Research - Fruit & Vegetable Antioxidant benefits

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Research - Fruit & Vegetable Antioxidant benefits

Postby Canuck Singh » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:58 pm

Fruits & vegetables:
Roberts and associates from the University of Reading, in the UK investigated whether increasing fruit and vegetable intake could significantly increase concentrations of antioxidants and resistance to cell damage from free radicals (lipid peroxidation).

A group of 18 smokers supplemented with 4 g of amoebic oil (1200 mg eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA], 828 mg DHA) for a period of 9 weeks. At weeks 1-3, these subjects consumed their usual diet and then from weeks 4-6, they increased their fruit and vegetable intake by 5 portions per day. At weeks 7-9, subjects returned to their usual diet.

Some intriguing findings were observed. For example, by simply increasing their intake of fruits and vegetables, plasma ascorbic acid (vitamin C) concentrations increased by 26% in weeks 4-6. Also, plasma concentrations of lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene (other key antioxidants) increased when fruit and vegetable intake improved. And susceptibility of LDL oxidation decreased after 3 weeks of enhanced fruit and vegetable consumption. Oxidation of LDL (the bad) cholesterol is a major factor in heart disease.

The researchers concluded that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption enhances plasma antioxidant capacity and seems to improve oxidative stability of LDL cholesterol even in smokers! Most importantly, five portions of fruit and vegetables per day are sufficient to produce significant physiologic benefits.

Your mom was right, you got to eat your fruit and vegetables!

Ref Conference Report from the Current Issues Concerning Optimum Nutrition and Health Outcomes. The UK Nutrition Society: Summer Meeting and Nutrition Society Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. July 10-12, 2001
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