Carotenoids Reduce Risk of Osteoporosis
A study published online in December 2012 indicates that higher levels of serum carotenoids are associated with a decreased risk of developing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Osteoporosis and low bone mass (osteopenia) are currently estimated to affect 44 million U.S. adults aged 50 and older.
The subjects included 146 men, 99 pre-menopausal women and 212 post-menopausal women. The subjects were evaluated for bone mineral density (BMD) and serum carotenoids and followed for four years.
During the follow-up period, 15 of the post-menopausal women developed osteoporosis. None of the males or pre-menopausal women developed osteoporosis during the follow-up period. The researchers found that among the men and pre-menopausal women, serum carotenoid levels were not associated with bone loss. However, among the post-menopausal women, bone loss during the follow-up period was inversely associated with serum carotenoid levels, meaning as serum carotenoids increased, bone loss decreased.
In fact, the researchers showed that the post-menopausal subjects with the highest levels of serum beta-carotene had a 76 percent decrease in the likelihood of developing osteoporosis compared to the subjects with the lowest levels.
Similarly, the post-menopausal subjects with the highest levels of serum beta-cryptoxanthin had a 93 percent decrease in the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, as compared to the subjects with the lowest levels. The researchers showed that as beta-cryptoxanthin levels increased, the risk for osteopenia and/or osteoporosis decreased.
The investigators concluded, “Antioxidant carotenoids, especially beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene, are inversely associated with the change of radial BMD in post-menopausal female subjects.”
Sugiura M, et al. PLoS One. 2012;12:e52643.
— Last Edited by Greentea at 2013-02-20 08:53:10 —
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