Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene are highly available in bright coloured fruits and vegetables, or via dietary supplements.
The study, published in Nutrition Research and Practice, assessed the serum levels of antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, retinol, alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin in people with early and advanced staged Parkinson’s disease, and healthy controls.
When compared to controls, all patients showed lower levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene.
“Our results support the notion that carotenes may play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of Parkinson’s disease,” noted the paper.
Multiple group comparisons also showed that beta and alpha carotenes and lycopene were significantly lower in advanced staged than in early stage patients.
“Levels of β- and α-carotenes and lycopene inversely correlated with the clinical variables representing disease severity or progression, strongly implicating involvement of these carotenoids in the risk and progression of Parkinson’s disease,” added the research team from Korea.
They added further research was warranted in light of the fact the present survey did not include a dietary intake survey.
“Since serum or plasma concentrations of carotenoids are markers of recent fruit and vegetable intakes, further studies with complete nutritional assessment are needed to clarify whether lower levels in some carotenoid vitamins found in Parkinson’s disease are caused by reduced intake of these vitamins or altered metabolism such as increased oxidative stress in the pathophysiological process of [the disease].”
The findings have been welcomed by Malaysia-based mixed-carotenoid manufacturer ExcelVite.
“We are delighted to learn that high dietary intake of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene are linked with reduced risk or progression of Parkinson’s disease, said company nutritionist CheeYen Lau.
“Apart from ingesting carotenoid-rich foods, a convenient way of attaining high levels of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene is via dietary supplements.”
Source: Nutrition Research and Practice
“Association of serum carotenoid, retinol, and tocopherol concentrations with the progression of Parkinson’s disease”.
Authors: JH Kim, et al.