Tags: antioxidant | heart | attack

Antioxidants Fend off Heart Attack: Study

Tuesday, 25 September 2012 12:38 PM

Women whose diets are high in total antioxidants have a significantly lower risk of heart attack than those who don’t consume as many of the beneficial natural compounds found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices.
That’s the key finding of a new Swedish study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, involving more than 32,500 women whose diets and heart health were tracked over a 10-year period.
"Our study was the first to look at the effect of all dietary antioxidants in relation to myocardial infarction [heart attack]," said lead investigator Alicja Wolk, a nutritional health specialist with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. "Total antioxidant capacity measures in a single value all antioxidants present in diet and the synergistic effects between them."
For the study, Wolk and colleagues tracked Swedish women – aged 49-83 years – from September 1997 through December 2007. The women were surveyed about how often, on average, they consumed particular types of antioxidant-rich foods and beverages during the last year. The investigators calculated estimates of total antioxidant intake based on the most common foods containing the beneficial compounds. The women were categorized into five groups, based how antioxidant-rich their diets were.
During the 10-year study, 1,114 women suffered a heart attack. Researchers found women in the group with the highest total antioxidant intake – consuming almost seven servings per day of fruit and vegetables – had a 20 percent lower risk of heart attack than those who consumed the least amounts (just 2.4 servings per day).
Wolk noted past studies have examined only the effects of single antioxidant supplements, not the combined effects of eating many foods with the compounds.
"In contrast to supplements of single antioxidants, the dietary total antioxidant capacity reflects all present antioxidants, including thousands of compounds, all of them in doses present in our usual diet, and even takes into account their synergistic effects," she explained.
In a commentary accompanying the article, Pamela Powers Hannley, the journal’s managing editor, noted only about 14 percent of U.S. adults and 9.5 percent of adolescents eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
"Although weight-loss diets abound in the US, the few which emphasize increasing intake of fruits and vegetables actually may be on the right track," she said.

© HealthDay

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Women whose diets are high in total antioxidants have a significantly lower risk of heart attack.
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 12:38 PM
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