Mill Park resident Indu Singh will graduate this month with a PhD from RMIT University for research that examined the effectiveness of antioxidants such as chocolate in preventing heart disease. Dr Singh studied several antioxidants, including cocoa, olive leaf extract and vitamin E, and found they could potentially reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
"Unhealthy lifestyles lead to oxidative stress, which greatly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease," she said. "My research looked at ways we could prevent some of the risk factors by using natural dietary supplementation rich in antioxidants. The results provide evidence that antioxidant supplementation maintains normal platelet function, exerts a positive effect on blood lipid profile and improves glucose uptake in healthy people, as well as under conditions of induced oxidative stress."
"The antioxidants in foods rich in cocoa, olive and Vitamin E have the potential to combat oxidative stress-induced cardiovascular diseases. Healthy eating is the answer and a diet that includes good amounts of olive oil, nuts and green leafy vegetables, and some high-quality dark chocolate, will help you lower your risk of developing heart disease."
Dr Singh, a Lecturer in Haematology in RMIT's School of Medical Sciences, said while the many studies she undertook as part of her PhD showed the benefits of antioxidants, more research was needed. "There is lot of mechanistic work yet to be done to identify how antioxidants actually work and what would be their impact on people who are already suffering from cardiovascular disease," she said. "We also need to work out the appropriate doses of antioxidants that would be beneficial for healthy people, as well as those with existing risk factors."
Dr Singh said she was grateful to RMIT staff for their encouragement and support. "After all the challenges involved with completing a PhD, finally graduating gives me a great sense of achievement and real confidence in continuing further in this field," she said.Definitely Chocolate
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