High levels of alpha carotene in the body increase the chance of longer life, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta said in a study. Alpha carotene is found in carrots.

The study published in Archives of Internal Medicine has observed 5,318 people above 20 years of age who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study. The findings said the chance of early death, due to any kind of diseases like cardiovascular diseases and cancer, reduced with the increase in alpha carotene levels.

"The association between serum alpha-carotene concentrations and risk of death from all causes was significant in most subgroups stratified by demographic characteristics, lifestyle habits and health risk factors," observed the researchers.

Researchers insist on consuming more fruits and vegetables which are the store house of carotenoids. Alpha carotene is believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and cancer, but researchers have no solid proof to show the benefits of beta carotene supplements.

"Moreover, results from a population-based case-control study of the association between the consumption of fruits and vegetables and risk of lung cancer suggest that consumption of yellow-orange (carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin and winter squash) and dark-green (broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach, turnips greens, collards and leaf lettuce) vegetables, which have a high alpha-carotene content, was more strongly associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer than was consumption of all other types of vegetables," explains researchers.

The study revealed that people with 9 micrograms or more alpha carotene levels per deciliter had 39 percent less chance of early death and people with 0-1 micrograms of alpha carotene in a deciliter of blood had only had 23 percent lesser chance of early death.

The study has also revealed the efficiency of alpha carotene in fighting against brain, skin and liver cancer. It is believed to restrict the growth of these cancer cells. "Therefore, carotenoids other than beta-carotene may contribute to the reduction in disease risk, and their effects on risk of disease merit investigation," concluded the scientists.