Scientists from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and elsewhere find nutrients in fruits and vegetables may reduce death risks in heart and brain diseases and cancer.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin.
It dissolves in water and is delivered to the body’s tissues but is not well stored, so it must be taken daily through food or supplements.
Vitamin C plays a role in controlling infections and healing wounds and is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals.
It is needed to make collagen and helps make several hormones and chemical messengers used in the brain and nerves.
The two main forms of vitamin A in the human diet are preformed vitamin A (retinol, retinyl esters), and provitamin A carotenoids such as beta-carotene that are converted to retinol.
Carotenoids are found naturally in plant foods, such as mangos, papaya, many of the squashes, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin A is important for eye health and stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, takes part in remodeling bone, helps maintain healthy endothelial cells (those lining the body’s interior surfaces), and regulates cell growth and division such as needed for reproduction.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the associations of nutrients in fruit and vegetable intake (vitamin C and carotenoids) with death risks in US adults.
They analyzed data from 12,530 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (1988-1994).
During the follow-up period, there were 4,511 deaths, including 1,395 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 1,072 deaths from heart disease, 323 deaths from brain disease, and 954 deaths from cancer.
The team found vitamin C level in the body was strongly linked to the all-cause death risk and death risk in cancer.
The alpha-carotene level was strongly linked to the cancer death risk. The higher the alpha-carotene intake, the lower the cancer death risk.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that vitamin C and carotenoids levels in the body are linked to lower death risks in cerebral disease, heart disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
They suggest people eat more fruits and vegetables every day to prevent death risks.
The research was published in Frontiers in Nutrition and conducted by Liyuan Pu et al.
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