Prominent Nutrition Experts Convene to Examine New Benefits of Antioxidant Vitamins C and E

Linus Pauling Institute Partners with Oxygen Club of California and Hosts Round Table Discussion

PORTLAND, Ore., May 29 -- Leading experts in the fields of nutrition, medicine and health recently met to gain new insights about vitamins C and E, and how they can be more effective in treating and preventing a number of life-threatening conditions, including cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Co-hosted by the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University and the Oxygen Club of California, and supported by BASF Corporation, the round table was held on the occasion of the Linus Pauling Institute conference, "Diet and Optimum Health."

The panel discussed the role of the antioxidant vitamins C and E for people living under conditions of increased oxidative stress. These conditions are known to increase levels of dangerous oxygen free radicals, which can overwhelm the body's natural antioxidant defenses.

"A large portion of the U.S. population may have increased oxidative stress due to conditions such as obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by hypertension and elevated blood cholesterol. These conditions as well as environmental factors such as air pollution, UV light and cigarette smoke are becoming alarmingly widespread in the US," said Balz Frei, Ph.D., Director of the Linus Pauling Institute and co-moderator of the round table discussion. "Optimal intakes of antioxidant vitamins C and E would strengthen the body's natural defenses against these damaging factors."

The panel, comprised of leading researchers from the U.S. and Europe, shared insights on the research that has been completed in specific therapeutic areas, and looked at the path moving forward for vitamins C and E for individuals at risk.

"Scientific evidence already indicates that vitamins C and E can provide a benefit for people affected by conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease," said Lester Packer, Ph.D., Founder and Past President of the Oxygen Club of California and co-moderator of the round table discussion. "However, generous intakes of these important micronutrients may be needed to restore a proper balance for special populations at risk. We need to study what those intake levels should be."

The Linus Pauling Institute was established at Oregon State University in August 1996 under an agreement reached between OSU and its antecedent organization, the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. The Institute functions from the basic premise that an optimum diet is the key to optimum health. Its mission is to determine the function and role of micronutrients, vitamins, and phytochemicals in promoting optimum health and preventing and treating disease; to determine the role of oxidative stress and antioxidants in human health and disease; and to advance knowledge in areas that were of interest to Linus Pauling through research and educational activities.

Founded in 1994, the Oxygen Club of California is dedicated to enhancing interactions and providing meetings and discussion forums about topics that include free radicals in biological systems as well as oxidants and antioxidants in biology and medicine.

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