Diabetic Recipes from Diabetic Gourmet Magazine - sugar free recipes,  diabetic desserts, diabetic meal plans and diabetes friendly menus.
Login | Register Follow Diabetic Gourmet Magazine on Twitter Diabetic Gourmet Magazine on Facebook Diabetic Gourmet Magazine on Pinterest
Diabetic Recipe Search - find diabetic recipes from Diabetic Gourmet Magazine


Search



Food and Dining
Print-Friendly Version

How Much Do We Know About Antioxidants?

By Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN

It's common knowledge that antioxidants protect us from dangerous substances called free radicals that can create damage leading to many chronic diseases. Yet scientists say there is more to learn about the health benefits of antioxidants.

Studies demonstrate that vegetables, fruits and whole grains supply an abundance of vitamins and natural phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. A greater consumption of these antioxidant-rich foods has been shown to lead to higher blood levels of antioxidant power.

Studies also show that when people eat diets high in antioxidants, their risk of cancer and heart disease decreases. However, if antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals are responsible for the health benefits seen, antioxidants from supplements may not yield the same results. A higher dose of antioxidants from supplements could actually be counterproductive by upsetting the natural balance of antioxidants in the body.

The various kinds of antioxidants are now believed to work in different parts of the body. People may also vary in their need for each kind of antioxidant, depending on how much damage from free radicals, or oxidation damage, they are exposed to from tobacco smoke, overeating and other influences.

To measure the amount of oxidation damage in a person, researchers examine certain biomarkers or physical signs. The level of biomarkers is usually determined through blood sample tests. Elevated biomarkers of DNA damage are linked to cancer risk. Signs of damage to blood vessel walls and oxidation of LDL cholesterol are connected to heart disease risk. Some research even suggests that oxidation damage to nerves may be linked to age-related brain changes. Although oxidation damage has been liked to these diseases, this damage cannot be said yet to cause them.

One reason that the effect of antioxidants on disease is still unsure is that many studies of antioxidants use people known to be at an increased risk. For example, scientists will see if antioxidants offer any protection against heart attacks to people who have already had one. Since antioxidants seem to offer protection from damage that occurs early in the development of diseases, these studies may miss measuring some of the impact of antioxidants. In later stages, other factors may be more decisive.

At one time, people thought that oxidation damage to cells was always bad. But studies now show that certain highly reactive compounds (free radicals) stimulate cancer cells to commit suicide. Radiation and chemotherapy work in this way. That is why many experts recommend avoiding antioxidant supplements during chemo and radiation therapy. The body may naturally combat the early stages of cancer, too, in this way, when abnormal cells are forming. Consequently, scientists are working to discover the amounts and combinations of antioxidants that best protect our cells without interfering with this natural defense mechanism.

For now, you would be wise to limit major sources of oxidation damage and boost your intake of antioxidants through healthy eating. Major sources of oxidation damage are tobacco smoke and unprotected exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Since free radicals are formed when the body processes calories, avoiding excessive calories may also limit the oxidation damage to your body, as well as weight gain.

By following the mostly plant-based diet recommended by the American Institute for Cancer Research, your intake of antioxidants will rise. Most importantly, by eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, you will receive a wide range of antioxidants which science shows work most effectively together.

Source: AICR

Page Options:

Print-Friendly Version Print-Friendly Version

Sponsored Link

Free Subscriptions

The following free subscriptions from Diabetic Gourmet Magazine will keep you informed, up-to-date, and well-prepared for healthful and exuberant diabetes living. Sign up today to receive wonderful recipes, engaging articles, helpful and healthful tips, critically important news and more. Fill out the form below and press the subscription button.
Your Email Address:
Subscriptions to Choose From:
The Diabetic Newsletter
The Diabetic News
Daily Diabetic Recipe
Diabetic Gourmet Contest Alert
Last Step - Click the button below!

We do not share, rent, or sell our lists to anyone. Period.
Read our terms and privacy policy.


Diabetic Recipe Archive

Newest Top Rated Most Downloaded
Main Categories
Appetizers | Breads | Breakfast/Brunch
Desserts | Main Courses | Salads
Sandwiches/Wraps | Soups | Stew
Side Dishes | Sauces/Condiments
Holidays/Occasions | Regional/Ethnic
Ingredients
Fruit | Grains | Meat | Nuts | Poultry
Pasta | Seafood | Sweeteners | Vegetables | Herbs/Spices | Grains
Occasions & Holidays
Chanukah | Christmas | Thanksgiving
Easter | Fathers_Day | Halloween
4th of July | Mardis Gras
Oktoberfest | Passover | Cookouts
Saint_Patricks_Day | Superbowl
All Holidays / Occasions
Popular Searches
Diabetic Desserts | Diabetic Cake
Muffins | Zucchini Bread | Chicken
Cheesecakes | Blueberry Muffins
Diabetic Meatloaf Recipe | Shrimp
Slow Cooker Recipes | Side Dishes
Key Lime Pie | Peanut Butter Cookies
Banana Bread | Diabetic Cookies
Meatballs | Baked Chicken | Pies

All Diabetic Recipe Categories

Home : Food and Dining : How Much Do We Know About Antioxidants?
More Diabetes Information
Diabetic Recipes | Healthy Diabetic Living | Diabetic Cooking | Diabetes Forums | Diabetes News | Free Diabetic Newsletters
More Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Information
About | Magazine Sponsors | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms/Disclaimer | Diabetes Advertising

Copyright © 2014 CAPCO Marketing. All Rights Reserved.