View Full Version : Antioxidant Vitamins for Heart Disease Prevention - Helpful or Harmful?

03-26-2010, 09:29 AM
Several international scientific studies have found a favorable relationship between antioxidant vitamins and heart diseaase. Antioxidant supplements include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), a-tocopherol (vitamin E), folate, -carotene (a vitamin A precursor), ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10), bioflavonoids and selenium. The most commonly used vitamins are vitamin C and E.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It helps the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It helps form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Foods that tend to be the highest sources of vitamin C include green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. Other excellent sources include papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapples.

Vitamin E is fat soluble and has antioxidant properties. It is found in vegetable and seed oils, in wheat germ and, in smaller quantities, in meats, fish, fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene has antioxidant, immuno-modulatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherogenic activity. It is found in dietary carotenoids including fruits, yellow-orange vegetables (e.g., carrots, squash and sweet potatoes) and deep-green vegetables (e.g., spinach and broccoli).

01-31-2011, 10:09 AM
Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols, ascorbic acid or polyphenols.