Lycopene & Bone Loss

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According to data published in the January issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, an increased intake of carotenoids, particularly lycopene, was associated with protection against loss in bone mineral density at the lumbar spine in women and at the hip in men. The study provided data from 213 men and 390 women over the age of 75 for four years. The researchers measured the intakes of carotenoids, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and lutein plus zeaxanthin. They then correlated this with the participants’ bone mineral density at the hip, spine and radial shaft. There was a noted link between lycopene and the bone mineral density in the lumbar spine of women and in the hips of men.

The researchers proposed that the carotenoids may play a protective role in skeletal health via their antioxidant activity. “These results suggest a possible protective effect of carotenoids, particularly of lycopene, against bone loss in older adults,” wrote lead researcher, Katherine Tucker. As the population ages and waistlines continue to grow, so does the number of people affected by osteoporosis, therefore making bone health a major segment of the supplements and functional foods market.

Lycopene can be found in Vitamin Health’s Viteyes Multivitamin AREDS Companion and Viteyes Complete.

*S. Sahni, M.T. Hannan, J. Blumberg, L.A. Cupples, D.P. Kiel, K.L. Tucker. “Inverse association of carotenoid intakes with 4-y change in bone mineral density in elderly men and women: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. January 2009, Volume 89, Number 1, Pages 416-424.

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