Optimists have higher antioxidant levels
Higher circulating levels of carotenoids lead to a healthier lifestyle
by Newsletter Editor
This Harvard University study found that middle-aged adults who are more optimistic about their future tend to have higher antioxidant levels than their less optimistic peers. Researchers measured antioxidant levels and mood in 982 men and women over 11 years and found that those who were most optimistic had higher circulating levels of antioxidant carotenoids. Carotenoids are the antioxidant-rich orange, red, and yellow pigments in plant and animal foods.
Summarizing their findings, doctors said optimists were of higher socio-economic status, were more likely to make health-promoting choices in diet, exercise, and other behaviors, and tended to have less depression, cardiovascular disease, and to live longer than their less-optimistic peers. While doctors don’t know if optimism leads to higher antioxidant levels, or vice versa, the findings revealed a promising link: for every meaningful increase in optimism, circulating carotenoids increased by 3 to 13 percent.