Through scientific research it has been discovered that antioxidants may help prevent dietary diseases such as Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, Depression, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, Macular degeneration and may also delay aging. Antioxidants are molecules that are capable of retarding oxidation of other molecules which in turn leads to inflammation. Inflammation has been shown to be present in persons with the above diseases.
The Failure of Vytorin
A recent major scientific study showed that lowering cholesterol using Vytorin had no measured effect on the risk of heart disease. Doctors were shocked on March 30, 2008 when those results were released. They now believe that Statins should be the drugs of choice. Unfortunately, Statins have side effects that are unacceptable such as extreme muscle pain and muscle disease (statin induced myopathy). Controlling inflammation through what we eat is far preferable.
Common antioxidants are Vitamins C & E. Studies related to the benefits of Vitamin E have not been conclusive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioxidant). Vitamin E is a collection of 8 molecules including alpha-Tocopherol and gamma-Tocopherol. It appears that the inconclusive studies involved only the alpha-tocopherol variety. Recently, researchers have shown that gamma-Tocopherol would be more likely to show positive results with respect to reducing the risk of heart disease (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/74/6/714) .
Anti-aging and antioxidants
"According to the Free Radical theory of aging, aging occurs in a cell when mitochondria begin to die out because of free radical damage. The focus of the project is to neutralize the effect of these free radicals with antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, ending the ionic reaction. The antioxidant nutrients themselves don't become free radicals by donating an electron because they are stable in either form" ((http://www.dadamo.com/wiki/wiki.pl/Oxid...).
Type 2 Diabetes and antioxidants
The following abstract of a clinical trial concludes that dietary intake of antioxidants may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, see ((http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/co...) for the full report.
"RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A cohort of 2,285 men and 2,019 women 40–69 years of age and free of diabetes at baseline (1967–1972) was studied. Food consumption during the previous year was estimated using a dietary history interview. The intake of vitamin C, four tocopherols, four tocotrienols, and six carotenoids was calculated. During a 23-year follow-up, a total of 164 male and 219 female incident cases occurred."
"RESULTS - Vitamin E intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The relative risk (RR) of type 2 diabetes between the extreme quartiles of the intake was 0.69 (95% CI 0.51–0.94, P for trend = 0.003). Intakes of -tocopherol, -tocopherol, -tocopherol, and ß-tocotrienol were inversely related to a risk of type 2 diabetes. Among single carotenoids, ß-cryptoxanthin intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.44–0.78, P < 0.001). No association was evident between intake of vitamin C and type 2 diabetes risk."
"CONCLUSIONS - This study supports the hypothesis that development of type 2 diabetes may be reduced by the intake of antioxidants in the diet. "
Many foods such as vegetable oils are rich in Vitamin E with gamma-Tocopherol but also have a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids that can add to inflammation (http://naturalnews.com/023072.html) . Here is a list of foods rich in gamma-Tocopherol that have their n-6:n-3 ratio of 10:1 or less: English Walnuts, Flaxseeds, Butter blend margarine with soy oil, green peas, green and red sweet peppers, mashed potatoes with milk and margarine, sautéed yellow onions, yellow mustard, blackberries, raspberries, cinnamon, yellow mustard seed, black pepper, ginger, and paprika.
There are Vitamin E supplements on the market that contain gamma-Tocopherol. One in particular has 300 mg of gamma-Tocopherol per capsule and the manufacturers recommended serving size is 2 capsules per day. A person would not be able to eat enough food to have 600 mg per day of this antioxidant. However the recommended minimum daily amount of Vitamin E is only about 15 mg which could be achieved with 2.6 ounces of English walnuts or flaxseeds or 3.5 ounces each of sautéed yellow onions and red or green sweet peppers.
Vitamin C is abundant in many foods. The minimum daily requirement for Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. People who smoke need an additional 35 mg. Foods highest in vitamin C with their n-6:n-3 ratio below 10:1 are: Acerola (West Indian Cherry), Guavas, Litchis dried, European black currants, Green and red sweet peppers, Thyme, Orange juice, Mustard spinach, Kale, Grapefruit juice, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and Cabbage. For a more complete antioxidant list please visit ((http://jmyarlott.com/Food/health/antiox...).
About the author
John Yarlott developed his writing skills during his career as a Mechanical Engineer with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. His work included testing jet engines and writing the test reports for use by the design and management groups. He later worked at IBM as writer of guides for computer design. He ran technical symposiums and published the hundreds of technical reports on computer packaging. John was also a store systems engineer in IBM marketing where he wrote computer programs for customers that generated reports based on transaction data in the checkout terminals. John's last assignment before retiring was as a technical support engineer for IBM's database software. During retirement he wrote training manuals for Microsoft Office Products at Hill & Knowlton, a division of WPP. He wrote web based data acquisition programs that captured human resources data in a MS Access database. The firm had offices in 52 countries therefore using the Internet to communicate with the database in New York was a time saving solution. Now retired for the second time, John has turned his attention to web publishing about matters of his own interest including health, nutrition, food economics, and global energy on his personal website: http://jmyarlott.com .