Metabolic health has been proposed as clinically useful predictor of risk of future type 2 diabetes . A common factor that leads to development of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a phenomenon where muscle, fat and liver cells do not respond to insulin efficiently for metabolism, resulting in higher concentration of insulin needed in order to modulate glucose levels. Overtime, the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas fail to keep up with the body’s demand for insulin, and the insufficient level of insulin will cause plasma glucose increases, and thus leading to prediabetes or diabetes .
Carotenoids intake high with alpha-carotene and beta-carotene have been shown to possess beneficial effects in regulating blood glucose metabolism and thus help to minimize the predisposition to insulin resistance or diabetes mellitus as shown in the list of studies below:
Dietary intake of carotenoids and risk of type 2 diabetes.
A study conducted in Netherlands where 37,846 men and women recruited and followed up for a mean of 10 years found that high intake of α-carotene and β-carotene decreased the risks of type 2 diabetes among healthy men and women.
Sluijs, I. et al. (2015), Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
High-serum carotenoids associated with lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes among Japanese subjects: Mikkabi cohort study
A 10-year follow-up study conducted among 1073 males and females age between 30 to 79 year-old from Japan showed inverse association between serum carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein and lycopene) and the risk of type 2 diabetes development.
Sugiura M., et.al. (2015). BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care
Diabetes mellitus and serum carotenoids: findings of a population-based study in Queensland, Australia
Results show that fasting insulin concentrations decrease significantly with increased serum carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin and lycopene). High intake of carotenoids is associated with reduced impaired glucose metabolism.
Coyne, T., et.al (2005). American Society for Clinical Nutrition.
Diabetes Mellitus and Serum Carotenoids: Findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
It was found that all serum carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, and lycopene) is inversely related to fasting serum insulin among approximately 1010 normal glucose tolerance and 655 glucose intolerance individuals. This suggests that carotenoids may play an important role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and diabetes.
Ford, E. S., et.al (1999). Am J Epidemiol.
Shin JA, Lee JH, Lim SY, et al. Metabolic syndrome as a predictor of type 2 diabetes, and its clinical interpretations and usefulness. J Diabetes Investig. 2013;4:334–43.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance