Too Much Antioxidant Might Not Help Your Heart After All

You’ve probably heard that antioxidants are great for your health. After all, they help fight free radicals, which can cause damage to your cells and contribute to various health issues. But what you might not know is that getting too much of some antioxidants can actually have the opposite effect on your health. In fact, this is true for a nutrient called resveratrol, which is commonly found in red grapes and red wine.

##The Surprising Link Between Resveratrol and Exercise##

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that giving 250 mg of resveratrol daily to men in their 60s kept them from deriving heart benefits from exercise. This comes as a surprise because resveratrol is usually known for promoting cardiovascular wellness.

Lasse Gliemann, one of the researchers, says, “We found that exercise training was highly effective in improving cardiovascular health parameters, but resveratrol supplementation attenuated the positive effects of training on several parameters including blood pressure, plasma lipid concentrations, and maximal oxygen uptake.”

Ylva Hellsten, the leader of the study, adds: “We were surprised to find that resveratrol supplementation in aged men blunts the positive effects of exercise training on cardiovascular health parameters, in part because our results contradict findings in animal studies. It should be noted that the quantities of resveratrol given in our research study are much higher than what could be obtained by the intake of natural foods.”

##Why Too Many Antioxidants Can Be Harmful##

Although antioxidants can be beneficial for your health in many ways, getting too much of them can sometimes have negative effects. The body needs a certain amount of free radical activity in order to function properly. Free radicals play a crucial role in signaling cells and initiating beneficial processes within the body.

When you consume too many antioxidants, it’s possible that you are suppressing free radical activity to a level that can be harmful. This happens because antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which may inhibit important bodily processes.

For example, exercise promotes the generation of free radicals within the body. These free radicals then signal the body to respond by improving cardiovascular health and muscle function. However, if you consume too many antioxidants, like the resveratrol supplement used in the study mentioned earlier, the free radicals’ beneficial signaling effects may be blunted, and the body does not receive the full benefits of exercise.

##Avoiding Overdoing Antioxidants##

To avoid the potential harmful effects of getting too many antioxidants, it’s important to consume them in moderation. Focus on a healthy and balanced diet that contains a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods naturally contain antioxidants in balanced amounts that can benefit your health.

Here are a few tips on how to get the right amount of antioxidants:

  • Eat a colorful diet: Different colored fruits and vegetables contain different types of antioxidants. The more colors you consume, the more likely you are to get a variety of antioxidants.

  • Don’t rely on supplements: Many antioxidant supplements provide doses that are much higher than what your body needs. In most cases, it’s better to stick to natural food sources.

  • Be mindful of portion sizes: Drinking a glass of red wine can provide some antioxidants, but drinking a bottle might lead to consuming too much resveratrol (which, as we’ve already learned, can be harmful in high doses). Stick to moderate serving sizes to avoid overdoing it.

##In Conclusion##

While antioxidants can be beneficial for your health, it’s essential to remember that moderation is key. Consuming too many antioxidants, like resveratrol, can sometimes have negative effects on your body and even interfere with the benefits of exercise.

Always strive for a well-rounded diet that provides a balance of nutrients, including antioxidants, to ensure that you’re supporting your health and well-being in the best way possible. If you’re still concerned about your antioxidant intake and its potential effects on your exercise routine, consider speaking with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for further guidance.