Antioxidant, a classification of
several organic substances, including vitamins C and E, vitamin A (which is
converted from beta-carotene), selenium (a mineral), and a group known as the
carotenoids. Carotenoids, of which beta- carotene is the most popular, are a
pigment that adds color to many fruits and vegetables -- without them, carrots
wouldn't be orange, for example. Together as antioxidants, these substances are
thought to be effective in helping to prevent cancer, heart disease, and
stroke. Take these, they are a great insurance policy from what life throws our
Your Complete Immune System
your Complete Antioxidant Defense System
At the molecular and cellular
levels, antioxidants serve to deactivate certain particles called free
radicals. In humans, free radicals usually come in the form of O2, the oxygen
molecule. The oxygen molecule wants to be oxidized (remember that stuff from
your chemistry class?), and this oxidation process can sometimes be
carcinogenic. Free radicals are the natural by-products of many processes within
and among cells. They are also created by exposure to various environmental
factors, tobacco smoke and radiation, for instance.*
If allowed to go their merry way,
these free radicals can cause damage to cell walls, certain cell structures,
and genetic material within the cells. In the worst case scenario and over a
long time period, such damage can become irreversible and lead to disease
(e.g., cancer). This is where antioxidants come into play.*
Antioxidants "mop up" free
radicals before they get a chance to do harm in your body. Researchers have
postulated that antioxidants prevent the possible carcinogenic effects of
oxidation. Despite numerous studies carried out on the role of antioxidants in
cancer and heart disease prevention, the jury is still out as to which groups
of people, if any, benefit from taking antioxidant supplements.*
Some studies have shown that smokers
with diets high in carotenoids have a lower rate of lung cancer development
than their smoking counterparts whose carotenoid intake is relatively low.
However, a recent study indicated that some beta-carotene takers, primarily
smokers, actually had higher death rates. Other research efforts have suggested
that diets high in carotenoids may also be associated with a decreased risk of
breast cancer. Also, vitamin C has been found to prevent the formation of
N-nitroso compounds, the cancer-causing substances from nitrates and nitrites
found in preserved meats and in some drinking water.*
Many researchers claim that elderly
people, especially those who have reduced their food intake, frequent aspirin
users, heavy drinkers, smokers, and people with impaired immune systems may
benefit from taking antioxidant supplements daily. In terms of heart disease
and stroke, it is possible that higher levels of antioxidants slow or prevent
the development of arterial blockages, a complicated process involving the
oxidation of cholesterol. Moreover, antioxidants may deter the collection of
plaque on arterial walls.
Obviously, conflicting reports on
the health benefits of antioxidants and beta-carotene exist. It is difficult to
know what to believe and whose advice to follow (that's why you are at
LifeSource, right?). It is best to remember that vitamin and mineral
supplements should never be used as substitutes for a healthy, well balanced
diet! Your best bet is to eat a diet rich in fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, cantaloupe, and mangoes are great sources of
Eating a variety of foods low in
saturated fat and cholesterol will provide a rich natural source of these
vitamins, minerals and fiber. Every cell in our body produces tens of thousands
of free radicals on a daily basis. From a long-term perspective, the oxidation
that inevitably results can have a devastating effect on the integrity of our
healthy cells. LifeSource Vitamins Super Antioxidants are comprised of the most
powerful oxidation quenching nutrients available today. Countering the effects
of oxidation provides us with greater amounts of energy, increased stamina, and
a better state of overall health. Our distinctive blend of these highly
effective free radical fighters can play a substantial role in warding off some
of life’s most damaging toxins.*
Clinical use of antioxidant vitamin
supplementation may help to prevent coronary heart disease (CHD). Epidemiologic
studies find lower CHD morbidity and mortality in persons who consume larger
quantities of antioxidants in foods or supplements. Clinical trials indicate
that supplementation with certain nutrients is beneficial in reducing the
incidence of CHD events. Recent studies show that supplementation with
antioxidant vitamins E and C have benefits in CHD prevention; however,
supplementation with ß-carotene may have deleterious effects and is not recommended.
