Second Hand Smoke connected to low level anti-oxidants in kids

berriesBALTIMORE, May 5, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) — Children exposed to cigarette smoke have lower levels of anti-oxidants, which help the body defend against biological stresses, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York looked at the levels of anti-oxidants vs. the amount of smoke exposure in more than 2,000 children and teens ages 6 and 18 in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study, presented at the Pediatric Academic Society Meeting in Baltimore, showed that secondhand smoke exposure is associated with lower levels of anti-oxidants in children.

“We don’t know enough yet to say that this group of children need supplements to make up for the anti-oxidants they’re losing, but it’s always wise to feed children an abundance of fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants and other healthy nutrients,” Dr. Karen Wilson said in a statement.

Anti-oxidants are believed to play an important role in protecting the body’s cells against free radicals, which can damage cells, Wilson said.

The higher the level of cotinine — a byproduct of metabolizing tobacco smoke — in a child’s blood, the lower the anti-oxidant level, after controlling for diet and supplements, the researchers said.

In my opinion Dr. Karen Wilson does not go far enough in her statement.  Feeding an abundance of fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants is wonderful but once a person’s system is already compromised supplementation is necessary.

Best Sources of High Antioxidants Foods

  1. Fruits
    Cherry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, crowberry, blueberry, bilberry/wild blueberry, black currant, pomegranate, grape, orange, plum, pineapple, kiwi fruit, grapefruit. Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries!
  2. Vegetables
    Kale, chili pepper, red cabbage, peppers, parsley, artichoke, brussels sprouts, spinach, lemon, ginger, red beets
  3. Dry Fruits high in antioxidants
    Apricots, prunes, dates
  4. Legumes
    Broad beans, pinto beans, soybeans
  5. Nuts and seeds
    Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, ground nut, sunflower seeds, flax seeds
  6. Cereals
    Barley, millet, oats, corn
  7. Spices
    cloves, cinnamon, oregano, tumeric

Best Sources of High Antioxidants Suppliments

  1. Vitamins vitamins A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E selenium, beta carotene, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Folic acid,
  2. Supplements ginkgo biloba, grape seed extract green tea extract Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Glutathione

What to do?  Keep children away from second hand smoke, including rooms and cars that had been smoked in.  Fabrics and other materials tend to off gas anything that is embedded in them.  Eat plenty of fruits & vegetables and at minimum take a good Vitamin Supplement.

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2 comments to Second Hand Smoke connected to low level anti-oxidants in kids

  • Seeing that antioxidants can be very beneficial in controlling free radicals which have been linked to some serious diseases it would be a good idea to make sure children have a balanced diet along with supplementation for those who don’t.

  • admin

    Absolutley John,

    A balanced diet is a prerequisite for any sort of healing, strengthening and protection against disease. Doesn’t matter how many vitamins, minerals or anti-oxidants you take, you are fighting an uphill battle and the children suffer.


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