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Lutein and lycopene reduce artery thickness
The walls of the carotid artery, the main blood supply to the head and neck, thicken and harden with age, and doctors check the thickening for early signs of vascular disease. In this study, 144 adults with early-stage hardening of the arteries took a placebo, 20 mg of lutein, or the lutein plus 20 mg of lycopene per day.
 
After 12 months, while there were no changes in the placebo group compared to the start of the study, carotid artery thickness decreased by 0.035 mm in the lutein group, and by 0.073 mm in the lutein and lycopene group. Also, beneficial blood concentrations of lutein and lycopene increased significantly.
Doctors said that to protect against hardening of the arteries, lutein appears to be effective, and lutein together with lycopene may be more effective.

Reference:
Br J Nutr. 2013 Sep 19:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]
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