Study: Carotenoids Lower Risk of Breast Cancer, Recurrence

Having plenty of tomatoes, carrots and other foods high in carotenoids may reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially the most deadly types, suggests a new study that spanned 20 years. The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adds to a growing body of research on carotenoids, diet and breast cancer risk.17539703_s

Carotenoids are a large group of phytochemicals that you can spot in many red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene and lycopene, found in carrots and tomatoes to name a few foods, are a couple of the more well-known carotenoids. They’re also in dark green vegetables, such as kale and spinach.

Previous studies on carotenoids and breast cancer have been mixed. This study builds on research by the same group suggesting that carotenoids affect different types of breast tumors. We wrote about that here.

As in their previous study, the researchers used blood levels of carotenoids to measure intake. Back in 1989-90, they collected blood samples from almost 33,000 women who were part of the Nurses Health Study. Ten years later they collected another sample, with slightly less than half of the women participating again. All the women were regularly answering questionnaires about their health, weight, diet and other factors. Continue reading


New Study: Carotenoids Links to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and the many other colorful fruits and vegetables high in carotenoids may reduce women’s risk of breast cancer, suggests a new analysis published last week.

The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Carotenoids are a large group of phytochemicals that give our foods their red, orange, and yellow hues. Many dark green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, also contain plenty of these phytochemicals. Beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin and lutein are a handful of the well-studied carotenoids for their role in cancer prevention — and other health benefits, such as eye health. Continue reading


Dressing a Salad for Carotenoid Absorption

From a health standpoint, it’s tough to beat a vegetable-packed salad. But you may need to top it with enough of a fat-based dressing to get more of the vegetables’ healthy fat-soluble compounds, suggests a new study. 

The study focused on a handful of the fat-soluble carotenoids, such as lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Lab studies show these compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And AICR’s expert report and its updates show that eating foods containing carotenoids lowers the risk of mouth, pharynx, and lung cancers.

The study was published online in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

In the study, 29 people ate salads topped with three dressings high in different fats: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated. The dressings for each fat were canola oil, soybean oil, and butter, respectively. Salads were served with varying amounts of each dressing to represent low-fat (3 grams), moderate (8 grams), and high fat (20 grams). A tablespoon of oil is 14 grams. Continue reading