Vitamins and Minerals
Review: Best Multivitamin
Shaklee Vitmains Review
Fat And Water Soluble Vitamins
Good Daily Multivitamin
Senior Vitamin Needs
Vitamins and the Body
Vitamina y Nuestro Cuerpo
ANTIOXIDANTS CAN BE REAL LIFE SAVERS!
To understand the true value, and importance of antioxidants, we must first understand the destructive results of substances known as free radicals.
Free radicals are compounds which occur naturally in our bodies as a result of normal, daily reactions.
There isn't much you can do about that. However, there ARE things you can do to ease the negative effects of free radicals.
Essentially, when a molecule becomes a free radical, it is an unstable molecule which contains one free electron which is seeking a connection.
These unstable molecules seek to solve their unstable condition by latching on to tissues of the body, such as the linings of the blood vessel and cell membranes. This situation creates a chronic state of inflammation within the body in the process.
This somewhat chronic inflammation eventually results in damage to various tissues of the body. In fact, chronic inflammation, even from such issues as bad teeth and arthritis, has been linked to conditions as heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes.
The good news is that antioxidants bind to the free radicals, thus preventing the damage they would normally cause.
Damage Caused By Free Radicals
The results of damage caused by free radicals has been linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis (my daily friend), and many other conditions and illnesses. Free radical damage is also believed to contribute to many other degenerative aspects of aging, such as wrinkles, hardening of arteries, and some of the loss of mental acuity that sometimes occurs with age.
Forms, Substances, and Compounds
Antioxidants are available in many different forms and substances.
Vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene (a form of vitamin A) are antioxidants in addition to their other benefits to your
health and well-being. Selenium and zinc are two minerals which are
Other compounds; cysteine, glutamic acid, and glutathione, for example, are also antioxidants, as are natural and herbal products such as ginkgo, hawthorn, rosemary, green tea extract, and grape seed extract.
Cysteine is commonly found in poultry, oats, wheat germ, egg yolks, garlic and onions, and broccoli. It can protect against toxicity from smoking or pollution.
Glutamic Acid may reduce cravings for sugar and alcohol. It aids gastrointestinal healing and helps neurological and mental disorders. It is found in animal and vegetable proteins. Pregnant women and children should probably not take supplements of glutamic acid.
Glutathione protects against damage from chemicals, smoke and other toxins. It is a valuable nutrient against cancer, skin problems, and cataracts.
Vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene, is water soluble and can be found in vegetables such as spinach. Vitamin A is important for skin health, assists in childhood growth, and protects against night blindness (nyctalopia) in addition to other benefits.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is crucial to the body's ability to produce
collagen, an important protein that keeps skin damage minimal. Collagen
can delay the development of wrinkles and saggy skin by helping skin
hold onto its elasticity. Vitamin C also expedites the body's ability
to repair tissues so wounds heal more quickly. It is also important in
the body's ability to absorb and use several other nutrients.
Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol), like vitamin C, is not produced or stored
in the body, so it must be constantly replenished through diet or
supplementation. It encourages the proper development of muscles. It
can help boost the effectiveness of the immune system, primarily by
making it more resistant to bacterial and viral infections. Working
with other nutrients, vitamin E can help prevent development of
Trace Minerals - Selenium and Zinc
Selenium is a trace mineral, that is, the body does not need a large
quantity for health. However, even in small quantities, in addition to
its role as an antioxidant, selenium helps keep cell membranes healthy,
helps the thyroid gland and pancreas function properly, and can help
prevent dandruff in some people. A link between low selenium levels and
HIV/AIDs victims is being explored.
Zinc is another trace mineral. Zinc helps in the healing of wounds,
helps maintain the senses of taste and smell, aids in normal growth,
helps the reproductive system develop properly, and helps in the
transport of Vitamin A from the liver.
Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea, and Green Tea Extract
Grape Seed Extract is popular as a supplement for its antioxidant
qualities. While the extract is often made from seeds taken from grapes
made into juice, for example, you can actually get the same benefits by
enduring the taste and crunching the seeds in grapes you can buy in the
produce department of your local grocery.
Green Tea and Green Tea Extract can both provide antioxidant benefits, but a green tea extract supplement may be easier to deal with, say, when traveling or on a visit, than trying to brew a cup or pot of green tea. Green tea extract may also provide a more standard and dependable dose than the cup of tea you just brewed.
Of course, antioxidants
can always be taken in supplement form, the most common of these being the daily multivitamin.
Many companies, such as Shaklee
make excellent nutritional supplements, including antioxidants.