August 24, 2007
COLERAINE, IrelandResearchers from the University of Ulster report vegetarians and omnivores have similar overall antioxidant status; however, adults on a vegetarian diet had higher levels of plasma carotenoids (Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61:1011-22). The study included 31 vegetarians and 58 omnivores who submitted a diet history and underwent testing of fasting plasma to assess levels of antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids, as well as activity of endogenous antioxidants such as glutathione peroxidase (GPX), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Levels and activities of all antioxidants were similar between groups, with the exception of plasma carotenoids, as vegetarians had 15-percent higher levels of lutein, cryptoxanthin, lycopene, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Total intake of fruits, vegetables and fruit juices was positively associated with plasma levels of several carotenoids and vitamin C.
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