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Carotenoids May Lower Risk of Ischemic StrokeCarotenoids May Lower Risk of Ischemic Stroke

June 4, 2004

1 Min Read
Carotenoids May Lower Risk of Ischemic Stroke

BOSTON--Three carotenoids in fruits and vegetables are inversely related to risk of ischemic stroke, according to a new study published in the June issue of Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association (http://stroke.ahajournals.org).

The prospective, nested case-controlled analysis followed 297 male physicians without diagnosed cardiovascular disease for a period of 13 years. Blood samples were drawn, paired with controls matched for age and smoking, and analyzed for five major carotenoids,--alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and lycopene--and alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, and multivariate adjusted odds ratios were calculated for risk of ischemic stroke.

Baseline plasma levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene showed a tendency towards an inverse relationship with risk of ischemic stroke, with an apparent threshold effect. In comparison to men with levels in the lowest quintile, the risk of ischemic stroke in subjects with levels in the second through fifth quintiles were 59 percent for alpha-carotene, 62 percent for beta-carotene and 61 percent for lycopene. A slight tendency towards an inverse association was found for beta-cryptoxanthin, but the result was not statistically significant. No association was observed for lutein, retinol or tocopherols.

The researchers concluded high blood plasma levels of carotenoids are inversely associated with the risk of ischemic stroke and support the generally accepted recommendation to consume fruits and vegetables regularly.

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