Current evidence suggests that patients with CHD would probably benefit from
taking vitamin E in a dosage of 400 IU per day and vitamin C in a dosage of 500
to 1,000 mg per day. Clinicians may also want to consider vitamin
supplementation for CHD prevention in high-risk patients. Folate lowers
elevated homocysteine levels, but evidence for routine supplemental use does
not yet exist.*
How Antioxidants Fight Oxidative
Stress and Free Radicals
As you age, your body tissues suffer
from oxidative stress due to the process of oxidation. Oxidation occurs when
molecules within your body lose electrons to electrically-charged molecules of
oxygen in your blood stream. These electrically charged oxygen molecules are
called "free radicals," and they have the potential to cause damage
to cellular DNA. Over time, the damage can become irreversible and lead to
If you're like most people, you want
smooth, healthy skin, but maybe you don't want to wade through hundreds of
chemically laden products to get it. That's where antioxidants can help.
Incorporating the right antioxidants into your diet and skin care routine can
have a positive effect on your skin.
Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins
and minerals) and enzymes (proteins inside your body) that can help to prevent
and repair damage to your body's tissue. Antioxidants do this by slowing or
preventing the effect of free radicals, which start oxidation -- a process that
causes damage from oxygen that can lead to cell dysfunction. If you've seen a
peeled apple turn brown, you've seen oxidation in action. As antioxidants block
the effects of free radicals, they end up being oxidized. This is why it's
important to constantly replenish your supply of antioxidants.
Blueberries, pomegranates, green
tea, and dark chocolate—these are just some of the antioxidant-rich
"superfoods" found in almost any supermarket today. As well as
improving our general health, there is growing evidence that diets high in
antioxidants may confer some protection against a long list of chronic
diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and even HIV. Given their
increasing popularity, the fundamental question bears asking: What exactly are
antioxidants, and how do they work in our bodies?
Antioxidants come in several forms,
including the vitamins A, C, and E; plant-derived polyphenols, found in
colorful fruits and vegetables; and also the element selenium, found in nuts
and broccoli. "What these compounds share," explains K. Sandeep
Prabhu, Penn State assistant professor of immunology and molecular toxicology,
"is the ability to neutralize harmful molecules in our cells."
These harmful molecules, known as
free radicals, contain unpaired electrons—which is unusual because electrons
typically come in pairs. "The unpaired electrons make free radicals highly
reactive, and in this state, they can cause damage by attacking the components
of our cells, and can even cause cancer," Prabhu says.
So where do free radicals come from?
Some are created as a natural by-product of reactions in our cells, says
Prabhu. Other sources of free radicals include cigarette smoke, air pollution,
and exposure to UV light or radiation. And once free radicals are formed, they
can make more free radicals by scavenging electrons from other molecules,
"creating a domino effect," he adds.
Antioxidants neutralize free
radicals either by providing the extra electron needed to make the pair, or by
breaking down the free radical molecule to render it harmless.
"Antioxidants stop the chain reaction of free radical formation and
benefit our health by boosting our immune system," explains Prabhu.
Because antioxidants are used up in the process of free radical neutralization,
a diet rich in antioxidants is essential to ensure a constant supply.
Research has shown that antioxidants
can have an important impact on serious diseases. In one recent study, the
addition of a polyphenol-rich blueberry gel to the diet of oral cancer patients
prevented recurrence of the cancer. Another experiment demonstrated that
increased levels of selenium in the diets of a group of HIV-positive patients
significantly delayed progression of the disease.
In light of these impressive
results, should everyone be taking antioxidant diet supplements? Prabhu warns
that there can be too much of a good thing: "As with most things,
excessive levels of antioxidants can be toxic." Furthermore, he stresses,
"We don't yet fully understand the mechanisms by which selenium and other
antioxidants work, and so we must be cautious about prescribing diets high in
these elements." In the Prabhu Lab, work is currently underway to discover
how selenium works, with the goal of introducing selenium as a therapy for HIV.
LifeSource Vitamins Super
Antioxidants will ensure your body is given a chance to fight these free
radicals. Eat lots
of fruit and veggies and try our Super Antioxidants to make sure you are fit for
the fighting of these free radicals! Super Antioxidants are a great
insurance policy from what life throws our way. Antioxidants eliminate free
radicals before they get a chance to do harm in your body. Helps fight
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*Disclaimer: None of the above statements have been evaluated by the FDA. These
products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As
always, consult your physician before taking any and all supplements.
LifeSource Vitamins. Individual results may vary.
Disclaimer: All the information contained throughout this website is based upon the
opinion of the founder of LifeSource Vitamins, Bruce Brightman, and the entire
team at LifeSource Vitamins whose relentless research and studies have been
ongoing on since 1992. Other articles
and information are based on the opinions of the authors, who retains the
copyright as marked on the article. The
information on this site is not intended to replace your health care
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taking your health care into your own hands is always best, especially in
partnership with your health care professional.
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