In a new study, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have discovered that the antioxidant known as alpha-carotene appears to be associated with longevity.
Alpha-carotene is a carotenoid that is produced by plants and acts as an antioxidant. Individuals can obtain carotenoids by eating fruits or vegetables, including collard greens, carrots and tomatoes.
The researchers examined the connection between alpha-carotene and the risk of death among more than 15,300 adults who were at least 20-years-old. The participants provided blood samples starting in 1988 for a six-year period, and all of them were then followed through the year 2006.
A total of 3,810 participants died during the course of the study.
Overall, the scientists found that the risk of dying was lower among the individuals who had higher levels of alpha-carotene in their blood. Higher levels of this antioxidant also helped to lower the subjects’ risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer.
The researchers concluded that the evidence further supports the idea that the consumption of vegetables and fruits may help to prevent death from disease and promote a longer life.