En Español
Health Encyclopedia

News Item

Two Carotenoids Common in Fall Foods May Decrease Diabetes Risk

Here’s some good news for people who like to fill up on pumpkin during this time of year: Research suggests that two carotenoids found in pumpkin, beta- and alpha-carotene, are associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Carotenoids are known for their antioxidant properties, and are found in yellow, red, orange, and green fruits and vegetables. The study, published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease, looked at dietary data from 37,846 people who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Netherlands study. Participants filled out diet questionnaires, which researchers used to assess intakes of carotenoids including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They found that the average total intake was around 6 to 14 mg per day. During a follow-up period of 8 to 12 years, 915 participants developed type 2 diabetes. After adjusting for age, sex, diabetes risk factors, dietary intake, waist circumference, and BMI, researchers found that:

  • People with the highest intake of dietary beta-carotene had a 22% diabetes risk-reduction compared to people with the lowest intake.
  • People with the highest intake of dietary alpha-carotene had a 15% diabetes risk-reduction compared to people with the lowest intake.
  • Beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin intakes were not associated with a decrease or increase in diabetes risk.

The findings suggest that eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables containing beta-carotene and alpha-carotene may provide health benefits. However, more clinical research is needed to link these two carotenoids with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition to pumpkin, other fall favorites like carrots, collards, and winter squash also contain beta-carotene and other carotenoids.

Source: Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease

Copyright © 2021 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.