Photodamage is known to occur in skin with exposure to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Such damage includes inflammation, oxidative stress, breakdown of the extracellular matrix, and development of cancer in the skin. Sun exposure is considered to be one of the most important risk factors for both nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers. Many phytonutrients have shown promise as photoprotectants in clinical, animal and cell culture studies. In part, the actions of these phytonutrients are thought to be through their actions as antioxidants. In regard to skin health, phytonutrients of interest include vitamin E, certain flavonoids, and the carotenoids, ß-carotene, lycopene and lutein.
Continue Reading » The Role of Phytonutrients Like Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene in Skin Health
The Antioxidant Role of Glutathione and N-Acetyl-Cysteine Supplements and Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress
An increase in exercise intensity is one of the many ways in which oxidative stress and free radical production has been shown to increase inside our cells. Effective regulation of the cellular balance between oxidation and antioxidation is important when considering cellular function and DNA integrity as well as the signal transduction of gene expression. Many pathological states, such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease have been shown to be related to the redox state of cells. In an attempt to minimize the onset of oxidative stress, supplementation with various known antioxidants has been suggested. Glutathione and N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) are antioxidants which are quite popular for their ability to minimize oxidative stress and the downstream negative effects thought to be associated with oxidative stress.
Growing consumer interest in grass-fed beef products has raised a number of questions with regard to the perceived differences in nutritional quality between grass-fed and grain-fed cattle. Research spanning three decades suggests that grass-based diets can significantly improve the fatty acid (FA) composition and antioxidant content of beef, albeit with variable impacts on overall palatability.
Grass-based diets have been shown to enhance total conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (C18:2) isomers, trans vaccenic acid (TVA) (C18:1 t11), a precursor to CLA, and omega-3 (n-3) FAs on a g/g fat basis. While the overall concentration of total saturated fatty acids (SFA) is not different between feeding regimens, grass-finished beef tends toward a higher proportion of cholesterol neutral stearic FA (C18:0), and less cholesterol-elevating SFAs such as myristic (C14:0) and palmitic (C16:0) fatty acids. Several studies suggest that grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries. Fat conscious consumers will also prefer the overall lower fat content of a grass-fed beef product. However, consumers should be aware that the differences in FA content will also give grass-fed beef a distinct grass flavor and unique cooking qualities that should be considered when making the transition from grain-fed beef. In addition, the fat from grass-finished beef may have a yellowish appearance from the elevated carotenoid content (precursor to Vitamin A). It is also noted that grain-fed beef consumers may achieve similar intakes of both n-3 and CLA through the consumption of higher fat grain-fed portions.
Vitamin E and C for Strength and Bodybuilding: Should You Take Them for Exercise Induced Oxidative Stress?
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals (pro-oxidant molecules) and the body's oxidative defense mechanisms. Primarily the free radicals in our bodies are derived from the consumption of oxygen but there are many possible radical species. The basic definition is a particle that contains one or more unpaired electrons and this can be true of many different substances. However the most important ones for us are those derived from oxygen or nitrogen. They are called reactive oxygen/nitrogen species or RONS for short.
Sports success is dependent primarily on genetic endowment in athletes with morphologic, psychologic, physiologic and metabolic traits specific to performance characteristics vital to their sport. Such genetically-endowed athletes must also receive optimal training to increase physical power, enhance mental strength, and provide a mechanical advantage. However, athletes often attempt to go beyond training and use substances and techniques, often referred to as ergogenics[[footnote]]Ergogenic aids are any external influences that can be determined to enhance performance. These include mechanical aids, pharmacological aids, physiological aids, nutritional aids, and psychological aids.
Continue Reading » Vitamins and Sports Performance