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Antioxidants and human diseases.

Antioxidants and human diseases.
It is evident that Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotene, lycopene, lutein and many other substances are very crucial in the prevention of human diseases. Antioxidants play a significant role in preventing diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration. Antioxidants achieve this through the neutralization of free radicals which are as a result of natural body cells metabolism. [7] Despite the fact that the human body generates antioxidants naturally, their production declines with age.
Antioxidant-rich foods are therefore required to help the human body in fighting diseases. Most foods contain antioxidants although supplements may contain more antioxidants. The study focuses on the role played by Antioxidants in boosting human health, the existence of natural antioxidants in products and presents case studies on the use of antioxidants in boosting human health. [9]
Studies show that antioxidant vitamins supplementations use in cases of cardiovascular diseases alleviate the atherosclerotic damage caused by excessive production of reactive oxygen species. Oxidative stress has been attributed to the initiation and progression of atherosclerotic diseases. [4]This is as a result of excessive production of reactive oxygen species which eventually results into the release of inflammation cytokine and oxidation of prothrombotic state and this contributed to the dysfunction of endothelium and causes atherosclerotic damage.
Subsequent studies reveal that adequate dietary and enzymatic antioxidant supplements that are given to cardiovascular disease patients lower oxidative stress and   prevent contraction of the condition for those who are healthy. [12]The enzymatic and non enzymatic supplementation trials show that the supplementation results into retardation of the progression of atherosclerosis. Stress that is resulted by oxidation is activated by cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, smoking and hyperglycaemia.
Vitamin C and E are the commonest dietary antioxidants since they posses carrier in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorous and trace elements that play a significant role in the functioning of antioxidant enzymes. There are numerous studies that have been conducted to reveal that antioxidant supplementation with vitamin C, E and coenzyme Q10 affect Inflammatory and metabolic parameters which are attributed with heart conditions. [32]
Renal disease and cholesterol lowering atherosclerosis study shows that when antioxidants are administered to patients, the risk of cardiovascular diseases contraction and progression is highly reduced. [10] Clinical trials that have been conducted conclude that vitamin E has no direct impact on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. On the contrary, a high dosage of vitamin E supplementation shows that there is a reduced risk of mortality from heart diseases.
The artery effect of antioxidants has been assessed in several studies and reputable evidence proves that these agents inhibit atherosclerosis. [25] It is evident that combined antioxidant supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and selenium has beneficial effect on glucose and lipids metabolism, blood pressure and arterial compliance inpatients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. The accumulation of lipids on the wall of arteries lead into the thickening of the walls and this reduces the pressure under which blood is pumped. This may result in heart diseases since the blood circulation system is altered. The antioxidant supplements in this case reduce the presence of lipids in the human body and this has a positive effect on the fight against cardiovascular diseases.
Antioxidants play a significant in the control of kidney diseases. Kidney mesangial cells are closely related in terms of origin to vascular smooth muscle cells this suggests a similarity between kidney glomerular sclerosis and atherosclerosis. [1] Laboratory experiment showed treatment with antioxidants may be a promising to prevent progression of kidney disease. The clinical manifestation of kidney disease is proteinuria and progressive renal failure which can be overcome through carrying out dialysis or kidney transplantation. Decline in renal function and cardiovascular complications are associated with lipid abnormalities in the case kidney diseases. It is also evident from studies that hyperlipidaemia accelerates glomerular and intestinal damage in kidney diseases.
Vitamin E in natural foods or in supplements is very useful in the prevention and treatment of coronary diseases. On the other hand, it also inhibits the proliferation of VSMCs in vitro. Studies reveal that when vitamin E and probucol is used in the treatment of glomerular sclerosis in combination with glomerulonephritis (GN). [35]Therelationshipbetween kidney glomerular sclerosis and atherosclerosis can be demonstrated by the fact that progressive glomerular sclerosis in treating chronic kidney conditions may lead into heart failure. Supplementary dietary oxidants on the other hand supress MC proliferation and glomerular sclerosis in models of glomerular disease in patients. These results suggest that treatment with antioxidants may be a promising intervention to prevent progression of kidney disease. [6]
The oxidative process is counteractive to the damage that is caused by renal medullary interstitial fibrosis. The use of antioxidant food constituents can be used in combination with drugs to combat kidney atherosclerosis is an important component of chronic renal diseases. Supplementation with vitamin E and C and the use of soy protein diets and drinking green tea could be very helpful in combating kidney conditions. [20]
Vitamin C and Antioxidant in breast cancer
Studies reveal that the levels of thiobarbituric acid and the antioxidant enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidise and glutathione-S-transverse was significantly normalized by vitamin C treatment in the RBC hemolysate. Vitamin C has been found to be a water-soluble chain breaking antioxidant that plays the role of lipids metabolism. The increase in lipid peroxidation I abnormality cells leads to n increase in serum lipid peroxides. The cause of breast cancer has been attributed to the presence of free radicals in cells.
Breast cancer cells on the other hand show an increased rate of free radical reaction as compared to normal cells. Breast cancer patients therefore experience increased levels of lipid peroxidation and decreased levels of antioxidants. [18] The use of antioxidant supplements and consumption of antioxidant rich foods that have vitamin C and E are known prevention measures against breast cancer.
Chemotherapy and chemoprevention are therapies that are used in the prevention of progression of breast cancer. Tamoxifen is a potent antioxidant and non-steroidal drug which is most widely used in carrying out chemotherapy. [2] However, the prolonged use of the drug causes the side effect of toxins production and therefore it should be used in combination with other antioxidants to prevent and manage breast cancer.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E are very powerful oxidants and scientific studies reveal that women and men who have at least 66 milligrams of vitamin C every day have found their bodies to be free of any foreign antibodies and are at a low risk of contracting breast cancer. [15] Vitamin E not only blocks free radicals, it also stops cancer by stimulating the immune system.
 
