Carotenoids reduce diabetes risk

Thu, 25 May 2006
For those people who do not inhale tobacco, non-smokers, the presence of high levels of carotenoids in the bloodstream can lead to a reduced risk of diabetes. The results of the study are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant derived from vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach and carrots. The antioxidant serves to reduce oxidative stress, leading to a reduction in the risk of diabetes. High carotenoid levels are generally linked to non-smoking .

The study was carried out at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, and involved a study group of 4493 individuals. These people were enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study (CARDIA) and were aged between 18 and 30.

The results of the study made the differentiation between smokers and non-smokers. In smokers high levels of carotenoids were even found to cause a slight increase in risk of diabetes. According to the authors of the study, the results: "suggest that smoking may nullify the protective effect (of high carotenoid levels), supporting the concept that antioxidant metabolism and the oxidative defence system behave differently in smokers than in non-smokers."
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