Bright fruits may hold off Lou Gehrig's disease

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Bright fruits may hold off Lou Gehrig's disease

Bright colored fruits and vegetables may hold the power to prevent or delay Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a group of U.S. researchers found.papaya_ffp

Earlier studies have linked antioxidants such as Vitamin E to reduced ALS risk. Such findings prompted disease researchers to investigate another antioxidant - carotenoids, which give certain fruits their bright red, orange or yellow colors.

Senior author Dr. Alberto Ascherio of Harvard School of Public Health explained the importance of identifying ALS prevention factors.

"ALS is a devastating degenerative disease that generally develops between the ages of 40 and 70, and affects more men than women," Dr. Ascherio said.

"Understanding the impact of food consumption on ALS development is important. Our study is one of the largest to date to examine the role of dietary antioxidants in preventing ALS."

Collecting data from five sources, one million participants were reviewed. After identifying 1,093 ALS cases, higher carotenoid intake was linked to reduced risk.

Carotenoids alone did not play the only part, however. Those who consumed more of the antioxidant were also found to exercise more often, have an advanced degree and consume more vitamins C and E.

Natural sources of carotenoids include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens, papayas, bell peppers and tomatoes.

The study is published in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society.

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