 
Vitamins E and C and prevention of prostate cancer.
Observational studies that have been conducted show that vitamin E and C have been known to prevent certain types of cancers. [17]They do so by acting s antioxidants and delaying carcinogenesis. Randomized trials have addressed the potential role of vitamin C and E in the prevention of prostrate cancer. Prostrate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostrate, a gland that is found in the male reproductive system.
The cancer may spread to the prostrate to other parts of the body particularly on the bones and lymph nodes. Genetic and dietary factors have been implicated in the development and spread of cancer in individuals the presence of free radicals in the human blood is a factor that is blamed on the progression of cancer in patients. [21] Free radicals are molecules with incomplete electron shells which make them more chemically reactive than those with complete electron shells.
The exposure to various environmental factors such as smoking and radiation increases the presence of free radicals in the body and hence the increased risk of contracting prostrate cancer. The most common form of free radical element in the human body is oxygen and when an oxygen molecule becomes radicalized through electrical charging, it tries to steal oxygen from other molecules resulting into destruction of the DNA. [22] Over time, the damage may become irreversible and result into the development of cancer.
Antioxidants are described as mopping up free radicals and this implies that they neutralize the electrical charge and prevent the free radical molecules from taking up electrons from other molecules. [14] Through the elimination of free molecules, prostrate cancer can therefore be controlled. Vitamin E and C are the best known antioxidants. Males who do not sufficient vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) are found to be at the greatest risk of contracting prostrate cancer. On the other hand, vitamin E succinate has been shown to significantly decrease the development of prostate cancer, a protective effect that was lost when the subjects stopped taking the vitamin. Supplements or Diet rich in vitamin E and C is useful in the fight of free radicals that are known causes of cancer.
Physical exercise, diet ,gene interactions and antioxidant.
Physical body exercise increases the utilisation of oxygen up to 20 times the resting state. The presence of oxygen in the human body increases the presence of free radicals and this may result into muscle and tissue damage. If the generation of free radicals exceed the antioxidant defence then, more molecules may be present in the human body. Experimental studies indicate that regular physical exercise enhances the antioxidant defence system and protects against exercise induced free radical damage.[33] The body is therefore able to adapt to the demands of exercise and is able to achieve an intoxicating effect by balancing the presence of the harmful free radicals in the body. Vigorous exercise is however not recommended since it results into over generation of free radicals that are overwhelming for the body to discard.
The diet has also a significant role in acting as intoxicant. Diet that is rich in vitamin C and E is very crucial since the vitamins fight the radical molecules that may result into cancer and cardiovascular diseases. There are natural foods that are rich in antioxidants and are recommended for daily intake to help in disease prevention. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds are rich antioxidant. There is an interaction between the genes involved in the antioxidant defence system against diseases such as cancer. [23]There is an association between multi-locus genotypes across 10 genes encoding proteins in the antioxidant defence system and breast cancer.
 
