KAISERAUGST, Switzerland, September 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A new scientific study has shown that consuming Beta-carotene over a long period of time may help to preserve mental fitness by improving how the brain, and more importantly the memory, works. While it has long been acknowledged that eating Beta-carotene-rich foods or taking supplements of this antioxidant can help to protect the skin from damaging effects of sunlight and to protect the eyesight, these new findings suggest a whole new reason for making it nutritionally essential.

Two sets of experiments in combination - The Physicians Health Study I and II - demonstrated that Beta-carotene had a significant influence on a range of cognitive performance tests. It was found that volunteers participating in both studies over many years performed substantially better in the tests than did those who had been given Beta-carotene for the second study only or who had received a placebo. This was especially the case with tests relating to memory.

Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President Research & Development, DSM Nutritional Products, a leading producer of Beta-carotene, comments: "These findings show that consuming Beta-carotene over a long period may have a very beneficial effect on brain health. A nutritionally rich and balanced diet may help individuals to ward off the onset of dementia."

Beta-carotene occurs naturally, and is present in carrots, tomatoes, and many other green leafy vegetables and fruits. However, it can also be commercially produced and has an important role to play in many fortified foods and beverages as well as in dietary supplements.

Clearly there is a need to look further into the merits of Beta-carotene so as to understand its full potential influence on memory retention. These results provide a compelling reason to do so.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections of DSM and information currently available to the company. The statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and therefore DSM does not guarantee that its expectations will be realized. Furthermore, DSM has no obligation to update the statements contained in this press release. The English language version of the press release is leading.

Contact: DSM Nutritional Products, Emma Peyrachon, Tel: +41-61-815-89-34, Fax: +41-61-815-88-90, E-Mail: emma.peyrachon@dsm.com

Contact: DSM Nutritional Products, Emma Peyrachon, Tel: +41-61-815-89-34, Fax: +41-61-815-88-90, E-Mail: emma.peyrachon@dsm.com