[PHNUTR-L] Antioxidants Proven To Be Key To Long Life
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Fri Aug 12 05:46:04 PDT 2005
Colleagues, the following is FYI and does not necessarily reflect my own
opinion. I have no further knowledge of the topic.
Antioxidants Proven To Be Key To Long Life
09 Aug 2005
Boosting the body's levels of natural antioxidants could be the key to a
long life, according to US scientists.
Mice engineered to produce high levels of an antioxidant enzyme lived
20% longer and had less heart and other age-related diseases. If the
same is true in humans, people could live beyond 100 years. The
University of Washington work backs the idea that highly reactive oxygen
molecules, called free radicals, cause ageing. Free radicals have been
linked with heart disease, cancer and other age-related diseases.
The International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2004 published
results showing that Reishi caused a significant post-ingestion increase
in plasma antioxidant capacity with peak response at 90 min. Increase in
urine antioxidant capacity was seen within 3 hours. Results indicate
that Reishi intake causes an acute increase in plasma antioxidant capacity.
Reishi is a powerful antioxidant; in a laboratory study Reishi
significantly elevated the free radical scavenging ability of blood and
was so strong that even after the Reishi extract was absorbed and
metabolized the scavenging effect still continued. A compound called GLB
7 actually decreases the production of oxygen free radicals. Dr.
Vladimir Kupin of the Cancer Research Centre in Moscow discovered that
Reishi was more effective as a free radical scavenger than isolated
refined compounds. A laboratory study with fruit flies that have a very
similar genetic make up to humans and are often used in experiments
proved that Reishi significantly lengthened the life span of those that
had been fed Reishi compared to controls.
Cancer and Dietary Antioxidants
Epidemiological studies show that a high intake of anti-oxidant-rich
foods is inversely related to cancer risk. Animal and cell cultures
confirm the anticancer effects of antioxidants. Selenium and vitamin E
reduced the risk of some forms of cancer, including prostate and colon
cancer and carotenoids have been shown to help reduce breast cancer risk.
Cancer treatment by radiation and anticancer drugs reduces inherent
antioxidants and induces oxidative stress, which increases with disease
progression. While clinical studies on the effect of anti-oxidants in
modulating cancer treatment are limited in number and size, experimental
studies show that antioxidant vitamins and some herbs selectively induce
apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells but not in normal cells and
prevent angiogenesis and metastatic spread, suggesting a potential role
for antioxidants as adjuvants in cancer therapy. Reishi has been shown
to suppress cell adhesion and cell migration of highly invasive breast
and prostate cancer cells, suggesting its potency to reduce tumor
Accumulation of excess free radicals causing oxidative damage to cells
is one of the contributing factors in ageing and has been implicated in
many diseases, including cancer. The human immune system and antioxidant
activity becomes weaker and less efficient with age; this reduced
effectiveness helps to explain the rising incidence of cancer and life
threatening infections in older people. It is thought antioxidant
supplements could help to maintain bodily processes and prevent a
significant number of degenerative diseases, especially those of the
immune, cardiovascular and liver functions. Indeed, antioxidant
supplementation has shown a remarkable ability to forestall age related
changes to the immune system and even reverse many aspects of immune
function in subjects with damaged immune functions.
Extracts from medicinal mushrooms are classified as nutraceuticals, i.e.
dietary supplements. Functional food science is a rapidly evolving
discipline researching ways to maintain good health and improve
homeostasis and thus create conditions for reducing the risk of disease.
It is quite distinct from medical and pharmaceutical sciences where the
objectives are mainly to eliminate, cure or control diseases rather than
to fortify the patient and prevent disease. Functional foods are poised
to play an increasingly important role in developed nations to curtail
spiraling health care budgets.
It is widely recognized that diet has a critical role in general health
and that many types of cancer can be linked to inappropriate diets.
Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables (functional foods) are now
considered essential ingredients in cancer and coronary disease
prevention programs, e.g. the Department Of Health campaign advocating 5
portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Cancer Research UK note,
‘Dietary supplements consisting of whole mushroom extracts are becoming
increasingly popular. Unlike most dietary supplements, mushroom dietary
supplements contain a veritable Pandora's box of compounds'.
+44 01296 425744
Howell at lifeforce-herbs.co.uk
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
"Ask the Parkinson Dietitian" http://www.parkinson.org/
"Eat well, stay well with Parkinson's disease"
"Parkinson's disease: Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy"
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