Previously, a number of studies have reported beneficial effects of supplemental calcium and vitamin D on bone health. Ross Prentice, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Washington, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 36,282 postmenopausal American women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). Study subjects took 1000 mg of elemental calcium carbonate plus 400 IU of vitamin D3 daily, or placebo, for an average of seven years. In the 59% of subjects who adhere to the supplementation program, the number fractures was 29% lower. Further, long-term use of calcium and vitamin D was shown to confer a substantial reduction in the risk of hip fractures among postmenopausal women.
Prentice RL, Pettinger MB, Jackson RD, Wactawski-Wende J, Lacroix AZ, Anderson GL, et al. “Health risks and benefits from calcium and vitamin D supplementation: Women's Health Initiative clinical trial and cohort study.” Osteoporos Int. 2013 Feb;24(2):567-80.
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Tip #129 - Carrots Count
Carrots are rich in beta carotene, a free-radical fighting compound shown to protect against ultraviolet damage and help to enhance the immune system.
Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts, USA) researchers reported long-term benefits relating to general cognition and verbal memory, among men taking beta carotene supplements (50 mg every other day) for fifteen or more years. Because beta carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body, the team suggests that beta carotenes exert their protective benefits on cognition by preventing the build-up of plaques associated with beta-amyloid deposits, which are associated with loss of cognitive function and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
As well, carrots may help promote cardiovascular health. In a study involving 559 men followed for fifteen years, a team from Wageningen University (The Netherlands) found that an increased consumption of alpha- and beta-carotene in the diet significantly reduced the risks of heart disease deaths. Specifically, the team found that the increased intake of carrots, rich in alpha- and beta-carotene, corresponded to a 17% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular-related death.
Crunchy and colorful, carrots are a smart choice for a mid-day snack or featured in a salad or side dish for dinner.