Diet High in Total Antioxidants Associated with Lower Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Women
New findings reported in The American Journal of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA, September 21, 2012 – Coronary heart disease is a major cause of death in women. A new study has found that a diet rich in antioxidants, mainly from fruits and vegetables, can significantly reduce the risk of myocardial infarction. The study is published in the October issue of The American Journal of Medicine.
“Our study was the first to look at the effect of all dietary antioxidants in relation to myocardial infarction,” says lead investigator Alicja Wolk, DrMedSci, Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. “Total antioxidant capacity measures in a single value all antioxidants present in diet and the synergistic effects between them.”
The study followed 32,561 Swedish women aged 49-83 from September 1997 through December 2007. The women completed a food-frequency questionnaire in which they were asked how often, on average, they consumed each type of food or beverage during the last year. The investigators calculated estimates of total antioxidant capacity from a database that measures the oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) of the most common foods in the United States (no equivalent database of Swedish foods exists). The women were categorized into five groups of total antioxidant capacity of diet.
During the study, 1,114 women suffered a myocardial infarction. Women in the group with the highest total antioxidant capacity had a 20% lower risk, and they consumed almost 7 servings per day of fruit and vegetables, which was nearly 3 times more than the women with the least antioxidant capacity, who on average consumed 2.4 servings.
Dr. Wolk notes that trials testing high doses of antioxidant supplements have failed to see any benefit on coronary heart disease and, in fact, in one study higher all-cause mortality was reported. “In contrast to supplements of single antioxidants, the dietary total antioxidant capacity reflects all present antioxidants, including thousands of compounds, all of them in doses present in our usual diet, and even takes into account their synergistic effects,” she explains.
In a commentary accompanying the article, Pamela Powers Hannley, MPH, Managing Editor of The American Journal of Medicine, observes that with the industrialization of our food supply, Americans began to consume more total calories and more calories from processed food high in fat and sugar. As a result, obesity rates began to climb steadily. “Although weight-loss diets abound in the US, the few which emphasize increasing intake of fruits and vegetables actually may be on the right track,” she says. “Yet only 14% of American adults and 9.5% of adolescents eat five or more servings of fruits or vegetables a day.”
# # #
Notes for Editors
"Total Antioxidant Capacity from Diet and Risk of Myocardial Infarction: A Prospective Cohort of Women,” by S. Rautiainen, E.B. Levitan, N.Orsini, A. Åkesson, R. Morgenstern, M.A. Mittleman, A. Wolk. (doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2012.03.008). It appears in The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 125, Issue 10 (October 2012) published by Elsevier.
“Back to the Future: Rethinking the Way We Eat,” by P.P. Hannley (doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2012.07.012). It appears in The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 125, Issue 10 (October 2012) published by Elsevier.
Full text of the articles is available to credentialed journalists upon request. Contact Jane Grochowski at +1 406 542 8397or email@example.com to obtain copies. To schedule an interview with the authors please contact Susanne Rautiainen at +1 617-460-9596, firstname.lastname@example.org or Alicja Wolk +46 852486170, Alicja.Wolk@ki.se. Pamela Powers Hannley may be reached at email@example.com.
About The American Journal Of Medicine
The American Journal of Medicine (http://www.amjmed.com), known as the “Green Journal,” is one of the oldest and most prestigious general internal medicine journals published in the United States. It has an Impact Factor of 5.43, which ranks it 13 out of 153 General and Internal Medicine titles according to the 2011 Journal Citation Reports® published by Thomson Reuters.
AJM, the official journal of The Association of Professors of Medicine, a group comprised of chairs of departments of internal medicine at 125-plus U.S. medical schools, publishes peer-reviewed, original scientific studies that have direct clinical significance. The information contained in this article in The American Journal of Medicine is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and the Journal recommends consultation with your physician or healthcare professional. AJM is published by Elsevier.
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps institutions and professionals advance healthcare, open science and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support and professional education, including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 38,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professionals and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com
+1 406 542 8397