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Antioxidant-rich supplements

Antioxidant-rich supplements

National Promoting responsible alcohol use for Promoting responsible alcohol use and Integrative Health. While animal-based products, such as Antioxidant-riich and dairy supplemengs, have Angioxidant-rich, plant-based foods are particularly high in them suppelments Effects of long-term vitamin E supplementation on cardiovascular events and cancer: a randomized controlled trial. The same authors conducted another systematic review of 78 randomized clinical trials on antioxidant supplements including beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium alone or in combination. To obtain some specific antioxidants, try to include the following in your diet:. Antioxidant-rich supplements

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Antioxidant-rich supplements -

What they all share is a voracious appetite for electrons, stealing them from any nearby substances that will yield them. Free radical damage can change the instructions coded in a strand of DNA. It can make a circulating low-density lipoprotein LDL, sometimes called bad cholesterol molecule more likely to get trapped in an artery wall.

An excessive chronic amount of free radicals in the body causes a condition called oxidative stress, which may damage cells and lead to chronic diseases. The body, long used to this relentless attack, makes many molecules that quench free radicals as surely as water douses fire.

We also extract free-radical fighters from food. They are also involved in mechanisms that repair DNA and maintain the health of cells. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of different substances that can act as antioxidants.

The most familiar ones are vitamin C , vitamin E , beta-carotene , and other related carotenoids, along with the minerals selenium and manganese. Most are naturally occurring, and their presence in food is likely to prevent oxidation or to serve as a natural defense against the local environment.

It is really a chemical property, namely, the ability to act as an electron donor. Some substances that act as antioxidants in one situation may be pro-oxidants—electron grabbers—in a different situation. Another big misconception is that antioxidants are interchangeable.

Each one has unique chemical behaviors and biological properties. They almost certainly evolved as parts of elaborate networks, with each different substance or family of substances playing slightly different roles.

This means that no single substance can do the work of the whole crowd. Antioxidants came to public attention in the s, when scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis. It was also linked to cancer , vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions.

Some studies showed that people with low intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables were at greater risk for developing these chronic conditions than were people who ate plenty of those foods. Clinical trials began testing the impact of single substances in supplement form, especially beta-carotene and vitamin E, as weapons against chronic diseases.

Supplement makers touted the disease-fighting properties of all sorts of antioxidants. The research results were mixed, but most did not find the hoped-for benefits.

Antioxidants are still added to breakfast cereals, sports bars, energy drinks, and other processed foods , and they are promoted as additives that can prevent heart disease, cancer, cataracts, memory loss, and other conditions.

Randomized placebo-controlled trials, which can provide the strongest evidence, offer little support that taking vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, or other single antioxidants provides substantial protection against heart disease, cancer, or other chronic conditions.

The results of the largest trials have been mostly negative. A modest effect of vitamin E has been found in some studies but more research is needed.

A study from the Journal of Respiratory Research found that different isoforms of vitamin E called tocopherols had opposing effects on lung function. Lung function was tested using spirometric parameters: higher parameters are indicative of increased lung function, while lower parameters are indicative of decreased lung function.

The study found that higher serum levels of alpha-tocopherol were associated with higher spirometric parameters and that high serum levels of gamma-tocopherol were associated with lower spirometric parameters.

Though the study was observational in nature, it confirmed the mechanistic pathway of alpha- and gamma-tocopherol in mice studies. When it comes to cancer prevention, the picture remains inconclusive for antioxidant supplements. Few trials have gone on long enough to provide an adequate test for cancer.

High-dose antioxidant supplements can also interfere with medicines. Vitamin E supplements can have a blood-thinning effect and increase the risk of bleeding in people who are already taking blood-thinning medicines. Some studies have suggested that taking antioxidant supplements during cancer treatment might interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment.

Inform your doctor if starting supplements of any kind. One possible reason why many studies on antioxidant supplements do not show a health benefit is because antioxidants tend to work best in combination with other nutrients, plant chemicals, and even other antioxidants.

For example, a cup of fresh strawberries contains about 80 mg of vitamin C, a nutrient classified as having high antioxidant activity.

