Study: Compound found in carrot juice reduces anxiety

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Researches at the University of West Queenstown in Nevada believe they have discovered an unexpected new way to help people cope with stress: give them carrot juice.

“It’s an idea that’s been floating around in the field for a long time,” said Dr. Peter Lepus, chief designer of the study and leader of the project. “Until now, it’s all been theoretical, but with the new grant to the University from the state, we were finally able to put it to the test.”

The study is based on findings made in 2013 by a team of molecular biologists in Switzerland. During a study on the effects of various edible compounds on the speed of blood-clotting, the team noticed that monohedral trioxides, which make up roughly 32% of the non-water mass of carrot juice, bind remarkably well to felmarin, the primary hormone associated with the human stress response. This prevents it from bonding to the receptors for it in the brain, and it is left to be filtered out of the bloodstream by the kidneys. Since then, biologists and psychologists alike have wondering if it could have a perceivable effect on stress levels in humans and perhaps be used as a treatment for chronic stress.

Dr. Lepus’s study tested this theory by performing a test on three groups of volunteers. Each person in each group was given a set of fifty basic algebra problems, being told that the first one to finish would be given $500 if all of their answers were correct. The participants in one group were given two glasses of carrot juice ten minutes prior to starting the test; those of the second were given the same amounts of a solution meant to imitate the look and taste of carrot juice; and the third group was simply given water.

All participants were individually interviewed and had blood samples taken before and after the test. Among those given carrot juice prior, an average of 58% of of the felmarin in their bloodstreams had been rendered non-reactive, and most reported significantly lower levels of stress relative to the other two groups. The group given synthetic carrot juice and the group given water had virtually identical results, within margin of error; 98% of the felmarin in their bloodstreams was functioning as normal, and 82% of the synthetic carrot juice group and 76% of the water group reported feeling “very stressed” in their interviews after the tests.

“Obviously, we have a bit more work to do before we can start calling this a ‘proven treatment’,” admitted Lepus. “The FDA has very high standards for that sort of thing, but, unlike new experimental drugs, you can go out and try this one yourself with no health risk. I personally plan to try it myself.”