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This is the first book to integrate the biological, nutritional, and health aspects of antioxidant status. Fifty contributors integrate and transfer the knowledge of free radicals and antioxidants from the test tube to the laboratory of the biologist, clinical nutritionist, and medical researcher, as well as to the office of the dietician, nutritionist, and physician. Topics examined include factors affecting and methods for evaluating antioxidant status in humans; effect of diet and physiological stage (infancy, aging, exercise, alcoholism, HIV infection, etc.) on antioxidant status; and the role of antioxidant status in nutrition, health, and disease.
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Interest in the role of antioxidants in nutrition and health surged after major epidemiological studies showed strong correlation between high intake of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants, and reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers. In their effort to identify the beneficial com-pounds in fruits and vegetables, researchers found strong associations be-tween individual antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C and beta-carotene, and lower incidence of chronic disease.
Enthusiasm peaked in 1993 after two major epidemiological studies with approximately 128,000 health professionals showed a strong association be-tween high intake of vitamin E and lower risk of heart disease. One year later, however, this enthusiasm was dampened substantially when the first of three intervention clinical studies suggested that beta-carotene does not reduce the risk of heart disease and lung cancer and may even increase the risk of lung cancer for current smokers.
The heated debate that followed underscored the complex interactions of antioxidants and the effect of dose, chemical form, formulation, physiological stage, diet, environmental factors and other conditions on the antioxidant status in humans. It also helped expand the focus of research from the vita-mins E and C and ?-carotene to other nutrients and phytochemicals with an-tioxidant activity. Research on the role of antioxidants in human health has now advanced from basic metabolic, animal and epidemiological studies to major full-scale intervention studies and is producing valuable new knowledge. There is a very strong public interest to apply this knowledge in nutritional programs and public health recommendations. To achieve this, it is necessary to under-stand the factors, which affect the antioxidant status in humans and the meth-ods for evaluating it. It is also essential to integrate the knowledge and expe-rience of the diverse groups conducting this research, which include chemists and biochemists, physiologists, nutritionists and dietitians and physicians and other health professionals. This book aims to meet this need. Specifically this book integrates our knowledge of the basic chemistry of free radicals and antioxidants with practical aspects of the effects of diet and nutrition and physiological stage on the antioxidant status and its impact on health and disease. For example, it helps the reader understand the role of the diet on antioxidant status including absorption, bioavailability, transport and tissue uptake of antioxidants and their interactions with other food compo-nents and the gut microflora. It also discusses the effect of physiological stage such as infancy, aging, exercise and disease on the antioxidant status; other issues, such as optimum intake, supplementation and long-term safety, which are of critical importance for putting this knowledge to practical use; and fi-nally, it reviews the effect of antioxidants and antioxidant status on health and disease.
Prominent international experts from academia, research institutes and industry, review the research, discuss current issues and propose practical applications in nutrition and health. I believe that the caliber and diversity of the contributors ensures a wide perspective on the status of our knowledge and a balanced discussion of the issues.
I hope that this book will help physicians and other health professionals, nutritionists and dietitians to evaluate and apply the increasing knowledge of antioxidants and their role in nutrition and health. It may also serve as valu-able resource for academic and industry researchers, especially for identifying the major practical issues in evaluating in humans concepts developed from basic research. Finally, I hope that this book will be a useful reference for students in human nutrition and medicine and people with interest in nutri-tion, health and physical fitness.
Andreas M. Papas, Ph. D.Review:
"[This book] is excellent, very topical...a first-rate range of authors." -Letter from Barry Halliwell, Professor of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry, Pharmacology Group, King's College, University of London, England "Dr. Papas succeeded admirably in collecting together in a single volume the present knowledge on antioxidants. This book is a must for anyone seriously interested in the science and practice of good nutrition and prevention of disease." -K.C. Nicolaou, Chairman, Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute and Professor of Chemistry, University of California, San Diego "Andreas Papas has, in this text, brought together a number of the world's leading experts to provide a current account of matters in this fast moving area of medical research. The collection of articles he has compiled presents an up to date account of the many varied aspects of antioxidants in human health and nutrition. This definitive text is suitable for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses and is a must for the shelves of anyone interested in this fascinating area of research." -Dr. Frank J. Kelly, Head, Lung Biology, the Rayne Institute, St. Thomas Hospital, London England; Secretary, International Antioxidant Research Centre, King's College, University of London; and Treasurer, European Society of Free Radical Research "Dr. Papas and his stellar collection of contributors have succeeded in compiling a comprehensive yet readable treatise on the current scientific evidence about antioxidants and health. This publication will be invaluable to industry scientists involved in product development and marketing, to regulators and public health officials engaged in refining healthpolicies, and to academics and students seeking a cogent review of the emerging science." -Annette Dickinson, Director, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Washington, D.C. "The book contains several superb chapters by authors with defined viewpoints and up-to-date knowledge of recent concepts...The leading authors, all of whom are intimately involved with these fascinating reviews, have developed this book as an essential reference for scientists, clinicians, nutritionists and students in the field of free radicals and antioxidants." -Andrew Czeizel, M.D., D.Sc., Retired Director, Institute of Genetics, Hungary
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