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Feb 15 - antioxidants.doc

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Sabina Valentine

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Feb 15 – Antioxidants What if you consume too much beta-carotene? • Large quantities don't appear to be toxic • Skin can turn yellow (carotenoderma) • Taking beta-carotene supplements isn’t recommended as they aren’t associated with any health benefits What if you don't consume enough beta-carotene? • There are no deficiency symptoms Vitamin A • Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin • Excessive vitamin A is stored in the liver, adipose tissue, kidneys and lungs There are 3 active forms of Vitamin A: • Retinol • Retinal • Retinoic acid Functions of Vitamin A: • Essential to proper vision • Antioxidant, protecting LDL cholesterol • Cell differentiation – the process by which cells mature and specialize • Sperm production and fertilization • Bone growth Recommended intake for Vitamin A • Unit for RDA is retinol activity coefficient (RAE) • 1 RAE = 1 microgram (µg) retinol • 1 RAE = 12 µg beta-carotene • RRA of Vitamin A is 900 RAE/day for men; 700 RAE/day for women Sources of Vitamin A • Obtained from animal sources of retinol (liver, eggs) and plant sources of provitamin A carotenoids (dark green, organge, and deep yellow fruits and veggies) • Foods fortified with vitamin A in Canada include reduced fat milks, plant- based milks, margarine What if you consume too much vitamin A? • Vitamin A is highly toxic, especially from supplements • Birth defects and permanent damage to the liver and eyes can result • Provitamin A (carotene) intake doesn’t contribute to toxicity • Liver shouldn’t be consumed frequently by children and pregnant women What if you don't consume enough vitamin A? • Night blindedness is the most common disease of vitamin A deficiency; it is reversible • Later, irreversible blindness occurs due to drying of cornea • Other deficiency symptoms include: impaired immunity and growth failure Selenium • Selenium is a trace mineral found in a few amino acids in the body Functions of selenium • Antioxidant: part of glutathione peroxidase enzyme system • Production of thyroxine – a thyroid hormone Recommended intake of Selenium • 55 milligrams per day for men and women • UL of selenium is 400 miligrams per day Sources of Selenium • High sources include organ meats, pork, seafood and nuts • Plant sources such as wheat, rice, depend on soil levels of selenium What if you consume too much selenium? • Selenium toxicity (brittle hair, nails, skin rashes) can result from supplements What if you don't consume enough selenium?
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