Prevention of glucose toxicity by antioxidants.
Antioxidants play a significant role in prevention of glucose toxicity. The chronic exposure to glucose concentrations results into damage of cells and tissues which is the process known as glucose toxicity. [30] Researches by different scholars indicate that one major mechanism that can be used in the management of glucose toxicity is through the use of oxidants. Glucose reacts with oxygen species through various metabolic pathways. [27]The pancreatic region in the human body is characterised its relatively low antioxidant enzyme content and activity, which render it especially susceptible to oxidative stress. Because of the absence of oxidation activity and elements in the pancreatic region which produces insulin, oxidative stress can occur. Insulin is responsible for controlling the sugar levels in the blood.
When there is excess glucose in the human blood, it may result into hyperglycaemia which is attributed to cause diabetes mellitus among patients. Chronic hyperglycaemia results into chronic oxidative stress for all tissues because glucose in abnormally high concentrations forms reactive oxygen species. [24] This can lead into oxidative damage of body cells and result into second class diabetes which affects the eyes, kidneys and blood vessels.
Adenoviral overexpression of glutathione peroxidase as well as gamma-glutamylcysteine ligase has been shown to protect the islet against oxidative stress. [3] Antioxidants play a key role through management of diabetic conditions among individuals. The presence of antioxidants in the pancreatic region improves the worsening of diabetes by improving beta cell function in animal models. Enhancing antioxidant defence mechanisms in pancreatic islets may be a valuable pharmacologic approach to managing diabetes.
The use of natural antioxidants in products.
Natural antioxidants in products are encouraged to help the body eliminate free radicals which result into cancer and other heart conditions. Foods that are rich in vitamin E and C are valuable oxidants that help in oxidation. [31]Food –based compounds are therapeutic oxidants and they have to be absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream and then accumulated at the target organ.
The Stability of lipids against oxidation can be evaluated based on the susceptibility of a particular food to lipid oxidation.in this case; the lipid undergoes oxidation to cause rancid odours and flavours. The oil stability index is used to predict the duration of a tome that a lipid takes before it goes rancid. The lipid oxidation test is used to provide information regarding the efficacy of antioxidants, the effect of impurities, and evaluation of refining processes of fats and oils. [26]
The Application of antioxidants in edible oils makes use of natural antioxidants to extend the shelf life of edible oils and fried food products. Natural oxidants can be used to prevent the addition of artificial preservatives to food. [29] On the other hand, natural oxidants such as sesame oil may have potential application as natural antioxidants to increase the antioxidant potential of oils; and therefore, blending of vegetable oils with natural antioxidants may be more effective than the addition of synthetic antioxidants.Herbal extracts from the rosemary plant and natural vitamin E and C are being used in oils and fat oxidation to allow for consumer acceptance of the products.
Antioxidants play a significant role in skin protection. [16]Antioxidants fight the free radicals that harm the cells of the skin and cause premature aging. Antioxidant skin care products help in preventing future damage to skin cells and aging since they eliminate the free radicals.
There are various studies that have been conducted to demonstrate that antioxidants play a significant role in preventing human diseases. The following case studies focus on the impact of antioxidants on the health of individuals
 
Case study 1.
Vitamins E and C in the Prevention of Prostate and Total Cancer in Men
Many individuals take vitamin supplements with the hope of preventing chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Many individuals believe that the intake of these supplements and vitamins can help in the prevention or even management of prostrate cancer.
Objective of the study.
The study was conducted to evaluate whether the long-term intake of vitamin E or C supplementation decreases risk of prostate and total cancer events among men.
Study methodology.
The study was conducted over a period of 10 years and involved 14641 male physicians in the United States who were aged 50 and above. 1307 men who had the history of prostrate cancer were used as the control in the study. Each Individual was put on supplement of 400 IU of vitamin E every other day and500 mg of vitamin C daily. This was to investigate the impact of antioxidants in the form of vitamin C and E in prostrate and other types of cancer prevention on the individual.
 
Findings.
10 years after the study had been initiated; it was found out that, there were 1008 confirmed incident cases of prostate cancer and 1943 total cancers. Compared with placebo, vitamin E had no effect on the control of prostrate cancer or other types of cancer. In the case of vitamin C on total cancer among the participants used in the study, it still had no impact. Neither vitamin C nor E had impact on any type of cancer.[19]
Conclusion.
In this study, it was found out that neither vitamin E nor E supplementation reduced the risk of contracting prostrate cancer or other types of cancers. The data does not provide any support for the use of vitamin C and E supplements in the prevention of prostrate cancer among middle-aged and older men.
Case study 2.
Effects of long-term treatment with antioxidants(vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and selenium)on arterial compliance, humeral factors andinflammatory markers in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors.
Background.
It has been argued that antioxidant supplementation have the potential to alleviate the atherosclerotic damage caused by excessive generation of reactive oxygen. The study evaluates the effect of prolonged antioxidant treatment on arterial elasticity, inflammatory and metabolic measures in patients that have multiple risks of conducting heart diseases.
 
