Research Roundup

February 2016 Issue

February 2016

Carotenoids Help Aging Eyes.

Eating red, orange, and green produce rich in carotenoids may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Researchers from Harvard tracked more than 63,000 women, and 39,000 men (aged 50 years or older) for 26, and 24 years, respectively. Individuals who consumed the highest levels of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (found in corn, green leafy vegetables, and squash) over the study period had a 40 percent lower risk of developing the advanced form of AMD compared to individuals who ate the least.

JAMA Ophthalmology, October 2015

Fiber Intake Lowers Blood Pressure.

Fiber—especially insoluble fiber primarily from raw fruit, vegetables and whole grains —lowers systolic blood pressure, according to researchers from the U.K. and U.S. They analyzed data from 2,195 men and women aged 40-59 over a 3-year period and found that increasing total fiber consumption by 6.8 grams per 1,000 calories was associated with the lowering of systolic blood pressure by 1.69 mmHg; increasing insoluble fiber by 4.6 grams per 1,000 calories was associated with lowering systolic blood pressure by 1.81 mmHg.

British Journal of Nutrition, November 2015

Herbs and Spices Cut Sodium.

Using herbs and spices may help close the gap between daily sodium consumption in the U.S. and what is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines, according to a recent study. Participants in the intervention group, who were given herbs and spices with individual and group counseling and cooking demonstrations on reducing sodium and boosting herbs and spices, reduced sodium intake by 956.8 mg/day—about one-third of the average American sodium consumption.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2015