Carotenes Associated with Better Cognitive Performance During Aging

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Carotenes such as lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and beta carotene are known to be highly protective to the human body. When consumed on a consistent basis they are deposited in tissues, including the brain. A new study tracking carotene levels and intake for 2893 middle-aged adults for 13 years has found that higher levels of carotenes are associated with better cognition and better performance on a variety of other neurologic tests.

This data lends further support to a previous analysis of 62 carotene studies linking higher intake with reduced mortality and the highest intake with less likelihood for metabolic syndrome or cancer.

A wide variety of carotenes is ideal. In terms of the diet, this is done by eating many different colored vegetables on a consistent basis. Dietary supplements containing a mix of high quality carotenes are an ideal option. They are even easier to absorb than food as the carotenes have been purified out of their fiber, a type of predigestion. They can also be consumed in levels that have proven health benefits, which is not so easy to do unless eating very large amounts of veggies.

Ensuring consistent and adequate intake of carotenes is a health basic with significant benefits.

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