A new study revealed that low serum alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene levels may contribute to increased risk and progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
In the study, serum levels of antioxidants (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, retinol, alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin) were measured and compared between 104 patients with idiopathic early and advanced stage PD (Hoehn and Yahr stage I and II, N = 47 and Hoehn and Yahr stage III and IV, N = 57) and 52 healthy controls, matched for age and gender. The correlation analyses of serum antioxidants and PD progression were performed using Hoehn and Yahr stage and Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor score to indicate early PD and advanced PD respectively.
When compared to the control group, all PD patients showed lower levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene and negative correlation between Hoehn and Yahr stage and UPDRS motor score. In fact, significant reduction in serum alpha-carotene and lycopene were shown in advanced stage PD patients relative to early stage PD patients. However, no significant differences and no significant correlation were found in serum retinol, alpha- and gamma-tocopherols and other carotenoids in PD patients.
“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. In fact, a previous publication “The Association between Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Parkinson’s Disease” shows lower adherence to Mediterranean diet (i.e. 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,” says CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist of ExcelVite.
“Apart from ingesting carotenoid-rich foods, a convenient way of attaining high levels of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene is via dietary supplements. 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 carotenoids 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 levels in B. trispora fermentative beta-carotene. Hence, EVTene is an excellent choice of dietary source of important carotenes for brain health and function especially among the elders,” added Lau.
- Alcalay, R.N. et.al (2012). The Association between Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord; 27(6):771-774. doi: 10.1002/mds.24918.
- Kim, J.H., et.al (2017). Association of serum carotenoid, retinol, and tocopherol concentrations with the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Nutrition Research and Practice; 11 (2): 114-120. https://doi.org/10.4162/nrp.2017.11.2.114
Mr. WH Leong is the CEO of ExcelVite, the largest and only GMP-certified producer of tocotrienol and mixed-carotene complex. Excelvite supplies these phytonutrients to dietary supplements, functional food/drinks and cosmetic companies worldwide.