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Carotenoid Supplements May Help Obese Children Lose Weight

Obesity is a growing problem in all populations in the Western world, including children. A recent study suggests that taking dietary supplements that contain a mix of carotenoids and vitamin E may reduce BMI scores, waist to height ratio, and fat levels in obese children.

Participants in the study included 20 obese children with a mean age of 10.5 years. They were given either two capsules per day containing 600 micrograms of ?-carotene, 500 micrograms of ?-carotene, 10 milligrams lutein, 2 milligrams of zeaxanthin, 10 milligrams of lycopene, 2 milligrams of astaxanthin and 10 milligrams of gamma tocopherol or a placebo for six months.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 0.19 kg/m2 reduction in BMI, a 3% reduction in waist circumference, and 0.03 reduction in the waist to height ratio in the supplement group when compared with the placebo. They also noted a 4% decrease in subcutaneous adipose tissue in the supplement group, compared with a 4.2% increase in the placebo group.

Researchers from Wolfson Children's Hospital/Baptist Health in Florida conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 13, 2017, in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Carotenoids are the phytochemicals that provide the bright red, orange or yellow color to many fruits and vegetables. They serve as antioxidants and can be a good source of vitamin A. They have been shown in previous research to protect against cardiovascular disease and macular eye disease.

If you want to increase your carotenoid intake, make sure that your meals contain a variety of fruits and vegetables of all colors. The beneficial actions of carotenoids are optimal when a variety of carotenoids are consumed together.

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