Dr. Thomson describes carotenoids and discusses how they help fight cancer.
Carotenoids are a bioactive food compound that we find mostly in plant foods, and they tend to be, there are really over four or five hundred carotenoids, but in people’s blood, we measure five and those are the most common are beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein and beta-cryptoxanthin. And so those carotenoids are found in the colorful portion of the plant food, and that’s why we many times tell women to eat by the rainbow. Trying to get a lot of colors; then you’ll get the wide variety of carotenoids you need.
Why are they important? They are important because of their bioactivity. They actually have been shown to reduce oxidative stress, to reduce estrogen levels, to help in terms of inflammation. So there are a number of different biological activities they have in the context of cancer prevention that are important.
About Dr. Thomson, Ph.D., R.D.:
Dr. Cynthia Thomson, Ph.D., R.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona. She is a registered dietitian with a doctoral degree in nutritional sciences. She has been conducting cancer research since 1994. Dr. Thomson was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2003.