Antioxidants-What are they? Why do you need them?
If you have an interest in natural health you will have heard the term “Antioxidants” and you would probably also be aware that they are important to protect our bodies from the serious damage that can result from excessive free radicals.
But according to a new in-depth article by leading natural health authority Dr Mercola “In the mainstream media and amongst consumer marketers, antioxidants have become a buzz word for selling products.”
(I have provided a link to Dr Mercola’s article and a short PDF explaining Antioxidants in my conclusion below).
In this article, I have simplified (as far as that is possible) this complex issue and explained:
- Why Antioxidants are Important, and
- What Are Free Radicals?
So, why are Antioxidants Important? and What exactly are Free Radicals?
Antioxidants are important because they are nature’s way of defending your cells against attack by free radicals.
What Are Free Radicals? Your body produces free radicals because of normal metabolism (the chemical processes that occur within our bodies to maintain life) and energy production.
Free radicals are generated by everyday exposure to pollutants in your food, water, and air. Your body requires antioxidants to help prevent the adverse consequences of free radicals.
Free radicals can have a snowballing effect in which molecule after molecule steals from its neighbour, each one becoming a new free radical once it’s been “electron-robbed”…leaving a trail of biological carnage.
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of breaking the “free radical” chain of reactions by sacrificing their own electrons to feed, and thereby neutralise free radicals, without becoming free radicals themselves.
If you don’t have adequate antioxidants to help neutralise these free radicals, then oxidative stress tends to lead to less-than-optimal health and premature aging.
Your body can manufacture some of these antioxidants, but not others. And your body’s natural antioxidant production tends to decline with age.
Types of Antioxidants
In his introduction, Dr Mercola says:
“ By now, I believe everyone interested in natural health has heard of antioxidants and their health benefits.
That’s not to say that many foods and supplements don’t contain some antioxidant properties.
But there are bigger questions to be asked when it comes to antioxidants.
For instance, how powerful is the antioxidant in question? If you consume foods with low antioxidant levels, you might need to eat massive amounts to have any effect on free radicals.
On the other hand, if you consume foods and supplements with highly concentrated amounts of antioxidants, you won’t need to consume as much and you have a better chance of protecting yourself from free radical damage.”
There are two distinct types of Antioxidants based on whether they are soluble in water or in lipids (organic compounds that are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents).
You need both types to protect your cells. The interior of your cells and the fluid between them are composed mainly of water; but your cell membranes are made largely of fat.
As you know, oil and water don’t mix. Substances that are soluble in water are not soluble in fat, and vice versa.
Free radicals can strike the watery cell contents or the fatty cellular membranes. So, your cells need defenses for both.
The fact that antioxidants are so complex and multifactorial has confused people about what antioxidants they should be taking.
Antioxidant Like No Other
In his article Dr Mercola focuses on a specific anti-oxidant called Astaxanthin.
He says that “Up until now, this super-nutrient has not received the attention and notoriety I believe it deserves.
What if you could…
- Support your brain and nervous system and provide protection from free radicals?*
- Promote your joint and skeletal system health?*
And if you’re an athlete, or even a weekend warrior, what if you could…
- Help improve your strength and stamina?*
- Improve your endurance?*
- Enable faster recovery from exercise?*
- Reduce joint and muscle soreness after a vigorous workout?
(Astaxanthin) a super-antioxidant nutrient can help you do all this… and more.
And it’s not just based on “hearsay.” Studies have researched the solid benefits of this powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant”
How to Help Maintain Healthy Function of Your Immune System
In his article, Dr Mercola explains that “ In many cases, your immune system helps support your health”
It’s important to help maintain your immune response at a healthy level.
Five of the most effective things he recommends you do to help promote a healthy immune response are…
- Eat a healthy organic diet based on your Nutritional Type (NT)
- Exercise regularly to help control your weight
- Avoid vitamin D deficiency
- Keep your stress levels in check
- Avoid smoking
There is one more thing Dr Mercola believes you can do to help support your immune system… and that’s to consume the super-antioxidant called astaxanthin”
If you would like to learn more about this super-important question “What are Antioxidants and why do you need them?” I recommend you download Dr Mercola’s short PDF:
In Dr Mercola’s article there are 2 short videos’ which helped me to gain additional insight.
You can access the full article by clicking on the link below:
This issue becomes much more critical as we age. According to Dr Mercola, his Astaxanthin Formula offers the following Potential benefits:
“- reduces the existence of wrinkles, dry skin, age spots, and freckles,
– helps protect skin from overexposure due to sun-induced free radicals,
– boosts your brain and nervous system protection from free radicals,
– helps reduce the visible signs of aging,
– supports your joint and skeletal system health,
– increases your strength and stamina, and
– enhances your visual acuity and depth-perception*
Sounds good to me.