Sunday, April 02, 2006

Oxidative stress

You do NOT want to get on this seesaw, and yet you do after every big, high-fat meal.

Dr. Helmut Sies (current president of the Oxygen Club of California!) notes the obvious: "In Western societies, a significant part of the day is spent in the postprandial state." In other words, if most of us aren't eating, we just ate. Great gobs of unsaturated fatty acids (hyperlipidemia) and too much sugar (hyperglycemia) travel through the bloodstream like gangs of prooxidant thugs, assaulting our blood vessels, rendering them stunned and constricted.

The whole mess adds up to postprandial oxidative stress: excess oxidative load vs. a weakened antioxidant network. But Dr. Sies does not leave us hopeless and hungry, but rather assures us that we can attenuate the biological warfare after meals by taking dietary antioxidants with our high-fat meals.

Drink red wine with your Big Mac as the polyphenols from wine, cocoa, or tea improve blood vessel function and lower the tendency of LDL-cholesterol to oxidize. And throw down an antioxidant supplement such as an E, C, or selenium with your chocolate mousse.

For more information, see:
A potentially lethal meal deal.

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