It was revealed at a major osteoporosis conference in Singapore that carotenoids, the pigments in fruit and vegetables that make them colorful, can help protect older men from hip fractures. Along with that news, it was also announced that studies have shown that older men who are leaner, rather than being overweight, are at greater risk of such bone fractures.
The news comes from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, which examined more than 63,000 adults over the age of 45, to investigate the possibility of a link between carotenoids and hip fracture risk. The participants suffered 1,630 hip fractures between 1993 and 2010.
The men in the study who ate the most total vegetables and total carotenoids had the greatest protection from hip fractures, which are often brought on by weakening bones and osteoporosis. The best known carotenoid is beta-carotene, the orange pigment in carrots and other bright veggies. Its protective effect was higher in lean men than in overweight men. For women, vegetables and carotenoids did not protect hip bones from fracture.
A good rule of thumb for carotenoids is that the more yellow and orange produce you eat, the more of these potent antioxidants you will ingest. Carotenoids are converted by the body into vitamin A.
The study shows that getting carotenoids through the diet is linked to fracture protection for men. More studies will be needed to see if supplementing carotenoids can do the same.
There are a number of reasons to eat colorful vegetables and fruits. This is just another good one, especially for those at risk of bone fractures. Calcium is not the only way to help.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Avoid Hip Fractures with this Nutrient
Dai, Z., et al., “OC12 Dietary carotenoids reduced hip fracture risk in lean men: the Singapore Chinese Health Study,” Osteoporos. Int. 2012; 23(7).