The antioxidant advantage of the Mediterranean diet in cardiovascular disease
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Abstract: To date, discrepancy exists among scientific data in regard to the benefit of administering antioxidant vitamin supplementation to cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients or toward protecting those who are at risk. Data of conducted randomized-controlled clinical trials so far did not produce solid evidence for the benefit of supplementing such antioxidant vitamins. Several meta-analyses confirmed that there was no effect of such supplementation, and adverse effects resulted when vitamin E was given in high doses. Thus, there is no scientific or medical basis to recommend the use of antioxidant vitamin supplements for CVD risk reduction at present. Currently, recommendations focus more on the naturally-occurring vitamins and other phytochemical antioxidants found in common dietary items. With emphasis being directed to the adequacy of the diet to provide needed antioxidants, this article explores the aspect of adequacy of the Mediterranean-type diet and dietary habits of inhabitants of this region. Collectively, the Mediterranean diet consists of food items that contain a number of antioxidants, and thus is likely to be adequate in providing a dietary level of antioxidants. Such dietary patterns should be preserved and promoted for the derived benefits to reduce the risk of CVD in the long run.
Keywords: antioxidants, health, lifestyle, nutrition, phytochemicals, vitamins
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