Vegetables and Fruits Reduce Arthritis Risk

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People who consume more vegetables and fruits have a lower risk
of developing arthritis. Vegetables and fruits contain pigments
called “carotenoids”, which appear to be the agents responsible
for the lowered risk. They have an antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory effect.

Researchers at the University of Manchester in the UK analyzed
data from a study of more than 25,000 subjects to investigate the
association between dietary carotenoids and arthritis risk.
Between 1993 and 2001, the group was followed to assess the
occurrence of arthritis affecting multiple joints.

Eighty-eight subjects developed arthritis during follow-up and
they were matched to 176 healthy comparison subjects.

Average daily intakes of the carotenoids beta-cryptoxanthin and
zeaxanthin were 40% and 20% lower for arthritis patients compared
with healthy subjects. Further analysis showed that subjects with
the highest beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin intake were about
half as likely to develop inflammatory polyarthritis than those
with the lowest intake.

Most of us don’t eat nearly enough vegetables and fruits. A
healthy diet is an inexpensive way to help prevent arthritis and
reduce its symptoms.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2005