According to a recent study, carotenoids may reduce the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurological disorder affecting the ability to produce and control movement.
Carotenoids are highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow) compounds naturally present in many fruits, grains, oils and vegetables (green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, apricots and green peppers).
The recent study used data from five previous studies: the National Institutes of Health-Association of American Retired Persons Diet and Health Study, the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, the Multiethnic Cohort, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses' Health Study.
The five cohorts included a total of 1,100,910 participants and a total of 1,153 deaths from ALS. Participants were divided into different groups depending on how much of certain nutrients they consumed, such as vitamin C, lycopene, lutein and beta-cryptoxanthin.
Data analysis showed that total carotenoid intake was significantly linked to a lower risk of ALS. More specifically, individuals who consumed the most β-carotene or lutein had a reduced likelihood of developing ALS, compared to individuals who consumed the least β-carotene or lutein. The researchers found no association between intake of lycopene, β-cryptoxanthin, or vitamin C intake with ALS.
For more information on integrative therapies for ALS, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.