Polyphenols also have many other chemical properties besides their ability to serve as antioxidants. There is a question if a nutrient with antioxidant activity can cause the opposite effect with pro-oxidant activity if too much is taken. This is why using an antioxidant supplement with a single isolated substance may not be an effective strategy for everyone.

Differences in the amount and type of antioxidants in foods versus those in supplements might also influence their effects. For example, there are eight chemical forms of vitamin E present in foods. However, vitamin E supplements typically only include one form, alpha-tocopherol.

Epidemiological prospective studies show that higher intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes are associated with a lower risk of chronic oxidative stress-related diseases like cardiovascular diseases , cancer, and deaths from all causes.

The following are nutrients with antioxidant activity and the foods in which they are found:. Excessive free radicals contribute to chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, cognitive decline, and vision loss.

Keep in mind that most of the trials conducted have had fundamental limitations due to their relatively short duration and inclusion of people with existing disease. At the same time, abundant evidence suggests that eating whole in fruits , vegetables , and whole grains —all rich in networks of naturally occurring antioxidants and their helper molecules—provides protection against many scourges of aging.

The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The Nutrition Source does not recommend or endorse any products.

Skip to content The Nutrition Source. The Nutrition Source Menu. Search for:. Home Nutrition News What Should I Eat? In , a rating tool called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ORAC was created by scientists from the National Institute on Aging and the United States Department of Agriculture USDA.

It was used to measure the antioxidant capacity of foods. The USDA provided an ORAC database on its website highlighting foods with high ORAC scores, including cocoa, berries, spices, and legumes.

Blueberries and other foods topping the list were heavily promoted in the popular press as disease-fighters even if the science was weak, from cancer to brain health to heart disease. However, 20 years later the USDA retracted the information and removed the database after determining that antioxidants have many functions, not all of which are related to free radical activity.

Although this was not a primary endpoint for the trial, it nevertheless represents an important outcome. In the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation HOPE trial, the rates of major cardiovascular events were essentially the same in the vitamin E A recent trial of vitamin E in Israel, for example, showed a marked reduction in coronary heart disease among people with type 2 diabetes who have a common genetic predisposition for greater oxidative stress.

In the Supplementation en Vitamines et Mineraux Antioxydants SU. MAX study, 13, French men and women took a single daily capsule that contained mg vitamin C, 30 mg vitamin E, 6 mg beta-carotene, mcg selenium, and 20 mg zinc, or a placebo, for seven and a half years.

The vitamins had no effect on overall rates of cardiovascular disease. Lung disease A study from the Journal of Respiratory Research found that different isoforms of vitamin E called tocopherols had opposing effects on lung function. Cancer When it comes to cancer prevention, the picture remains inconclusive for antioxidant supplements.

MAX randomized placebo-controlled trial showed a reduction in cancer risk and all-cause mortality among men taking an antioxidant cocktail low doses of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc but no apparent effect in women, possibly because men tended to have low blood levels of beta-carotene and other vitamins at the beginning of the study.

Age-related eye disease A six-year trial, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study AREDS , found that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc offered some protection against the development of advanced age-related macular degeneration, but not cataracts, in people who were at high risk of the disease.

However, relatively short trials of lutein supplementation for age-related macular degeneration have yielded conflicting findings. The study found that people taking the vitamins were less likely to progress to late-stage AMD and vision loss.

However, the study authors noted that taking lutein and zeaxanthin alone or vitamin E alone did not have a beneficial effect on these eye conditions. The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial SELECT Eye Endpoints Study, which followed 11, men for a mean of five years, did not find that vitamin E and selenium supplements, in combination or alone, protected from age-related cataracts.

It did not find that antioxidant supplements of vitamin E or selenium, alone or in combination, protected against dementia compared with a placebo. Early death A meta-analysis of 68 antioxidant supplement trials found that taking beta-carotene and vitamin A and E supplements increased the risk of dying.

It was also difficult to compare interventions because the types of supplements, the dosages taken, and the length of time they were taken varied widely. The same authors conducted another systematic review of 78 randomized clinical trials on antioxidant supplements including beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium alone or in combination.

The study found that both people who were healthy and those with diseases taking beta-carotene and vitamin E supplements had a higher rate of death.

The duration of the studies varied widely from one month to 12 years, with varying dosages. The first inkling came in a large trial of beta-carotene conducted among men in Finland who were heavy smokers, and therefore at high risk for developing lung cancer.

