Antioxidants in the mediterranean diet
Sommaire de l'article
It has been suggested that antioxidant vitamins or other antioxidants might inhibit the oxidation of low density lipoproteins into a particularly atherogenic form and preserve endothelial function. Antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet have been evaluated in relation to cardiovascular disease protection in this area. Observational epidemiologic data obtained from case-control, cohort or cross-cultural studies have consistently suggested that persons, such as those living in the Mediterranean area, who consume large amounts of antioxidant vitamins have a lower than average risk of cardiovascular disease. In another cross-cultural comparison, dietary intake, antioxidant status and plasma lipid peroxidation were compared in healthy young persons in Naples (Southern Italy) who consumed typical regional foods, and in Bristol (UK). The Naples group consumed more tomatoes and tomato juice, a higher proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids (from olive oil) and had a higher level of lipid antioxidant vitamin E (P = 0.005) and of beta carotene (P < 0.001) than the Bristol group. The intake of vitamin C, fresh fruit and vegetables, plasma vitamin A, serum selenium and copper levels did not differ. Several indices of plasma lipid peroxidation were significantly lower in the Naples group: conjugated dienes (P < 0.001), diene conjugation index (P = 0.019), lipid peroxides (P < 0.001). Dietary habits leading to relatively low levels of oxidized lipoproteins might contribute to the lower risk of coronary artery disease in Southern Italy.