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Beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin improve mood
According to earlier studies, depression may have a link to cell damage from oxidative stress. In this analysis, doctors compared antioxidant levels to signs of depression in 1,798 adults aged 20 to 85 and found, compared to those with the lowest levels, people with the highest circulating levels of antioxidant carotenoids were 37 percent less likely to have depressive symptoms. There was also a direct link: as carotenoid levels increased, signs of depression decreased.

Carotenoids—the naturally occurring bright red, yellow, and orange pigments in fruits and vegetables like carrots—are powerful antioxidants. Doctors found three carotenoids in particular were most closely linked to better mood; beta-carotene in both men and women, and lutein and zeaxanthin in women only. Lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect eyesight, as many earlier studies have confirmed. Discussing their findings, doctors said antioxidants may help reduce oxidative damage in the brain and hope new studies reveal more health benefits of antioxidants.

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