL (ox-LDL). The scientists observed a significant inverse association (P< 0?05) between NEFA concentrations and consumption of lutein plus zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and total carotenoid, while the Castelli index was negatively associated with daily intake of lycopene, beta-carotene and total carotenoids. Regarding oxidative stress biomarkers, urinary 8-OHdG and ox-LDL concentrations were also inversely associated (P< 0?05) with consumption of lycopene, lutein plus zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and total carotenoids, regardless of confounding variables. Moreover, there was a negative association of urinary 8-iso-PGF2 concentration with dietary lutein plus zeaxanthin and with the sum of all carotenoids. In conclusion, higher total daily carotenoid intake based on five investigated carotenoid types (beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein plus zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) was associated with lower relevant lipid and oxidative stress markers in middle-aged men, with emphasis on beta-carotene that was negatively associated with five of the six lipid and oxidative stress markers evaluated in the present study.