The studies have now confirmed that consumption of antioxidants have supernatural effects are presupposed cancer or aging, but that does not mean they are not recommended.
The advancement of scientific studies are demonstrating ever more clearly the relationship between health and food pairing. Until recently, the major studies focused on the effects of nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
However, food is characterized by complex mixtures, not only nutrients but also of other components that are included in a heterogeneous group called ‘non-nutrients’ that are being studied at present, as many phytochemicals with putative antioxidant action.
The term antioxidant refers to the activity that many vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals have on substances considered harmful, called free radicals. Free radicals can react chemically with other components of cells (oxidizing) altering their stability and functionality.
What are the properties of antioxidants?
There is a considerable amount of scientific studies on a chemical level, cell cultures and in animals indicate that antioxidants may slow or possibly prevent the development of some diseases, such as cancer or cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or aging itself. However, information from recent clinical trials conducted in people, is far less clear.
For example, studies on antioxidants and cancer in populations made in the 90s, came to different conclusions depending on the population being studied. Many studies were made with antioxidant supplements to well above those present in a varied and balanced diet dose, showing inconsistent results were not extrapolated to a varied and balanced diet.
A few months ago, the EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) issued its opinion on the current scientific evidence linking antioxidant with health benefits and their conclusion is that there is insufficient evidence to make such a relationship. Obviously this has caused a stir in the international scientific community.
However, the cause-effect relationship between the consumption of antioxidants and the benefits associated with antioxidant activity or property is not entirely clarified, it does not mean that a diet rich in antioxidants is not recommended. On the contrary, it is.