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Fountain of youth could be in the produce aisle

Cori Alcock
Researchers say antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may help slow the aging process

RELATED VIDEO
CNN's Linda Ciampa looks at the benefits of eating right
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Antioxidants may slow aging process, study says

April 5, 1999
Web posted at: 9:39 p.m. EDT (0139 GMT)

From Correspondent Linda Ciampa

BOSTON (CNN) -- Research at Tufts University indicates that a healthy diet fortified with certain fruits and vegetables may slow down and even reverse the aging process.

Foods rich in antioxidants -- such as blueberries, strawberries, spinach and broccoli -- have what doctors call high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) levels.

Middle-aged rats who were fed a high ORAC diet in the USDA- sponsored study experienced less memory loss than those given a normal diet. Some of the older, slower rats became as lively as their younger peers after taking antioxidants.

"We prevented both some brain and some behavioral changes that one normally sees in these rats when they hit 15 months of age," said USDA researcher Jim Joseph.

Antioxidants are effective in destroying free radicals -- cell-damaging compounds that can help cause cancer and heart disease and speed the aging process.

"It's pretty well accepted that aging is due to the production of free radicals. So anything we can do nutritionally to provide additional antioxidants is likely to protect us in the process of aging," Joseph said.

That fact already has prompted many to eat a diet rich in antioxidants.

"I look at it as sort of a savings account. I'm benefiting today from eating right, but I'm also going to have it in the future," said 30-year-old Cori Alcock. "As I age and grow older, I'll have good health as well."


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RELATED SITES:
Welcome to Tufts University
Eat Your Fruits and VeggiesMining Co. - Biology - 04/30/98
Mayo Clinic Health Oasis: Information on Cancer - Alzheimer's Disease - Heart Disease and more
Mayo Clinic Health Oasis
 •   Antioxidants - What are they? Can they help keep you healthy?
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