Antioxidant is a word that is heard constantly on health news programs and in health supplement advertisements. Many people may not know any facts about antioxidants; they are motivated simply by the health advertisements and the desire to remain healthy.
In order to understand the facts about antioxidants it is important to first understand ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are unstable molecules floating around inside the body searching for somewhere to steal an electron from and thus create another unstable molecule. This process can lead to disease, health conditions and cancer.
Antioxidants combat this process by stopping it in its tracks. They prevent the free radicals from doing damage and thereby add longevity of life and the prevention of disease in the body.
Antioxidant facts are an easy way to break down what these all important and possibly life saving compounds are able to do and perhaps help bring an understanding of their importance.
Just the Facts
Oxygen lies at the root of the problem. Oxygen is both good and bad for the human body. Without it humans can’t survive. On the other hand, oxygen can break down other molecules in the body that are needed. Much like oxygen turns iron rusty by breaking it down, oxidation is the damage done to the good molecules in the body making them potentially dangerous and often deadly.
It is a known antioxidant fact that the body has natural antioxidants to fight the oxidation process that causes free radicals. Many common nutrients that are found in the body act as antioxidants. These include beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
Antioxidants that occur naturally in the body can be supplemented in order to increase the level of antioxidants that are in the body and able to fight free radicals.
One little known fact about antioxidants and free radicals is that the body needs some free radicals in order to function efficiently. It is when there is an overabundance of free radicals that health concerns become apparent, such as increased incidences of cancer, heart disease and liver disease.
Antioxidants can be both preventative and curative. In preventative mode they work to reduce the number of free radicals in the body and the effect that they are having on the body. This has been seen in research studies that show cancer cells not progressing any further after coming in contact with antioxidants.
An important antioxidant fact is that they can also work curatively. Scientists have already shown that antioxidants can help to improve the symptoms and the side effects of various diseases. It has also been proven that antioxidants are helpful in the treatment of chronic inflammation.
Once individuals are aware of the many antioxidant facts that they had not been informed of, it is easy to see that adding antioxidant supplements is a wise decision, both preventatively and curatively. There are many natural antioxidants that can be used as supplements and many quality manufacturers who distribute them. The Internet is an excellent source of information on antioxidants.