Carotenoids, the red, orange and yellow pigments of plant foods in the colourful Mediterranean Diet, such as carrots, tomatoes, corn, apricots, melons, green leafy vegetables, lettuce and astaxanthin in shell fish reduce breast cancer risk.
In a meta-analysis of international studies (1), women whose diet include high carotenoid intake have a greatly reduced breast cancer risk.
The analysis of the eight studies, was pooled by medical researchers and statisticians at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Their study was reported to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in October of 2012.
Carotenoid blood levels totalling over 7,000 women were pooled. Slightly over 3,000 were breast cancer case studies and the other nearly 4,000 were control subjects. They were statistically adjusted to assorted variables.
Significantly high inverse associations were observed with high circulating blood levels of alpha and beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, and total carotenoids, and breast cancer. The more carotenoids consumed, the lower the risk of breast cancer.
Carotenoids are perfect examples of the colourful Mediterranean Diet – or Rainbow Diet. They are know to protect and correct in chronic illnesses and particularly cancer – here breast cancer. But these antioxidants have also recorded benefits (2) with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
- Circulating Carotenoids and Risk of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis of Eight Prospective Studies.
- Carotenoid in the treatment of Diabetes