Carotenoids Reduce Hip Fracture Risk in Lean Men

First Posted: Dec 17, 2012 02:58 AM EST

Researchers from Singapore's National University and Ministry of Health have noticed a strong association between carotenoids and their ability to lessen the risk of hip fracture in elderly men. 

Carotenoids are powerful antioxidant plant pigments which get converted into vitamin A in the body.  The best way to get dietary carotenoids is through natural sources such as fruits and vegetables. It is not surprising that carotenoids have received a tremendous amount of attention as potential anti cancer and anti aging compounds.

The researchers found that elderly men whose BMI is less that 20kg/m2, i.e who are very lean, are more prone to hip fractures than those with higher BMI.

The study was conducted on nearly 63,257 men and women who belonged to the age group 45 to 74. In this group nearly 1,630 incidents of hip fracture were identified through record linkage with the nationwide hospital discharge database.

Using  data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, the researchers examined the connection between dietary antioxidant carotenoids and hip fractures across an array of BMI in Chinese elders. The researchers noticed that low BMI was a stronger risk factor for hip fracture, especially among elderly men than women.

 And when these men increased the intake of vegetables and carotenoids, especially β-carotene, they noticed a fall in the risk of hip fracture.

The effect was more visible in lean men than men with higher BMI. They also noticed that the intake of vegetables or carotenoids had no association with hip fracture risk in women, regardless of levels of BMI.

Therefore, the researchers concluded that in order to demonstrate the efficacy of carotenoid supplementation on reduction of hip fracture risk in elderly men, more clinical trials were needed.

The study  was presented in the IOF Regional's 3rd Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting and  has been published in the scientific journal Osteoporosis International.

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