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ANTIOXIDANT AGENTS: THEIR ROLE IN NUTRITION AND HEALTH OF ATHLETS.

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Abstract:

Physical exercise, when practiced with moderation, proporcionates organic benefits. However, physical activities, which exceed physiological limits, promote an increase in production of oxygen free radicals. These radicals, when not neutralized, may initiate a deleterious process in cells and tissues, named oxidative stress. This degenerative process may originate different illnesses and, moreover, it seems to play an important role in the process of early aging. This study aimed to evaluate the consumption levels of food that contains antioxidants and the knowledge about its benefits among athletes, practitioners of different sportive modalities, of both sexes, in Umuarama-Paraná. A form containing four questions and an alimentary consumption frequency table was used. Were included in the study 11 men (22 to 30 years) and 10 women (18 to 22 years), all of them had the sport as a professional activity. It was observed that the athletes do not possess enough information about the action mechanisms of antioxidant substances in organism, as well as about its effect in the prevention of illnesses and early aging. Considering the frequency of antioxidant food consumption, 70% of the male athletes rarely ingest selenium and flavonoids, 50% rarely ingest vitamin E. Among female athletes, 73% and 55% rarely consume selenium and flavonoids, respectively. Thus, this research evidences the need to inform athletes about the importance of varied and balanced feeding that includes antioxidant foods in their day-by-day, preventing chronic illnesses and early aging.

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