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Antioxidants May Curb HPV Persistence

Women infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) may reduce the odds that the virus will persist by increasing the amount of certain carotenoids. Carotenoids are plant pigments with antioxidant and other beneficial properties.

A recent study found that increasing dietary intake of vitamin C and carotenoids found in papaya appeared to lower the risk of persistent HPV infection.

There are more than 100 different types of HPV, including some that cause genital warts. About 30 varieties of HPV can be sexually transmitted. It is believed that certain "high-risk" HPVs are a primary cause of cervical cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. It's estimated that at least 20 million people are infected.

In the current study, researchers assessed the diets of 433 Brazilian women. They also performed lab tests to determine that 248 of the women had transient (occasional) HPV infection, while 185 had persistent HPV infection.

On average, women with transient HPV infection had higher daily intakes of carotenoid nutrients than women with persistent HPV infection.

The study suggests consuming foods rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids will diminish the risk of recurrent HPV infection. Most vegetables and fruits are good sources of carotenoids. You can also get excellent carotenoid nutritional supplements from our clinics. If you're not eating 4-6 servings of vegetables and fruits every day, we think a carotenoid supplement would be wise. Call us today.

Giuliano, AR et al, Dietary intake and risk of persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: the Ludwig-McGill HPV Natural History Study. J Infect Dis. 2003 Nov 15;188(10):1508-16. Epub 2003 Nov 3.