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Herbs and Natural Supplements, Volume 2 - 4th Edition
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Journal Articles Elsevier Ambassador Blog. ISBN : Publication Date : Stock Status : In Stock. Product Description Herbs and Natural Supplements, 4th Edition: An evidence-based guide is an authoritative, evidence-based reference. Antioxidants are still added to breakfast cereals, sports bars, energy drinks, and other processed foods, and they are promoted as additives that can prevent heart disease, cancer, cataracts, memory loss, and a host of other conditions.
Randomized, placebo-controlled trials—which, when performed well, provide the strongest evidence—offer little support that taking vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, or other single antioxidants provides substantial protection against heart disease, cancer, or other chronic conditions. The results of the largest such trials have been mostly negative. Although the final chapter has not been written on vitamin E. However, the trial did observe a significant 24 percent reduction in total cardiovascular mortality.
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Although this was not a primary endpoint for the trial, it nevertheless represents an extremely important outcome. Earlier large vitamin E trials, conducted among individuals with previously diagnosed coronary disease or at high risk for it, generally showed no benefit. A recent trial of vitamin E in Israel, for example, showed a marked reduction in coronary heart disease among people with type 2 diabetes who have a common genetic predisposition for greater oxidative stress. A study from the Journal of Respiratory Research found that different isoforms of vitamin E called tocopherols had opposing effects on lung function What about combinations?
The findings are complicated and not entirely clear. MAX study, 13, French men and women took a single daily capsule that contained milligrams of vitamin C, 30 milligrams of vitamin E, 6 milligrams of beta-carotene, micrograms of selenium, and 20 milligrams of zinc, or a placebo, for seven and a half years. The vitamins had no effect on overall rates of cardiovascular disease.
When it comes to cancer prevention, the picture remains inconclusive for some antioxidant supplements. Few trials have gone on long enough to provide an adequate test for cancer. MAX trial 7 showed a reduction in cancer risk and all-cause mortality among men taking an antioxidant cocktail but no apparent effect in women, possibly because men tended to have low blood levels of beta-carotene and other vitamins at the beginning of the study.
A randomized trial of selenium in people with skin cancer demonstrated significant reductions in cancer and cancer mortality at various sites, including colon, lung, and prostate. This is the one bright spot for antioxidant vitamins.
Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype
A six-year trial, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study AREDS , found that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc offered some protection against the development of advanced age-related macular degeneration, but not cataract, in people who were at high risk of the disease. However, relatively short trials of lutein supplementation for age-related macular degeneration have yielded conflicting findings. This trial could yield more definitive information about antioxidants and macular degeneration. The first inkling came in a large trial of beta-carotene conducted among men in Finland who were heavy smokers, and therefore at high risk for developing lung cancer.
The trial was stopped early when researchers saw a significant increase in lung cancer among those taking the supplement compared to those taking the placebo. Again an increase in lung cancer was seen in the supplement group. Another possible red flag: In the SU. MAX trial, rates of skin cancer were higher in women who were assigned to take vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc. But keep in mind that most of the trials conducted up to now have had fundamental limitations due to their relatively short duration and having been conducted in persons with existing disease.
At the same time, abundant evidence suggests that eating whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—all rich in networks of antioxidants and their helper molecules—provides protection against many of these scourges of aging. Arch Intern Med. Effects of long-term vitamin E supplementation on cardiovascular events and cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E after myocardial infarction: results of the GISSI-Prevenzione trial.