The Truth about Antioxidants
Have you ever wondered why after a couple of years your new car isn’t so new? The paint is not as shiny, the interior has become wrinkled, and the dashboard is cracking! Why does this happen? The answer is oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from one substance to another. This produces a molecule with an electrical charge called a Free Radical. In the body these free radicals can start chain reactions that cause damage to cells. This cell damage can cause the cell to not function properly, or can even lead to cell death.
Antioxidants are chemicals that donate electrons to free radicals to stop the oxidation chain reactions. Antioxidants are commonly found in Vitamins: A, C, E. Selenium, CoenzymeQ10, Glutathione are also a few examples of antioxidants.
Here are just a few conditions which are thought to be caused by oxidative stress:
Alzheimer’s disease, Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Cataracts, Diabetes, Macular degeneration, Measles, Mental illness, Respiratory tract infections, Rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating a diet full of antioxidants is the best way to prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Fruits and vegetables have natural antioxidants in them, or you can use supplements in order to receive these nutrients. Antioxidants work in synergy, which means you don’t want to supplement just one antioxidant, you want whole foods which contain all of the antioxidants found in nature.
Derek Stratton DC, BS