That was the simple but important findings of a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition this month.
The researchers wanted to look at the relationship between cancer occurrence/reoccurrence and consumption of foods rich in carotene. The data analysed was collected over a 20 year period.
They found that higher concentrations of carotenes in the blood, such as α-carotene, β-carotene and lycopene led to an 18-28% reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Not only that but blood carotene levels were also strongly inversely associated with cancer reoccurrence. In other words, those with a higher level of carotenes in their blood had less chance of developing cancer.
Of course there is always a danger at looking at just one component of the food. Foods rich in carotenes also contain other components and could also be associated with a healthier lifestyle in general. But for now it looks like increasing your intake of carotene rich food could be the way to go. And if you read yesterday’s blog then you would know it’s also a good idea to eat it with a food rich in lipids such as egg or avocado to increase the amount your body will absorb.