July 12, 2008

Kiwifruit is a Top Performing Anti-Oxidant

A small-scale study found kiwifruit is among the highest in bioavailability compared to other anti-oxidant-rich fruits and berries, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center in Little Rock performed a comparison of kiwifruit, red grapes and strawberries.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that kiwifruit provided for an anti-oxidant intake score of 12.5, compared to grapes at 4.2 and strawberries at 1.7. Kiwifruit resulted in the most significant increase in anti-oxidant metabolism and absorption.

Dr. Ronald Prior and his team measured the anti-oxidants in the body by noting increases in blood anti-oxidant capacity and cells' increased resistance to oxidative damage induced by hydrogen peroxide.

Anti-oxidants include vitamins and phytochemicals called flavonoids that may have the power to neutralize unstable molecules -- or free radicals -- which may be linked to chronic disease and aging.

We're learning that anti-oxidants should be consumed with every meal, and if you routinely skip anti-oxidants in your diet, over time, the excess number of free radicals being produced may begin damaging cellular components, ultimately leading to atherosclerosis and cancer.