Consuming more foods high in alpha-carotene may boost your body’s resistance to chronic disease, including heart disease and certain cancers, according to nutrition researchers.
Among more than 15,000 adults in the United States whose diets were studied over a 14-year period, those with high blood levels of alpha-carotene reduced their risk of dying by up to 39 percent, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in Archives of Internal Medicine.
Both cancer and cardiovascular-related deaths decreased, according to the scientists. They suggest that although alpha-carotene is chemically similar to beta-carotene, it may be more effective in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in the brain, liver and skin.
Good sources of alpha-carotene include yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots, winter squash and sweet potatoes as well as tangerines.