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Antioxidants Vitamins Supplements as Food SourcesA2 Coursework

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Food Sources, Antioxidants, Vitamins, Supplements

Steps of how antioxidants work

People are advised to consume vegetables, carrots and tea because they are good for their health. The reason for this is that the foods have antioxidants. Capsules and tablets of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E have seen rising consumption in the recent years because they have been established as having properties of antioxidants.

Free radicals are chemical compounds that contain one or more unpaired electrons. The initiation step is the step used to refer to the step used to produce a radical. A dot is often used to represent a radical in chemical formulas.

A radical is capable of donating to a different molecule an odd electron. It can also rob a molecule of its electron and combine with another radical. The combination of two radicals is referred to as a termination step.

Step 3.

If an electron is donated or stolen by the initial radical, there is production of a second radical which may then react. The leads to a continuous propagation until the process is terminated.

Step 4.

Because of the composition of cell membranes, they are very sensitive to the reaction of radicals. Cell membranes are made up of fatty acids. But alpha-tocopherol can also be found in the cell membranes. The transfer of electrons to the alpha-tocopherol from the peroxyl radical does restore the fatty acid and so the cell membrane's structure is retained. The formed tocopherol's chemical structure ensures its chemical stability. Tocopherol is not as reactive as other radicals. It does not immediately attempt to rob electrons from surrounding molecules. There is time still to go to the cell membrane's surface where it picks up an electron. The alpha-tocopherol is thus restored. The ability of the alpha-tocopherol to literally pick up electrons and transport them is what gives it its antioxidant properties (Medicinal Food News).

What is their role in disease prevention?

Eating vegetables and fruits have several benefits. Vitamin E as an antioxidant is very good for the health of the heart. It is capable of cleaning the arteries of bad cholesterol and so allowing the vessels to remain elastic and so maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Negative effects of diabetes can also be guarded against by antioxidants. Free radicals are even more active in a diabetic condition. With the fruits as well as vegetables producing the needed antioxidants, the free radicals may face neutralization, and so the heart, blood vessels and the kidneys are protected from damage. Free radicals can result in the growth of cancer cells. Colon, pancreatic, esophagus, bladder, breast, stomach and prostate cancers have been linked to free radicals. While the consumption of vegetables and fruits is not a complete insurance against cancer, it helps the body fight cancer in tremendous ways. Antioxidants may be of help by neutralizing cancer cells especially before their mass development. A Harvard Study revealed that men eating tomato-based foods were 35% less likely to develop cases of prostate cancer than their colleagues that did not or ate very low amounts. Antioxidants can slow down the effects of the aging process. Free radicals destroy the cells that help retain the youthful look of the body. Eating vegetables and fruits can therefore help you look younger and improve your immunity. It also helps with memory as brain cells can be injured by free radicals (Antioxidants World).

Where are omega-3 fats found?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are useful for the functioning of the body but the human body is not capable of producing them on its own. They are therefore taken in through food. Fish, halibut, tuna, salmon, and seafood like nut oils, krill and algae are rich sources of Omega-3s. They are especially useful in helping in the functioning of the brain as well as normal growth and development (University of Maryland Medical Center).

List of diseases they may play a role in

1. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

2. Schizophrenia

3. Bipolar disorder

4. Depression

5. Osteoporosis

6. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

7. Rhematoid arthritis

8. Diabetes

9. Heart disease

10. High blood pressure

11. High cholesterol

How do they help or prevent these diseases?

Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids help in the reduction of inflammation. They can also be instrumental in reducing the risk of chronic illnesses like arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. The concentration of omega-3 fatty acids is high in the brain and it seems they play a role in cognition as well as behavioral function. Actually, infants that fail to get sufficient omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy risk developing nerve and vision issues. The symptoms that indicate that omega-3s are deficient in the body include poor blood circulation, depression, mood swings, heart problems, dry skin, poor memory, and fatigue. There are different kinds of omega-3 fatty acids and this can be a bit confusing at times. They include fish oils containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as well as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and sources containing alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (WebMD).

What are some of the proposed effects of wine and tea on a person's health?

Research indicates that tea and red wine can be very helpful in blood sugar regulation for people having type 2 diabetes. Blood glucose levels rise steeply after a meal in people with type 2 diabetes. Tea and red wine have antioxidants, which can be of help in slowing down the passing of glucose into the individual's bloodstream from the small intestines. This guards against a sugar spike (Mercola.com).

A study sampling over 81,000 women found out that increasing fluid intake does reduce kidney stone risk significantly and the highest level of reduction in risk was in the consumption of wines. Of the seventeen beverages compared, wine performed best. It beat water, milk, fruit juices, coffee and tea among others. Moderately consuming wine (not including spirits or beer) is linked to reduced risk of developing kidney stone. The belief of the authors is that protective effects of wine may be because of the disease-fighting components (Beekman wines and liquors).

There have been claims that milk helps you lose weight, are these claims valid?

There is evidence supporting the claim that consuming high amounts of calcium through dairy products helps promote weight loss. University of Tennessee researchers did find that calcium in mice fat cells influence their metabolism. In one of the studies, the mice were fed high fat and high sugar diet for a period of 6 weeks. The body fat increase was by 27%. The researchers then put the rats on various low-calorie diets. One group was given calcium supplements; the second group was given dairy products while the last group was given just a low-calorie diet. The fat loss in the mice groups varied as the first lost just 8%, the mice on calcium supplements lost 42% and those who had been consuming dairy products lost 69% of the fat put on. On trying these tactics on obese humans, the results were most profound on those who were on dairy products (Weil).

Do you think advertising has misled the general public on the research?

Yes.

List dietary factors and nutrition principles that the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Health Organization (WHO) state can help prevent cancer.

Cancer is often a result of the interaction of environmental, genetic, and dietary risk factors. The dietary factors, physical activity included, accounts for almost a third of all cases of cancers. The evidence that support certain dietary recommendations to help reduce cancer is not very consistent. Consuming whole grains, vegetables and fruits has the strongest evidence as far reducing the risk of cancer is concerned (Williams and Hord).

Dietary factors which probably reduce risk

Fruits and vegetables

Generally, high intakes of fruits and vegetables reduce the oral cavity, stomach, esophagus and colorectum cancer risk (Key, Schatzkin and Willet).

Key Dietary Principles for Cancer Prevention

The list below has the most significant dietary factors to help maintain a healthy weight -- which is highly recommended if you are trying to avoid cancer. It also gives recommendations on how to reduce being exposed to carcinogens in food.

Consume less red meat, processed meat and saturated fat.

Limit charred and salt-cured foods.

Consume more whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

Alcohol consumption should be moderate (Bellows and Moore).

Role of magnesium in diabetes prevention

There are several studies looking into what role magnesium plays in ensuring that metabolism runs efficiently especially as concerns glucose regulation and insulin sensitivity. Higher intake of magnesium reduces one's risk of impaired insulin and glucose risk and also slows down the speed of pre-diabetes progress to diabetes. Research supports the claim that magnesium intake might be helpful in reducing the risk of developing diabetes among the high risk. Further, meta-analyzing 7 studies revealed that diabetes risk drops by 15% for every 100 mg of magnesium consumed daily (Mercola).

What are some food sources that are high in magnesium?

Swiss chard, green leafy vegetables and seaweed are very… [END OF PREVIEW]

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