By MICHELE LIAN
BANGI: Researchers at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia have found something new for those with weight problems to think about.
A group of Masters students at the Medicine Faculty have discovered that the obese tend to have lower levels of antioxidants in their bodies.
One of the ongoing study's primary researchers, Norul Aini Zakarya, said the link between obesity and the body's level of antioxidant activity was established through tests conducted on rabbits.
Free radicals (molecules which damage our cells) are produced in the process of metabolising and storing fat molecules.
"The fatter the rabbit, the more lipids (fat) it has to metabolise and store. These leads to a production of more free radicals, which suppress the antioxidants in the body", said the participant at the Scientific Conference on Food Antioxidants that started yesterday.
Organised by Universiti Putra Malaysia, the two-day conference themed 'Nutrition, Health and Consumer Perspectives' , was opened by Health Ministry parliamentary secretary S. Sothinathan at the Equatorial Bangi Hotel.
The conference brought together scientists, health and nutrition experts from all over Malaysia and other parts of the world to present their latest findings on antioxidant research.
At a press conference after the launch, Sothinathan announced that the ministry would conduct a Malaysian Food and Consumption Survey between July and September this year.
The survey will involve about 9,000 households nationwide and aims to determine the average Malaysian's eating and exercise habits.
Its results, he said, would help the Government develop more suitable nutrition and intervention policies, and educational programmes.
- The Star