(ran CI, TP, PT, HT)
Wouldn't dream of starting your day without a vitamin pill? Don't forget to eat those vegetables, too, researchers say.
Scientists attending an American Chemical Society convention say some vitamin pills have more antioxidants than natural sources. But they caution that most man-made vitamin supplements do not match the natural antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Yong Qian, a biochemist for California's Rehnborg Center for Nutrition and Wellness, says the typical synthetic multivitamin pill has plenty of vitamins C and E and a form of beta-carotene, while a natural product contains several other antioxidants, including lutein and several types of beta-carotene. Qian says some antioxidant compounds found in vegetables have yet to be identified.
But are more antioxidants necessarily better? Youling Xiong, associate professor of food science at the University of Kentucky, says the jury is still out on that subject. Research so far has been valuable, he says, "but it doesn't tell you how the body uses these chemicals."
Don't give up battle of the pollens
It's definitely the season for sneezin', and a new book says hay fever sufferers who seem to be fighting a losing battle shouldn't give up.
"Pollen is a never-ending battle for people with allergy, sinusitis, asthma and lung disease, and I speak from personal experience," says medical journalist Debra Fulghum Bruce.
Her new book, Breathe Right Now: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Treating the Most Common Breathing Disorders (Norton, $25), written with pulmonologist Dr. Lawrence Smolley, urges sufferers to get a diagnosis, find the best treatments _ and don't give up!
"Many people accept the coughing, sneezing and wheezing caused by pollen. Yet pollen season can run year-round, and symptoms needlessly shut down your life. Newer inhaled medications treat underlying inflammation and greatly reduce symptoms, letting you live again," Bruce says.
The authors also suggest medical and alternative ways readers can control problems that are traced to environmental factors like pollen, dust and mold. They don't endorse a single regimen, but challenge readers to choose treatments that work for them.