Another Thumbs-up for Fruits and Vegetables

You know exercise promotes longevity and helps control type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance? Did you think exercise and the use of antioxidants might be even better? Time to think again! A brand new study suggests otherwise.

An international team of researchers have discovered in a randomized trial, average insulin sensitivity was higher in those who were not taking any antioxidant supplements (1000-mg vitamin C and 400-IU vitamin E). Exercise raises reactive oxygen species (ROS), but also activates natural antioxidant systems. In the groups taking the antioxidant supplements the natural systems were blunted.

What a surprise! The use of antioxidant supplements blunts the beneficial effects of regular exercise on insulin sensitivity, even though diets rich in fruits and vegetables (and, thus, contain high concentrations of antioxidants) lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes. 

Positive Tip: Little evidence of the benefit of regular use of vitamin C or E supplements exists, and this study offers one reason to discourage their use. Save your pennies and spend them on fruits and vegetables–and a new pair of walking shoes!