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Carotenoids linked to fewer hip fractures

Published on

15 March 2009

Increased intakes of carotenoids may lower the risk of hip fracture in older men and women, according to a 17-year study from the US.

The researchers measured the intakes of total and individual carotenoids, including beta-carotenelycopene, and lutein plus zeaxanthin. Intakes were assessed using a questionnaire (1). Over the course of 17 years of follow-up, the researchers documented 100 hip fractures. The highest average intake of all carotenoids was associated with a significantly lower risk of hip fracture and non-vertebral osteoporotic fracture. Of the individual carotenoids studied, lycopene was found to have the greatest protective effect.

These results suggest a protective role of several carotenoids for bone health in older adults. Aging populations and the additional strain from obesity increase the numbers affected by osteoporosis. Already the lifetime risk for a woman to have an osteoporotic fracture is 30–40% and in men the risk is about 13%.


  1. Sahni S. et al. Protective Effect of Total Carotenoid and Lycopene Intake on the Risk of Hip Fracture: A 17-Year Follow-Up From the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 2009; 24:1086–1094.

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