Science-based nutrition, Uncategorized

Antioxidants: general function, significance, and status in vegan diets

Lobo et. al. effectively summarize the importance and function of antioxidants as follows: “Free radicals reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species are generated by our body by various endogenous systems, exposure to different physiochemical conditions or pathological states. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for proper physiological function. If free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate them, a condition known as oxidative stress ensues. Free radicals thus adversely alter lipids, proteins, and DNA and trigger a number of human diseases. Hence application of external source of antioxidants can assist in coping this oxidative stress. Synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole have recently been reported to be dangerous for human health.” (Lobo et.al., 2010, see full text here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/). I have been focusing plenty on the antioxidant properties of some micronutrients, and made the mention of their availability in various foods somewhat of a focal point here. Besides establishing the significance of the presence of antioxidants in the body via their intake through food, I think it’s valuable to know that status of vegan diet composition in this regard. The following is a study which examines antioxidant status of long-term consumption of a vegan diet in a particular population. I hope you enjoy the read! http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/62/6/1221.short Image

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