Insufficient intake of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene has been found to contribute to increased risk and progression of Parkinson’s disease, according to a team of Korean researchers. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene can be found in fruits and vegetables that are bright red, yellow and orange, or it can be consumed through dietary supplements.
The study, published in Nutrition Research and Practice, examined the serum levels of antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, retinol, alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin in people who had early and advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, and in control groups of healthy people.
The results found that all patients with the disease were found to have lower levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene, when compared to the control groups.
“We found that serum levels of some carotenoids—alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene—were lower in Parkinson’s disease patients, and that these carotenoids inversely correlated with clinical variables representing disease progression,” wrote the researchers. The findings also suggest that a lower intake of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene may be associated with the development as well as progression of the disease.
Multiple group comparisons also showed that beta and alpha carotenes and lycopene were significantly lower in patients who had an advanced staged of the disease, than those who were in an early stage of the disease.
Carotenoids can be added to dietary supplements to reduce the development and progression of Parkinson’s disease.