Antioxidants & Women's Heart Health

The following analysis and question was proposed prior to a study of antioxidants:

"Found in an array of foods, antioxidants are thought to help prevent cell damage that, among other things, can have a negative effect on the heart. Might antioxidant consumption then, alter the likelihood of having a heart attack, at least among women?"


The study took 32,561 women, 49 to 83 years old, who were generally healthy and free of cardiovascular disease at the start of the study. Over a 10-year span, 1,114 of the women in the study suffered a heart attack. Those who consumed the most antioxidants were 20 percent less likely to have had a heart attack than those who consumed the least. 

The data also showed that the women with the highest antioxidant levels also consumed less fat and were less apt to smoke, which may have had an affect on the results. 


Each year, more than a half-million women in the United States have a heart attack. Women tend to have a heart attack at an older age than men do, and are more likely to die from them. 


The study does not say that increased antioxidant consumption will protect women from heart disease, however healthy dietary habits translate to an increased state of health and well-being, which can have a tremendous impact on heart health. 



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