Home > Antioxidants
What are antioxidants? What do they do?
help to protect our body from free radicals. They
are also known as free radical scavengers. Free radicals are
compounds that have an uneven number of electrons. They are
unbalanced and reactive, and would attempt to gain stability by stealing
an electron from other compounds. Free radicals can damage DNA,
protein, and fats, causing many degenerative diseases such as aging,
cardiovascular diseases, immune dysfunction and cancer.
radicals are produced by different means, including external and internal
factors. External factors include radiation, UV, environmental
pollutants, cigarette smoke, bad diet (frying foods). Internal
events such as immune cell activity and respiration also produce free
radicals. The most dangerous free radicals are superoxide radicals (O2˙-)
and hydroxyl radicals (OH˙).
Other free radicals include the peroxyl radicals (RO2˙)
and the alkoxyl radicals (RO˙), both are involved in the oxidative damage to fats.
protect the body from free radical damage by giving up one of its
electrons to free radicals or DNA and fatty acids that have lost an
electron, thus neutralizing the damaging
effect. Since we are bombarded by large number of free radicals each
day, we have to maintain an ample supply of antioxidants to
protect ourselves from free radical damage.
Sources of antioxidants
produces many natural antioxidant compounds, including superoxide dismutase
(SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase,
glutathione, proteins and uric acid. We can also obtain antioxidants such as flavonoids,
vitamins C & E, beta-carotene from the
diet. Foods high in antioxidants are
fruits, vegetables, tea and herbs.
think of vitamins A, C & E as strong antioxidants. But in fact, other
antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid,
N-acetylcysteine (NAC), flavonoids, curcumin,
lignans have much stronger antioxidant activity than these vitamins. These
compounds can convert free radicals to inert or even useful substances
without becoming free radicals themselves. They can also
restore the antioxidant properties of vitamins A, C & E after these
donated their electrons to free radicals.
Selenium and zinc are not antioxidants themselves but are integral
components of antioxidant enzymes, therefore, these minerals also play an important role
in our defense against free radical damage.
Which antioxidant supplements should you use?
vitamins A, C & E are antioxidants that play first line defense against free
radical damage, they can become free radicals themselves once they give up
one of their electrons. These oxidized vitamins have to be
regenerated by other antioxidants (other vitamins or antioxidant
compounds). Therefore, It is better to consume a
combination of antioxidant compounds instead of
a high dose of
popular antioxidant supplements include vitamins A
(beta-carotene), C & E, green tea extract (EGCG), alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetylcysteine
(NAC), oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC, grape seed extract), curcumin
(turmeric), silymarin (milk thistle), superoxide dismutase, zinc and
Best Selling Antioxidant Supplements: