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Exercise, Vitamin E Combo Can Slow Aging

The two cut levels of oxidative stress on the body, study finds

(HealthDay is the new name for HealthScoutNews.)

MONDAY, Aug. 11, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A combination of exercise and vitamin E may help slow the aging process.

That power of that potent combination is detailed in a University of Florida (UF) study in the current issue of Biological Research for Nursing.

The study of 59 healthy men and women aged 60 to 75 found those who exercised regularly and took vitamin E supplements became healthier and greatly decreased their levels of a blood marker that signals destruction of certain cells.

This cell destruction is caused by unstable molecular fragments called free radicals. This process of cell destruction, called free radical-induced oxidative stress, contributes to aging and disease.

The study also found people who didn't exercise, but took vitamin E, had large decreases in oxidative stress and blood pressure.

"The results of this study suggest that people who are over 40 can benefit from regular moderate exercise and vitamin E to protect against the destructive properties of free radicals and their effects on our aging bodies," principal investigator James Jessup, associate professor at UF's College of Nursing, says in a news release.

Cells, tissues and organs are damaged by the oxidation caused by free radicals. Previous research has shown that free radicals play a role in the development of cancer, obstructed arteries, Alzheimer's disease and some 200 other diseases, as well as the aging process itself.

Other studies have also found that antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, help protect the body.

"The body produces free radicals constantly. When we are young, however, our body also creates antioxidants to battle these free radicals. Yet in our late 30s and early 40s, we begin to produce more free radicals and fewer antioxidants," Jessup explains.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about antioxidants.

SOURCE: University of Florida, news release, August 2003
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