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Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Nutrition & Wellness Channel
Reported January 29, 2013

Eat Fruits and Veggies – Prevent ALS!


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – The advantages of eating lots of fruits and vegetables seem endless and as a new study found the colorful foods may also delay the onset of ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease, or even prevent people from developing the illness altogether. 
By analyzing data collected by five different groups, including the Nurses’ Health Study and the Multiethnic Cohort, 1,093 cases of ALS were found out of more than one million participants. Researchers then looked at the carotenoid intake for the individual participants in relation to the disease ALS. 
"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," study researcher Dr. Alberto Ascherio, a Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health was quoted as saying. 
One of the reasons behind why this study chose to look at carotenoids in particular is that previous studies have shown consuming large amounts of antioxidants like vitamin E is associated with a lower risk of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Researchers believed that if vitamin E had this impact on the risk of ALS, then why not other antioxidants such as carotenoids. 
Results from the study did point to a link between having a high intake of carotenoids and a decreased risk of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Eating large amounts of foods rich in beta-carotene and lutein, such as kale and other dark leafy greens, also reduced individuals’ ALS risk. 
"Our findings suggest that consuming carotenoid-rich foods may help prevent or delay the onset of ALS,” Dr. Ascherio was quoted as saying. 
On the other hand lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and vitamin C seemed to have no impact on people’s risk of ALS, although individuals with diets high in carotenoids also typically had high levels of vitamin C and were more likely to take vitamin C and E supplements. 
Further research into foods role in ALS risk needs to be done, but this study reinforces the theory that eating well can do wonders for people’s health, sometimes in unexpected ways. 
So like your mother always used to tell you, eat all your fruits and vegetables!
Source: Annals of Neurology, January 2013


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