Methodology.
The study participants were randomly divided into two groups for experimentation. The first group was given oral supplements which contained vitamin C. In each capsule vitamin C (500 mg) vitamin E (200 IU), co-enzyme Q10 (60 mg) and selenium (100 mcg) were given. [13]The second group received a matching placebo (SupHerb) and for a duration of six months. The patients were then evaluated for lipid profile, HbA1C, insulin, C-peptide, HS-CRP, endothelia, aldosterone and plasma renin. [34] The elasticity of arteries was evaluated using the pulse wave contour analysis
 
 
Findings.
It was found out that patients who were treated with antioxidants exhibited a significant increase in the elasticity index of their arteries. On the other hand, they had small arterial elasticity index (SAEI). Among the individuals subjected to individuals subjected to the supplements, an increase in cholesterol. [5]
Conclusion.
From the study, it is evident that Antioxidant supplementation significantly increased large and small artery elasticity in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. The positive beneficial vascular effect was associated with a great improvement in lipid metabolism hence improvement in glucose and lipid metabolism as well as decrease in blood pressure.
Case study 3: Effect of Vitamin C on Lipidperoxidation and Antioxidant Status in Tamoxifen-Treated Breast Cancer Patients
Objective
The objective of the study was to investigate the role played by vitamin C in treatment of breast cancer for patients who had been treated with tamoxifen.
Methodology.
The study was conducted on six consecutively treated postmenopausal women who were less than 50 years of age. The women had to be potentially curable, histopathologically confirmed thataxillary node negative breast cancer, they had to have absent menses for a preceding period of 3 years and had absence of breast cancer and absence of diabetes mellitus. 15 normal women were used as controls for the study. [11] Without altering their diet, The subjects were divided into 5 groups with 15 subjects each and given a regimen as follows, Group I: controls, Group II: breast cancer patients not treated with tamoxifen, Group III: breast cancer patients treated with tamoxifen. Group IV: breast cancer patients treated with vitamin C after, 45 days of tamoxifen treatment, Group V: breast cancer patients treated with vitamin C after 90 days of tamoxifen treatment.
Results.
From the study, it was found out thatthe increased lipid peroxidation in abnormally proliferatingcells leads to an increase in serum lipid peroxidesof cancer patients treated with tamoxifen. Breast cancer Patients who were treated with tamoxifen showed slower progression with the disease. [8] The group that was subjected to tamoxifen and vitamin C after tamoxifen treatment showed an even lower risk of breast cancer whereas breast cancer patients treated with vitamin C after 90 days of tamoxifen treatment healed completely from breast cancer.
Conclusions
From the study, it is evident that treatment of breast cancer using tamoxifen in combination with vitamin C is more effective than using tamoxifen alone. The use of vitamin C normalized the lipid peroxidation level abnormalities caused by tamoxifen in breast cancer patients. Vitamin C could be beneficial treatment of tamoxifen-treated breast cancer patients.
Regulation of antioxidants in Australia.
There are regulations that have been formulated in Australia to help consumers know the oxidants present in food additives. Each food additive is assigned a unique number referred to as E numbers. The additives with no assigned numbers are not approved for use in Australia. Since 1987, Australia has had an approved system of labelling for additives in packaged foods [20]. Each food additive has to be named or numbered. The numbers are the same as in Europe, but without the prefix ‘E’. The purpose of regulating the use of antioxidants is for the protection of the welfare and health of consumers.
 
Summary.
It is evident that Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotene, lycopene, lutein and many other substances are very crucial in the prevention of human diseases. Studies show that antioxidant vitamins supplementations use in cases of cardiovascular diseases alleviate the atherosclerotic damage caused by excessive production of reactive oxygen species. Vitamin C and E are the commonest dietary antioxidants since they posses carrier in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorous and trace elements that play a significant role in the functioning of antioxidant enzymes.
Antioxidants play a significant in the control of kidney diseases. Kidney mesangial cells are closely related in terms of origin to vascular smooth muscle cells this suggests a similarity between kidney glomerular sclerosis and atherosclerosis. Laboratory experiment showed treatment with antioxidants may be a promising to prevent progression of kidney disease. Studies reveal that the levels of thiobarbituric acid and the antioxidant enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidise and glutathione-S-transverse was significantly normalized by vitamin C treatment in the RBC hemolysate.[28] Observational studies that have been conducted show that vitamin E and C have been known to prevent certain types of cancers. Physical body exercise increases the utilisation of oxygen up to 20 times the resting state. Antioxidants play a significant role in prevention of glucose toxicity. The chronic exposure to glucose concentrations result into damage of cells and tissues which is the process known as glucose toxicity
Natural antioxidants in products are encouraged to help the body eliminate free radicals which result into cancer and other heart conditions. Three case studies have been presented in the study to demonstrate the impacts of antioxidants in the prevention of human diseases. The objective, methodology, findings and conclusions of the studies have been presented.


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