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
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 ergogenics1, in attempts to gain a competitive advantage. Pharmacological agents, such as anabolic steroids and amphetamines, have been used in the past, but such practices by athletes have led to the establishment of anti-doping legislation and effective testing protocols to help deter their use. Thus, many athletes have turned to various dietary strategies, including the use of various dietary supplements (sports supplements), which they presume to be effective, safe and legal.
Continue Reading » Vitamins and Sports Performance