Credit: © VICUSCHKA / Fotolia

Credit: © VICUSCHKA / Fotolia

The color in veggies helps reduce inflammation

Did you ever wonder why vegetables are so colorful? The color in veggies helps reduce inflammation, according to a new study.

An ingredient found in many vegetables called lutein — which gives them their color — can suppress inflammation, according to researchers at Linkoping University, Sweden.

Inflammation is considered a major risk factor for many chronic illnesses, including heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer.

A considerable number of patients who have experienced myocardial infarction still have low-level chronic inflammation in the body, even after receiving effective treatment with revascularisation, drugs and lifestyle changes. We know that chronic inflammation is associated with a poorer prognosis,” says Lena Jonasson, professor in the Department of Medical and Health Sciences and consultant in cardiology, who has led the study.

Our study confirms that one particular carotenoid, lutein, can suppress long-term inflammation in patients with coronary artery disease. We have also shown that lutein is absorbed and stored by the cells of the immune system in the blood,” says Rosanna Chung, postdoc at the Department of Medical and Health Sciences at Linkoping University.

The researchers looked at six major carotenoids in veggies and they found that participants with the most lutein in their blood had lower levels of inflammation markers.

The patients were receiving the best possible treatment for their disease according to clinical guidelines, but even so, many of them had a persistent inflammation. At the same time, the patients had lower levels of lutein,” says Lena Jonasson.

The study showing that the color in veggies helps reduce inflammation was published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

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1. “Vegetable Colouring Agent May Suppress Inflammation.” Linköping University. Linköping University, n.d. Web. 05 July 2017.
2. “Lutein Exerts Anti-inflammatory Effects in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease.” Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, n.d. Web. 5 July 2017.

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