Posted on Oct 22, 2012, 6 a.m.
A diet rich antioxidant vitamins helps to reduce the risk of heart attacks, in women.
The dietary total antioxidant capacity is a measure of all antioxidants present – including thousands of compounds present in the usual diet, factoring in possible synergistic effects. Alicja Wolk, from the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), and colleagues studied 32,561 Swedish women, ages 49 to 83 years, who were free of cardiovascular disease at the study’s start, and followed them for a ten-year period. The participants were surveyed for diet habits, and dietary total antioxidant capacity was calculated using oxygen radical absorbance capacity values. National hospital registries were utilized to track incidence of myocardial infarction (heart attack). During the follow-up period, 1114 cases of myocardial infarction occurred. The team calculated that the women with the highest quintile of dietary total antioxidant capacity (7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day) were at 20% lower risk of heart attack, as compared to those who were in the lowest quintile (2.4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day). The study authors conclude that: “These data suggest that dietary total antioxidant capacity, based on fruits, vegetables, coffee, and whole grains, is of importance in the prevention of myocardial infarction.”
Rautiainen S, Levitan EB, Orsini N, Akesson A, Morgenstern R, Mittleman MA, Wolk A. “Total antioxidant capacity from diet and risk of myocardial infarction: a prospective cohort of women.” Am J Med. 2012 Oct;125(10):974-80.