Prepared Foods October 3, 2005 e-newsletter

A glass of orange juice or snack of carrot sticks may help stave off inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.

That is the finding of a recent British study at the University of Manchester Medical School. The study showed for the first time that subjects who ate a diet high in dietary carotenoids -- the chemicals that give certain fruits and vegetables their orange and yellow colorings -- dramatically reduced their risk of inflammatory arthritis.

Dr. Rex McCallum, rheumatologist at Duke University Medical Center, said the study's findings are significant.

"It looks like eating these orange and yellow fruits really does make a difference. The incidence for people who ate the least of that kind of fruits in their diets, versus those who ate the most, doubled.”

McCallum says earlier research has shown that a diet rich in carotenoids and other antioxidants can also help ward off osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease.