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Eating Orange Fruits Reduces Risk of Hip Fracture in Elderly Men

Update Date: Dec 17, 2012 08:10 AM EST

After a recent study which suggested that women who have high levels of carotenoids in their blood are at low risks of contracting breast cancer, a new study by researchers from Singapore claims that cartenoids could help reduce hip fracture risk in lean men.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Ministry of Health announced the study on elderly lean Chinese men that links carotenoids to decreased hip fracture risk in them.

Carotenoids are organic pigments that are found in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of plants and some other photosynthetic organisms like algae, some bacteria, and some fungi.

According to the website World's Healthiest Foods, high-carotenoid foods are a source of vitamin A, they protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, are high in antioxidants, enhance immune system functioning and also contribute to a healthy functioning of the reproductive system.

For the current study, researchers examined the association between dietary antioxidant carotenoids and hip fracture risk across a range of BMI in elderly Chinese men and women, Medical Xpress reported.

The researchers recruited 63,257 men and women aged 45 years in 1993. The participants were followed up, and till December 2010, the researchers noted 1,630 hip fractures in this group.

It was found that having lower BMI is a stronger risk factor for hip fracture risk among elderly men when compared to women. Also, it was found that the risk of hip fracture could be significantly decreased with increased consumption of total vegetables and carotenoids, particularly β-carotene.

While the protective effect was found to be higher in lean men when compared to men with a higher BMI, no such association of higher vegetable intake and hip fracture risk was found in women.

Cartenoids are converted to vitamin A in the body. It is found in carrots, apricots, mangoes, squash, papaya, and sweet potatoes. Also, green vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens also contain beta-carotene, and are the best sources of lutein.

Salmon, shellfish, milk and egg yolks are also sources of carotenoids.

The findings may have important public health implications on hip fracture prevention, particularly among Asians, but researchers conclude that clinical trials are needed to demonstrate the link between carotenoid supplementation and reduction of the odds of hip fracture risk in elderly men.

The study was published in the scientific journal Osteoporosis International.

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