Antioxidants
Working for Your Health



Antioxidants are dietary substances including some nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamins C and E and selenium, used by the body to protect itself from damage caused by oxidation.

They work by significantly slowing or preventing the oxidation or damage caused by free radicals that can lead to cell dysfunction and the onset of problems like heart disease and diabetes.

They are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage - the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of diseases, and may also improve immune function.

In your body, the process is similar to stopping a cut apple left on a table from browning by dipping it into orange juice which contains vitamin C, causing it to stay white.

antioxidants-rotten-apple

Antioxidants work by neutralizing highly reactive, destructive compounds called "free radicals" produced during the normal process of oxidation.

They work by binding to the "free radicals" turning them into non-damaging compounds and repairing cellular damage.

They easily donate electrons to molecules in need of an electron, such as free radicals, before they steal one from someplace else (like the cell wall of healthy tissue), thus stabilizing and preventing a damaging chain reaction.

Neutralizing the production of free radicals which cause harm to our cells and play a major role in the disease process.

antioxidants-healthy-woman

Although there is little doubt that antioxidants are a necessary component for good health, no one knows if supplements should be taken and, if so, how much.

It was once thought to be harmless but increasingly we are becoming aware of interactions and potential toxicity. It has been shown, in the normal concentrations found in the body, vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants; but at higher concentrations they are pro-oxidants, and thus, harmful.

Also very little is known about the long term consequences of mega-dosing and the effects on the body's finely tuned and balanced mechanisms.

Taking chemicals without a complete understanding of all their effects may disrupt this fine balance within our body.

The best way to ensure adequate nutritional needs is through a balanced diet consisting of 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables.

But if you don't eat, or can't eat this balanced diet, dietary supplements are probably your answer.

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