There is strong supporting epidemiological evidence and a plausible scientific rationale for increasing intake of antioxidants from food as an effective means of prolong healthy life. Higher intake of fruits and vegetables can achieve this.
The benefits of consuming generous servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis have been clearly established.
Fruits and vegetables significantly increase blood levels of antioxidant vitamins (beta –carotene and vitamins C and E) and folate and reduce the level of homcysteine as well as reduce concentrations of various markers that are elevated during oxidative stress, such as malondialdehyde (a marker of lipid peroxidation) and 8-hydroxyguanosine (a marker of DNA oxidation).
Free radicals are formed in one-electron reactions by transition metals, ionizing radiation or endogenous enzymes such as xanthine oxidase and nitric oxide synthase.
Fruits and vegetables contain many natural primary (scavenging) or secondary (chelating) antioxidants that might directly prevent radical-induced damage to cellular structures including DNA.
Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables
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