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Adding more natural antioxidants to diet can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease in elderly
In this study, researchers from the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Poland evaluated the total antioxidant capacity of food intake among the elderly in Krakow, Poland; the contribution of particular food products in Dietary Antioxidant Index (DAI); the consumption of all dietary fats by the elderly; and the frequency of their fats consumption. Their results were published in the journal Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine.
According to previous studies, proper intake of fats and of antioxidants from food offers significant protection against coronary heart disease.
The researchers assessed the dietary intake of elderly people in Poland to determine if they are getting their nutritional needs, including sufficient amounts of antioxidants, to prevent heart disease.
The study involved 143 elderly people (73 women and 70 men) aged 65 to 80 who were not under specialist medical control for heart disease.
The researchers evaluated DAI using food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) which included 145 food items. They expressed measured DAI as FRAP.
They estimated daily fat intake using 24-hour nutritional recall and the frequency of fats consumption using FFQ.
The researchers reported that the mean DAI value among the elderly was 34.27 + 11.72 millimoles per liter (mmol/l).
A large percentage of them had FRAP values ranging from 25 to 35 mmol/l.
Fruits (32 percent), grains and cereal-based products (23.6 percent), and beverages (24 percent) had the highest contributions to the total DAI value. Vegetables only contributed 7.1 percent.
The contribution of other food products to the total DAI was very small.
The consumption of total fats and saturated fatty acids among the elderly exceeded the recommended amounts for their age. Their consumption of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids was also not in accordance with recommendations.
The elderly consumed high amounts of cakes and animal fats from sausages and butter. Their intake of vegetable oils, fish, nuts, and seeds was very low.
The researchers concluded that the majority of the elderly were making wrong nutritional choices. The enrichment in natural antioxidants from diet and the normalization of fats consumption are important for the primary and secondary prophylaxis of cardiovascular disease.