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Antioxidants may help fight depression

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By David Liu, PHD

Sunday Nov 25, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Eating antioxidant rich fruit and vegetables but not taking antioxidant supplements may help prevent depression, according to a study recently published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

M.E. Payne and colleagues conducted the case-control study and found that intakes of vitamin C, lutein, and beta cryptoxanthin and consumption of fruit and vegetables was lower in people with depression.

Previous studies have found depression linked to both antioxidant levels and oxidant stress, but how intakes of antioxidants and antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables affect depression risk remains unknown, according to the authors.

The researchers analysed data on intakes of antioxidants, fruit and vegetables from 144 cases of depression and 134 controls without depression who completed a Block 1998 food frequency questionnaire between 1999 and 2007.   Participants were aged 60 years or older.
After adjustment for age, gender, education, vascular comorbidity score, body mass index, dietary fat intake, alcohol drinking, vitamin C, beta cryptoxanthin, fruits and vegetable intakes remained significant.

Also antioxidant, fruit and vegetable intakes were found lower in people with late-life depression than those without the condition.

However, antioxidants from dietary supplements were not correlated with depression.

The researchers concluded "These associations may partially explain the elevated risk of cardiovascular disease among older individuals with depression. In addition, these findings point to the importance of antioxidant food sources rather than dietary supplements."

Antioxidants like vitamin C and E and mineral selenium are extremely important in helping prevent chronic diseases, particularly those related to inflammation, and slower the aging process.

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