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Oxidation & Antioxidants ~ [Issue 1099-4]  Wellness Weekly
 Oct 27, 1999 07:30 PDT 

Even though oxidation is an important step in many of the metabolic
processes in the body, there is no question today that it is
important to control it and to keep it in balance. Oxidation which is
out of control is now known to play a major role in aging and the
development and progression of many chronic diseases. Our cells are
protected from the damage of excessive oxidation by free radicals in
two basic ways - by antioxidants that we ingest in our diet and in
the form of supplements, and by antioxidants that are produced within
the body itself. Obviously the more antioxidants that we provide our
bodies with from our diets, or in the form of supplements, the less
that have to be produced by the body itself. It is a balance that
nature intended. Just as making sure you eat enough protein when on a
weight loss program helps your body preserve, or "spare" the existing
protein as lean body mass, ingesting antioxidants from diet and
supplements helps reduce the requirement of how much work your body
has to do to protect itself internally.

A diet which is rich in green and yellow-orange vegetables plus
fruits, whole grains, raisins and nuts, supplies these needed
antioxidants - substances that prevent and reduce oxidation in the
body's cells. A study which included twelve female volunteers
evaluated the effect that diet can have on our body's own production
of two important antioxidant enzymes, "superoxide dismutase" and
"glutathione peroxidase."

At first, the volunteers ate all the refined white bread, pasta,
pastry, snack and junk foods, meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy
products they wanted. At the same time, they limited fruits and
vegetables to only two servings a day, with no leafy green and yellow
varieties at all. Then they switched their diets completely for four
weeks. They ate a minimum of six servings of green and yellow fruits
and vegetables per day and replaced the white bread with whole grain
bread eating as many other whole grains and legumes as possible. In
addition, they consumed two tablespoons of almonds, hazelnuts, pecans
and sesame oil in the form of tahini, with a tablespoonful of wheat
germ oil for cooking or salad dressing. They also ate four ounces of
raisins and drank one cup of ginger tea and two cups of green tea.
Fried foods, refined and reduced-calorie and fat-free products were
not eaten. Eggs were allowed, but meat, fish and poultry were kept to
only three ounces per week. Any dairy products that were eaten were
no more than one percent fat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's scientists of the chief research
agency, the Agricultural Research Service, collaborated on this
antioxidant study, conducted at the private SPHERA Foundation in Los
Altos, California. In comparing the two diets, researchers Leslie
Klevay and Sandra Gallagher with the ARS Grand Forks, ND., Human
Nutrition Research Center found that levels of two antioxidants
produced by the body dropped significantly. Superoxide dismutase
levels dropped by two-thirds and glutathione peroxidase dropped by
one third. Apparently the body was able to benefit from the
antioxidants contained in the healthier fruits and vegetables diet
and did not have to produce as much superoxide dismutase and
glutathione peroxidase.

Looking for just the right antioxidant nutrients to supplement your
diet? Then please review the premium-quality products we have listed
on our web site at http://www.aomega.com/ahs/prod02.htm and let us
know if you have any questions.
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