Wednesday, January 6, 2010

antioxidants consumption

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals,which start chain reactions that damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves.

Researches promote the idea that antioxidants can reduce or even reverse the damage caused by the body by “free radicals,” combating chronic diseases and the ravages of aging. Antioxidants have been shown in some studies to enhance overall immune function, protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, and reduce the risk of some cancers.Research studies show that individual antioxidants in the form of dietary supplements are more potent and bio available then they are in foods, and they do not exhibit the synergistic effects with other components found within natural foods sources.

Research studies to date in vitro and in animals show consistent evidence supporting
antioxidant health benefits,yet human trials have been disappointing.There is also recent evidence that suggests, under certain circumstances, supplementation may actually do more harm than good. Therefore, supplements most likely do not possess all the physiologically active components needed to be truly effective in preventing disease incidence and progression.

In order to delay the aging process and free radical-induced diseases, The American Heart Association doesn't recommend using antioxidant vitamin supplements until more complete data are available. They continue to recommend that people eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods daily from all the basic food groups. To add, it also says, “Oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol is important in the development of fatty buildups in the arteries. This process, called atherosclerosis, can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Until recently, it was thought that LDL cholesterol lipoprotein oxidation and its biological effects could be prevented by using antioxidant supplements. However, more recent clinical trials have failed to demonstrate a beneficial effect of antioxidant supplements.The American Heart Association supports a diet high in food sources of antioxidants and other heart-protecting nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts instead of antioxidant supplements to reduce risk of CVD.

Despite these, the use of antioxidant supplements in the U.S. continues to grow. Antioxidant supplements are extremely available in today’s world. Most all American’s have a diet available to them that provides sufficient levels of the nutrients they need, but many choose to take supplements instead. Possible decreased nutrient value of crops and an aging population that is living longer, has more disposable income, believe supplements to be safe and effective, and willing to self – medicate in an effort to feel better and decrease health care costs has driven the popularity and increased use of antioxidant supplement sales.

In addition, supplements may also interfere with the actions of other medication and cancel their effect on the body. In my opinion, consumers are beginning to realize that many claims made about supplements and functional foods are marketing “hype” designed to increase sales. We should strive to meet our nutrient needs through the diet because it is safer and more beneficial to our health.

In conclusion,eating a variety of foods low in saturated fat,trans fat and cholesterol will provide a natural source of these vitamins, minerals and fiber.Consuming supplement may interfere with the body natural defense mechanism and may cause complications.

Foods which Contain Antioxidants:

1 Small red beans
2 Wild blueberries
3 Red kidney beans
4 Pinto beans
5 Blueberries
6 Cranberries
7 Artichoke hearts
8 Blackberries
9 Dried prunes
10 Raspberries
11 Strawberries
12 Red delicious apple
13 Granny Smith apple