Assessment of lifestyle effects on the overall antioxidant capacity of healthy subjects.


Lesgards JF, Durand P, Lassarre M, Stocker P, Lesgards G, Lanteaume A, Prost M, Lehucher-Michel MP




Environ Health Perspect


Oxidative damage is increasingly recognized as playing an important role in the pathogenesis of several diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Using a biologic test based on whole blood resistance to free-radical aggression, we sought to evaluate lifestyle factors that may contribute to the normal variability of the overall antioxidant status. We assessed this global antiradical defense capacity in 88 men and 96 women in relation to information on lifestyle obtained by questionnaire. In our relatively young, healthy population, we found a weak negative relation between male sex or aging and the resistance to oxidant stress. Among the factors studied, nonsmoking, vitamin and/or mineral supplementation, and regular physical activity were closely associated with an increased overall antioxidant capacity. Conversely, the antioxidant potential was negatively related to tobacco smoking; psychologic stress; alcohol consumption; moderate vegetable, low fruit, and low fish consumption; and, to a lesser extent, high natural ultraviolet light exposure. Thus, we were able to determine “unhealthy” and “healthy” lifestyle patterns that truly contributed to the variation of individual antioxidant capacity. We conclude that lifestyle determinants of cancer and cardiovascular risks were associated with a decreased overall antioxidant status as dynamically measured by means of a biologic test. Thus, the evaluation of the total human resistance against free-radical aggression, taking into account nutritional habits, lifestyle, and environmental factors, may be useful in preventive medicine as a precocious diagnosis to identify healthy subjects who are at risk for free-radical-mediated diseases.

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