The trial was stopped early when researchers saw a significant increase in lung cancer among those taking the supplement compared to those taking the placebo.

Again, an increase in lung cancer was seen in the supplement group. MAX trial, rates of skin cancer were higher in women who were assigned to take vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc. These results came from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial SELECT that followed 35, men for up to 12 years.

As surprising as it may be, research does not support health benefits from antioxidant supplements, per the NCCIH. Antioxidant-rich foods , like fruits and veggies, have many health benefits, but supplements, not so much. Even with foods, the National Institutes of Health notes that there's more to learn about the specific role naturally occurring antioxidants play and how they impact your health.

We do know, however, that higher fruit and veggie consumption is linked with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease per a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association , lower mortality per a study in Circulation and breast cancer per a study in the British Journal of Cancer , to name a few of their health benefits.

Although antioxidant supplements aren't shown to be beneficial to health, they may be helpful if you have a deficiency. For example, if you are deficient in vitamin C, a vitamin C supplement may help normalize your vitamin C levels and prevent unwanted side effects of a deficiency.

According to the NIH , these could include delayed wound healing and gum inflammation. That's not to say that you'll reap added antioxidant benefits; you'll ensure your body has enough of the nutrient to meet its basic needs for optimal functioning.

The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial SELECT was a large clinical trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute that concluded in Researchers determined this difference to be statistically significant and not just related to chance.

In the same study, participants taking selenium with or without vitamin E also had a higher incidence of prostate cancer; however, this difference was not statistically significant.

Beta carotene supplementation has been found to increase the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke. Before starting any supplement, it's best to talk with a health care provider to be sure it won't interact with any medications you're taking.

Here are some examples of how antioxidant supplements can potentially interact with medications:. To boost your antioxidant intake, we recommend leaning on food sources. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and veggies, but dark chocolate , green tea and nuts are other good sources.

Here are some ideas to give your meals and snacks an antioxidant boost:. In general, antioxidant supplements are unnecessary for healthy people without a nutrient deficiency.

They are not shown to have the same health benefits as consuming antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. So, it's best to focus on eating more plant foods rich in naturally occurring antioxidants. Since antioxidant supplements don't have the same research-backed benefits as antioxidant-rich foods, you probably don't need to take an antioxidant supplement at all, let alone every day.

That being said, if you are deficient in an antioxidant like vitamin C or E, daily supplementation is usually recommended to replenish your levels of the nutrient and reverse or prevent side effects from a deficiency.

The most powerful antioxidant supplement is the one you are deficient in. If you don't have a deficiency in a specific antioxidant nutrient, then you probably won't benefit from taking a supplement.

And you'd be better off focusing on incorporating more antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. Antioxidant-rich foods, like fruits and veggies, are associated with loads of health benefits and no safety concerns, whereas supplements may lead to harm when overdone or taken with certain medications.

Antioxidant supplements are linked with health issues in certain populations. Since they contain highly concentrated doses of nutrients, they may increase the risk of toxicity. They can also interact with medications, potentially decreasing the medication's effectiveness or exacerbating its effects.

Antioxidant supplements are also expensive, so they can put an unnecessary dent in your wallet. Despite how alluring antioxidant supplements may be, research shows that they don't really benefit health unless you're deficient in the given nutrient.

That being said, adding more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet can benefit your health in numerous ways since antioxidant-rich foods are also rich in nutrients like fiber, which have a plethora of health benefits. Use limited data to select advertising.

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Use limited Antioxidant-rlch to select advertising. Create profiles for personalised advertising. Use profiles to select personalised advertising. Create profiles to personalise content. Use profiles to select personalised content. Leaning Antioxidant-ricu antioxidant-rich foods is generally safer supplekents better for health. A dietitian Supplejents why. Isabel Vasquez is a Anrioxidant-rich registered Antioxidant-rich supplements practicing from an intuitive eating, culturally sensitive framework. Her clinical experience includes providing outpatient nutrition counseling to adults with a variety of chronic health conditions, along with providing family-based treatment for eating disorders in children and adolescents. She also offers intuitive eating coaching for Latinas to heal their relationships with food, particularly their cultural foods.

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