Part of the book: Oxidative Stress and Chronic Degenerative Diseases
In Mexico there is a quality of climate and land suited to the cultivation and production of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables rich in natural antioxidants. Although these fruits and vegetables contain sufficient antioxidants, consumption is low, especially in at-risk populations such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. Fast food on the street and in restaurants is preferred to food at home, and more fruits are consumed than green vegetables. In virtually all social strata there is a marked preference for the consumption of fast food with a high content of saturated fat, salt, cholesterol, protein and simple sugars. The consumption of raw or cooked green vegetables has declined with at best the consumption of a serving a day when the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests at least 3–5 servings of vegetables a day. This decrease in the consumption of natural foods, and therefore in associated antioxidant components has been crucial in the development of chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Such diseases are the leading cause of death in the Mexican population according to data from the National Statistical Institute of Geography and Informatics (INEGI, 2013) . On the other hand, there is an excessive consumption of food supplements containing these same natural antioxidants in a purer and more concentrated form than in natural food sources. Such supplements or additions were initially only consumed by athletes, but are now widely used by the general public without an understanding of the normal recommendations and possible toxic effects they may have on the user.
Part of the book: Basic Principles and Clinical Significance of Oxidative Stress