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Antioxidants- What does it do?

Aug 17, 2007
Antioxidants are those molecules available in human body that prevent or slow down oxidation. They occur naturally in food. They defend the destructive free radicals formed in the metabolism and due to other external factors.

Free radicals may be produced by internal and external forces. Oxidation reactions are the internal forces that produce free radicals. In external forces; X ray, Gamma ray, and other radiations can produce free radicals. These free radicals are very dangerous for your body. They cause some chain reactions which are harmful. Antioxidants work on these reactions and break them in-between. Antioxidants remove the free radical intermediaries and thereby break the chains. They also get oxidized and thus inhibit oxidation reactions. Antioxidants act as reducing agents also.

The oxidation reactions are necessary for your body, but they are harmful if not controlled. So for controlling them, you will need antioxidants in the body. There are different types of antioxidants that are available. Some of the known antioxidants are Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, glutathione, phytochemicals- like allyl sulfides, carotenoids, flavonoids, lignans, phenols, phytic acid, saponins, enzymes- like catalase, superoxide dismutase, and peroxidases etc.

When antioxidants are absent or when their levels are low, oxidative stress created inside the body can kill your body cells. These stresses result in different problems and diseases in the human body. So antioxidants are very important in medical and pharmacology. Possibility of using antioxidants for treatment of stroke and neuro problems may be great news on which studies and research are going on. They can also be used for treatment of cancer and coronary heart diseases. As a preventive measure, antioxidants are also used in dietary supplements. This will help in preventing diseases as well as will maintaining your health. Some of the diseases they fight against are cancer, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Antioxidants are also used for industrial purposes. They are used a preservatives in food and cosmetics as well as in rubber and gasoline industry.

Source:
Most of the antioxidants are available in the plants. You can get vitamin A, C and E, beta carotene, and minerals from the fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E is available in nuts, vegetable oils, seeds, olives, liver, leafy green vegetables, avocado, and wheat germ. Vitamin C is available in citrus fruits (oranges and grapefruit), peppers, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, and strawberries. Beta carotene is available in pumpkin, mangoes, squash, papaya, sweet potatoes, peppers, spinach, and apricots. Phytochemicals are available in onion, garlic, tomatoes, turmeric, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, apples, spinach, carrots, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, legumes, tea, beans, and so on. There are also lots of vitamin supplement tablets available.

Benefits:
Antioxidants help to reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases. Age related diseases and degenerative diseases are also reduced by antioxidants.

Antioxidants can work as insurance against aging and its effects. It can keep you healthy and away from diseases and thus, may increase your life. It is like a defense mechanism creator for defense against different illnesses.
About the Author
Zach Thompson is a Glyconutrients
Representative. His clients range from actresses to pro athletes. You can get a free Glyconutrients consultation by visiting the site.
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