Carotenoids especially the tomato carotenoid Lycopene, are linked to fewer hip fractures

April 01, 2009

Increased intakes of Carotenoids, important antioxidant pigments from plants, may lower the risk of hip fracture in older men and women, according to a 17-year study from the US. Of the individual carotenoids studied, Lycopene was found to have the greatest protective effect related to fewer hip fractures.

The researchers from Tufts University, Hebrew SeniorLife, and Boston University, studied data from 370 Caucasian men and 576 Caucasian women with an average age of 75 participating in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. The participants were followed for 17 years. “We found protective associations of total carotenoid and lycopene intake with hip fracture and non-vertebral osteoporotic fracture over 17-years of follow-up,” wrote the authors, led by Katherine Tucker. “We found that those consuming greater than 4.4 servings/week of lycopene had significantly fewer fractures.” Already the lifetime risk for a woman to suffer with an osteoporotic fracture is 30-40% and in men the risk is about 13%. “Osteoporosis is a major public health concern in an aging population, and research pointing to dietary measures like natural lycopene that can be taken to keep bones strong, is very good news,” said Dr Nir. The study is published online ahead of print in the January 12th, 2009 issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.