A report published in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed a protective effect for a number of antioxidant nutrients against all-cause and disease-specific mortality in older individuals over a 13-year average period.*
Researchers evaluated data from 1,054 participants in the British National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Four day dietary records were analyzed for the intake of energy and nutrients. The participants were followed through September, 2008.
Increased plasma vitamin C, alpha-carotene, selenium, and zinc were significantly associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality, as was the dietary intake of vitamin C, carotenoids, zinc, copper, and total energy. “Future studies should attempt to determine, first, which nutrients are the most frequent predictors of all-cause and specific-cause mortality in different populations, and second, whether these predictions can imply causal relationships, such that dietary or other interventions might promote disease-free longevity,” the authors write.
Editor’s note: These patterns remained fundamentally similar when deaths from vascular, cancer, and respiratory diseases were separately considered, however, increased dietary vitamins C and E were found to confer a significant protective effect against cancer, and dietary vitamin E protected against respiratory disease in males (while carotenoid intake was protective in women).