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Posts tagged ‘Beta-Carotene’

Beta-Carot​ene Supplement​s Benefit The Aging Brain

Regular Beta-Carotene Intake Beta Carotene herbal product
Throughout Middle Age May Benefit The Aging Brain

A recent study of people taking beta-carotene supplements analyzing the key potential benefits against cognitive decline demonstrates there are ways, through basic “health-minded” lifestyle modifications, that proper nutritional intake can help memory as people get older.

Most importantly, the findings also suggest beta-carotene may help keep the brain sharp if taken regularly as a supplement for many years.

Results of the placebo-controlled study of 5,956 men were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported that men who took betacarotene supplements every other day for an average 18 years scored much better in cognitive testing than those taking a placebo.

They scored especially well on verbal memory. However, those in a shorter-term test who averaged only one year of supplementation, did not demonstrate a similar benefit.

“Men who took beta-carotene for a mean of 18 years had about the same degree of cognitive function as men one year younger,” the researchers explained. “In other words, if you take beta-carotene for 18 years, you delay cognitive aging for about one year.”

They also said that women would likely see a similar long-term benefit. The researchers suggested that beta carotene might help delay the effects of aging on cognitive abilities by counter-acting oxidative damage in the brain.

“In this generally healthy population, the extent of protection conferred by long-term treatment appeared modest,” they noted. “Nonetheless, studies have established that very modest differences in cognition (especially verbal memory) predict substantial differences in eventual risk of dementia.”

The long-term group in the study included 4,052 participants in the Physicians Health Study who began taking supplements or placebo in 1982. Between 1998 and 2001, an additional 1,904 men were randomly assigned to one of the two groups.

Both groups were followed through 2003, completing yearly questionnaires about their health and their compliance with taking the supplement. The men were assessed  for cognitive function at least once between 1998 and 2002, then evaluated at the study’s conclusion using a set of five cognitive tests.

Beta-carotene’s benefits against the ravages of cognitive decline surpassed those of other medications tested in healthy older people, making it worthy of continued study.

Story Source:

Archives of Internal Medicine

 

Journal Reference:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA
This article is for informational and educational

purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Lycopene’s Heart Health Benefits

Lycopene, the red pigment that colors tomatoes.

Image via Wikipedia

Superfood Antioxidants, Carotenoids Are Beneficial For Cardiovascular Health,

According To Research. . .

Lycopene, the compound that gives tomatoes their rich-red color, may benefit heart health by boosting the body’s natural antioxidant defenses and protecting against DNA damage, says a new study from South Korea.

A daily supplement of 15 milligrams for eight weeks was associated with increased activity of SOD (super oxide dismutase), a powerful antioxidant enzyme, as well as reductions in measures of DNA damage in white blood cells, according to results published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

Furthermore, the apparent benefits extended to a reduction in systolic blood pressure and a decrease in levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). CRP is a marker of inflammation and is reported to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular-related events.

“These results add to the growing literature on potential protective effects of the antioxidant lycopene in atherosclerosis through an anti-inflammatory effect and preserving endothelial function,” wrote the researchers  from Yonsei University in South Korea.

 

Growing Science for Lycopene

Lycopene is an antioxidant that is present in red and pink-colored fruits and vegetables. It has been shown  to have heart, blood pressure, prostate, osteoporosis, skin and other benefits.

Study Details

The South Korean researchers recruited 126 health  men with an average age of 34 and an average BMI of  24 kg/m2, and randomly assigned them to receive a daily  6 or 15 milligram supplement of lycopene, or placebo for eight weeks.

At the end of the study the researchers reported that SOD activity increased by 2.37 units per milliliter in the high-dose group, compared with an increase of 1.73 units per milliliter in 6 mg group and a decrease in activity in the placebo group.

 

In addition, DNA damage was reduced in the high dose group, compared with the other groups. Endothelial  function, the function of the cells lining blood vessels,  was also improved significantly following the high dose group.

“Interestingly, the beneficial effects of lycopene supplementation on endothelial function were remarkable  in subjects with relatively impaired endothelial cell function  at initial level,” report the researchers.

CRP levels decreased by 57 percent in the high dose  group, while no significant reductions were recorded in the other two groups, said the researchers.

“Subjects supplemented with 15-mg lycopene daily for 8-week also showed reduction in other cardiovascular  risk factors, for example, an increase in LDL particle size,” report the researchers. “Since the lycopene capsule used  in this study also contains beta-carotene (greater than  0.5 mg), the subjects in the 15-mg lycopene/day group  had a 65 percent increase in lycopene concentration and a 20 percent increase in beta-carotene, which is a known effective antioxidant that inactivates free radicals, inversely correlates with CRP, and slows the progression of atherosclerosis.

“Therefore, a synergistic effect of Lycopene and  Beta-Carotene in the 15-mg Lycopene/day group likely increased the beneficial effects on these atherosclerosis  risk factors,” they added.

 

Source: Atherosclerosis (Published online)

“Effects of lycopene supplementation on oxidative stress

and markers of endothelial function in healthy men”

 

Editor’s Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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