A publication in the latest issue of The American Journal of Medicine indicated the role of dietary antioxidants in reducing myocardial infarction.

The research was undertaken at the Institute of Environmental Medicine in Sweden.


Study on the effect of antioxidants on a woman’s heart

The research was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Alicja Wolk. The scientist and her team studied data of 32,561 Swedish women in the age group of 49-83 years.

They followed their data from 1997 to 2007 and compiled the results into a questionnaire which required the respondents to give the frequency and average consumption patterns of different types of food and beverages in the last one year.

Using this information, the scientists estimated the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of the participants using a database that provides the radical absorption capacity of common foods in the USA. Accordingly, the women were classified into 5 groups.

Outcomes of the study

Among the participants, 1114 women had suffered myocardial infarction. On comparing their data and TAC measurements they found that the women who had high TAC were 20% less prone to the condition. These women were found to consume 7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

This was almost 3 times more than those who ranked least in the TAC readings; such women consumed only 2.4 servings per day. The study also showed that intake of synthetic antioxidant supplements did not impact the cause of coronary heart disease positivity as did dietary intake of antioxidants.

According to Dr. Wolk, the measurement of TAC of a person as compared to a single antioxidant capacity (SAC) is helpful in determining the synergistic effects of all the compounds present in the antioxidants.

Recommendation by the commentator

The outcomes of this study have led the commentator of the article Dr. Pamela to make recommendations asking women to include more natural foods – fruits & vegetables as compared to processed foods in their diet. With coronary heart disease being the major cause of mortality among women, the study becomes all the more important.

It throws light on how the inclusion of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can increase the antioxidants in our body and the subsequent reduction in risk of myocardial infarction.

So it is high time American women increased their dietary intake of antioxidants in order to safeguard themselves from the risk of coronary heart disease.