Alpha-, Beta-carotene and Lycopene May Affect Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease

Edison, NJ — A recent study, published in Nutrition Research and Practice, has shown that low levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene could be a factor in increasing the risk and progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The study compared serum levels of antioxidants in 104 patients with idiopathic PD (Early PD) and 52 healthy patients who acted as controls that were comparable in gender and age. The antioxidants studied were alpha-carotene, beta-carotene alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, retinol and zeaxanthin. Hoehn and Yahr stage and Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor score to discover early and advanced PD respectively were applied to correlate the analyses of serum antioxidants and PD progression.

“We are delighted to learn that high dietary intake of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene are linked with reduced risk or progression of PD,” said CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist of ExcelVite. “In fact, a previous publication “The Association between Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Parkinson’s Disease” shows lower adherence to Mediterranean diet (ie: low consumption of fruits and vegetables) is associated with PD status1. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene are highly available in bright colored fruits and vegetables, therefore increased consumption of red, orange and yellow colored fruits and vegetables may help to reduce the risk of PD development.”

While all PD patients outside of the control group exhibited lower levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene and negative correlation between UPDRS motor score and Hoehn and Yahr stage, there was a substantial reduction in advanced stage PD pateients relative to early stage PD patients in regards to serum alpha-carotene and lycopene levels. However, when looking at other levels in PD patients, such as alpha- and gamma-tocopherols serum retinol, and other carotenoids no significant difference or correlations were indicated.

“Apart from ingesting carotenoid-rich foods, a convenient way of attaining high levels of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene is via dietary supplements,” added Lau. “EVTene is a natural mixed-carotenoid complex concentrated from the fruit of oil palm that contains high amounts of both alpha- and beta-carotene as well as a small amount of other carotenoid such as lycopene. As a matter of fact, EVTene contains the highest level of alpha-carotene among all the carotene sources in the market (~12 times higher alpha-carotene than Dunaliella salina – algae beta-carotene). Alpha-carotene is only found in trace level in fermentative beta-carotene, B. trispora. Hence, EVTene is an excellent choice of dietary source of important carotenes for brain health and function especially among the elders.”

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 6/2/2017