Dietary carotenoids reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in middle-aged and older Japanese patients


According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes affects up to 200 million adults worldwide and is a top 5 silent killer in the developed world

The prestigious British Medical Journal’s Open Diabetes Research and Care published the first longitudinal cohort study that demonstrates that long-term high consumption of carotenoids, especially pro-vitamin A carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin), reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in middle aged and older Japanese patients.

A total of 1073 males and females age between 30 and 79 were recruited in Mikkabi, Japan, and they were followed up for 10 years. Serum carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein and lycopene) were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography at baseline.

A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on medical history and lifestyle whereas a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was developed to estimate the nutrient intake from diets. Type 2 diabetes was determined via results from the health examination and self-administered questionnaire.

The results show that high concentration of carotenoids, especially alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and total Provitamin A carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin), significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes development. The inverse association between serum carotenoid and risk of type 2 diabetes is not only observed in non-smokers and non-drinkers, but also in light drinkers.

Interestingly, other carotenoids such as lutein, lycopene exhibited an inverse association, but the association is not significant.

'According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes affects up to 200 million adults worldwide and is a top 5 silent killer in the developed world. The statistic is estimated to escalate to 333 million in 2025 if this trend is left unchecked. Nonetheless, the risk of diabetes can be minimised through positive lifestyle modification such as being physically active and easting a healthy diet. Once again, the health benefits of high carotenoid, as this study reveals, is linked to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. Diabetes will often lead to other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, neuropathies or even vision loss,' says CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist at ExcelVite.

'Consumers these days are progressively looking for natural, recognisable and non-GMO ingredient rather than complex chemical compounds with no nutritional values owing to an escalated health awareness, and we are glad that EVTene fits the bill! EVTene is a potent natural mixed carotenoid complex that contains mainly alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and a small amount of other carotenoids (such as lycopene and gamma-carotene), extracted and concentrated from the fruit of oil palm through a mild molecular distillation process,' said Bryan See, Regional Product Manager, ExcelVite.

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The ratio of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene is typically 35% and 60%, a ratio that exactly mirrors the carotenoid composition in carrots. Hence, it is the only true natural alpha- and beta-carotene (mixed carotenoids) from a vegetable source / food that we eat,' he added.