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The Value of Antioxidants
Publish Date : 1/10/2006 6:11:18 AM   Source : Mary Porter

The Value of Antioxidants

How do antioxidants promote better health?

They control the affect of free radical damage. Free radicals are produced in your body as a result of oxidation.
Oxidation is a naturally occurring process that takes place when cells use oxygen for fuel.

The byproduct of the burning of oxygen is free
radicals. In the oxygen burning process electrons are
separated, and some electrons are left isolated. They then
begin to fly around looking for another electron to join with.
When they find one, they join with it and become stable again.
But the electron they joined with may have left another electron
behind, isolated and then itself becoming a free radical. It is a
chain reaction. They can not be eliminated.

The cells have the ability to control some free
radicals within themselves. There are enzymes present in cells
that can prevent the free radicals from flying around, and the
enzymes can repair the damage that may have been caused.
But when there are excessive free radicals, more than the cells
can handle, free radicals escape into the body, and continue to fly
around, causing more damage.

Free radical damage can influence physical and mental
aging. It can be responsible for developing cancer, arthritis,
cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative processes.

Some causes of free radical production from our
environment today would include air pollution, radiation and X-ray,
cigarette smoke, pesticides and other toxic chemicals, emotional
stress, and intense exercise.

Cells build their defense against free radicals by
combining enzymes with minerals including manganese, zinc,
copper and selenium. This combination places itself between the
flying electron and its intended target, rendering the flying electron
harmless. If the cells don’t have enough minerals for enzymes to
combine with, they are unable to adequately protect from free radical

Many antioxidants can be accessed through diet. Some
sources would be citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes,
potatoes, and fortified cereals provide Vitamin C. Green leafy
vegetables, whole wheat, oatmeal, soybean oil, corn oil, nuts, and
eggs provide Vitamin E. Dark green, yellow, and red vegetables,
dairy products and eggs, and yellow fruits provide Beta Carotene.
Seafood, liver, cereals and grains provide Selenium. Meat, liver,
eggs, seafood, and pumpkin seeds provide Zinc.

All antioxidants don’t have the same function. Beta
Carotene is good protection from free radicals caused by intense
exercise, while Vitamin E and selenium are better equipped to
handle those caused by exposure to toxic chemicals. Also,
antioxidants protect each other. Beta Carotene protects Vitamin C,
which in turn protects Vitamin E. With enough protection,
antioxidants are free to travel through the body, guarding against
free radical attacks.

Even though antioxidants are available from our diet,
we cannot be assured that there are adequate amounts in
food today. Between the depleted state of soil used to grow our
food, and the processing that are food is subject to, the nutritional
value that is left is not enough. Not only is the nutrition
available decreased, but the food is also exposed to chemical
fertilizers and additives that have the potential to cause even more
free radical production.

Some of the benefits as a result of use of antioxidant
supplements are increased protection from many forms of
cancer, stronger defense against cardiovascular disease, and a
more powerful immune system.

I would think, in view of all this, that supplementing
with a good, broad spectrum antioxidant would be a healthy
choice for anyone.

Check out a good source for antioxidant supplements and more.
Follow the link and get more information. Fill out the form. I will get back to you!


About the Author

Mary Porter Editor of Hot Health Tips,
a free weekly newsletter on natural health.
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