Quest Vitamins LTD,
Issue # 66.1 - Benefits of Anti Oxidants
Antioxidants and physical performance in elderly persons
A study was carried out to assess the correlation of plasma concentrations and daily intakes of antioxidants with skeletal muscle strength and physical performance in the elderly. 986 Italians aged over 65 had their physical performance assessed on the basis of walking speed, ability to rise from a chair, standing balance and knee extension. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the daily dietary intakes of vitamin C, vitamin E, B-carotene, and retinol. Of the daily dietary intake measures, vitamin C and B-carotene were significantly correlated with knee extension strength, and vitamin C was significantly associated with physical performance. This shows that plasma antioxidant concentrations correlate positively with physical performance and strength. Higher dietary intakes of most antioxidants, especially vitamin C, appear to be associated with higher skeletal muscular strength in elderly persons.
Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:289-94
Benefit to endurance athletes?
The influence of an antioxidant vitamin supplement on immune cell response to prolonged exercise was determined using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Following a 3-week period during which subjects ingested a multivitamin and -mineral complex sufficient to meet the recommended daily allowance, they took either a placebo or an antioxidant vitamin supplement containing 900 mg vitamin C and other antioxidants. Blood samples were drawn prior to and immediately following exercise. Plasma vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene concentrations significantly increased following 7-day supplementation. Although the impact of exercise on neutrophil function is multifactorial, the data suggest that antioxidant supplementation may be of benefit to endurance athletes for the maintenance of this particular function of the innate immune system following the 7-day supplementation period.
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Sep;13(3):369-81
Antioxidant supplementation and Alzheimer's disease
It has been suggested that antioxidants may protect the ageing brain against oxidative damage associated with pathological changes of Alzheimer disease and a recent study set out to test this hypothesis. The relationship between the use of antioxidant supplements and the risk of Alzheimer's disease was examined in a cross-sectional and prospective study involving 4740 subjects aged 65 years or older. From the results, the authors concluded that the use of vitamin E and C supplements in combination was associated with a reduced prevalence and incidence of Alzheimer's disease and that antioxidant supplements merit further study as agents for the primary prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
Arch Neurol. 2004 Jan;61(1):82-8.
Vitamin C supplementation, smoking and infertility treatment
A recent prospective study investigated the influence of vitamin C supplementation on the outcome of infertility treatment with in vitro fertilisation and embryonic transfer in females. 76 women participated in the study (38 smokers, 38 non-smokers), half of the subjects (19 smokers and 19 non-smokers) were assigned to take 500mg in a form allowing for gradual release over 8 - 12 hours. The control group consisted of the same number of smokers and non-smokers. The success of the infertility treatment was evaluated based on the number of pregnancies. The results showed that vitamin C supplementation resulted in a higher number of pregnancies and that this effect was greatest in the non-smokers group. Overall the pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the non-smoking group, which provides a reason for asking women to give up smoking before undergoing infertility treatment.
Cent Eur J Public Health. 2003 Jun;11(2):63-7