“Load Yourself to the Eyeballs with Antioxidants & Vitamins”, says Cardiologist Dr Ross Walker.
One of the most plausible explanations for the events that surround ageing and disease is the accumulation of ‘free-radicals’. Free-radicals are destructive molecules and are an inevitable by-product of living in the world we live in, subjected to pollutants everyday.
In 1956 Dr Denham Harman, one of the pioneers of anti-ageing medicine, proposed the free-radical theory of ageing. Dr Harman came to view ageing as simply a ‘disease’ caused by the destructive effects of free-radicals.
Free-radicals are the by-product of many different sorts of pollution. Things such as radiation, pesticide, chemicals, alcohol, tobacco, and lots of things of that type all cause metabolic breakdown of the tissue. Free-radicals are incomplete molecules that just go looking for electrons to make themselves complete. When they are in quantities too large for the body to deal with, they continually destroy healthy cells in the body, rendering them unable to carry out their role normally.
This process is a natural part of our physiology and a natural process in nature itself. We’ve all seen it, when we see metal – rust, rubber – crumble, or even cut an apple and see it go brown. We mostly know however, that if we put lemon juice (containing the antioxidant, Vitamin C) on the apple, it stops it from browning. We wrote back in 2010 about what antioxidants are and what they do for you, but what else do the experts say?
As with the apple, free radicals do a similar thing in your body at the expense of your cell membranes. They ‘turn it brown’, a result which as cell membranes fall apart causes your system to become sick. With continual bombardment from excess free radicals, the cell’s DNA is damaged, causing metabolic breakdown of our internal tissue and organs. This is a major part of ageing and degenerative disease in both our external appearance and our internal physiology.
Free radical damage has been medically linked to:
- Heart Disease and Stroke
- Premature ageing
- Cataracts, eye disorders and poor eyesight
- Peptic ulcers and Diverticulitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Asthma and increased Allergies
- Thin, fragile and unhealthy skin
- Water retention
The free-radical process is meant to occur internally in the natural order of regeneration, so that new cells can replace the old, which are broken down and eliminated. Our bodies produce antioxidants in the natural process to defend the cells from any excess free-radical damage.
We also receive a certain amount of antioxidants through out diet, in fruits, vegetables, red wine, tea, coffee and even chocolate! However, we’ve always been consuming these in our foods and we are not ‘growing younger’! The problem these days is that our free-radical load is so high that these common defenders in our body and in our foods, can no longer do the job adequately.
If you are feeling lethargic and lacking your customary zip and sparkle, it could be that your batteries are succumbing to the relentless attack of free-radicals.
Can I get enough nutritional and antioxidant support from my diet?
So the question becomes . . . “Can I get all the nutritional and antioxidant support I need from a good diet?’ Some nutritionists claim you can.
However expert in Environmental Medicine, Dr Mark Donahoe says,
“I believe that it’s impossible to be in optimal health with the purchasing of the foods that we now commonly buy. I don’t think it’s possible, because on the one hand we’ve stripped of a lot of the nutrients from our foods – due to soil depletion and processing. On the other hand, the demands from the environmental factors are higher than they have ever been in the past.”
Dr Donahoe continued . . .
“I don’t think that there’s anybody who does not need supplements or who does not need something to optimise their health. Can you get by without it? Yes you can – if you’re prepared to put up with premature death from cancer; chronic ill health; or never really feeling well. But you’re not going to be healthy; you’re not going to be resilient. In general terms we would say, that supplementary trace elements and supplementary antioxidants are arguably needed for everybody who decides to breathe in a modern environment.”
Living in today’s world, with its vast array of chemicals and poisons, some of which we can reduce and others we can’t, means an ever increasing number of free-radicals and therefore ever increasing rates of free-radical based diseases. Diseases such as heart disease and cancer are still the number one and number two killers in the western world and yet they can be prevented.
To live a longer, healthier life we must reduce our exposure to toxins and use antioxidants which stage a counter attack by scavenging the free-radicals. Raising our levels of nutrition helps our body withstand the effects of these daily exposures.
Protecting the Body from Breakdown
Dr Ross Walker, eminent Sydney-based Cardiologist stated:
“The only methods available to us to reduce this free radical attack on our bodies are to markedly reduce our exposure to these chemicals and to load ourselves to the eyeballs with antioxidants.”
As Dr Walker explains in his book, ‘Highway to Health – Antioxidants and You’, “Years of my own clinical experience, have shown those people who ingest antioxidant dose vitamins are on the whole much healthier than those who do not. Antioxidant dose vitamins are an important part of combating the major diseases so prevalent in our society. More importantly, appropriate supplementation will keep you healthy, feeling well and maintain your passion and interest in life.”
Dr Walker and many other specialists say that both of these diseases respond dramatically in a positive way when aided by quality nutritional supplementation, which is why we should all fortify ourselves as part of our daily routine with an ample supply of quality antioxidants – ‘up to the eyeballs’, as Dr Walker suggests!
Here’s 17 Powerful Antioxidant Nutrients . . .
To help you Slow Ageing and look and feel your best!
Grape Seed Extract
Grapes are one of the most popular fruits . . . however let’s face it – most people want seedless grapes!
No one really wants that sweet, juicy flavour to to be ‘upset’ by crunching on bitter seeds in the middle. Well that means neglecting eating what is perhaps the healthiest feature – the grape’s seeds!
Grape seed extract has an incredible antioxidant potential with its flavonoid phytonutrients. These polyphenols include Resveratrol as well as the OPC’s (oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes).
OPCs are most well known for their antioxidant activity, helping to destroy free-radicals in your body, which in turn may help you avoid premature ageing and certain chronic diseases.
However, OPCs also demonstrate a host of other beneficial activities in the body, which may explain why grape seed extract appears to help so many different health conditions.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)(ref):
“Today, grape seed extract is used as a folk or traditional remedy for conditions related to the heart and blood vessels, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and poor circulation …
… [C]omplications related to diabetes, such as nerve and eye damage; vision problems, such as macular degeneration (which can cause blindness); swelling after an injury or surgery; cancer prevention; and wound healing.“
OPC’s help the body produce glutathione, which is the master antioxidant that protects DNA and strengthens the immune system. They also increase intracellular Vitamin C levels and strengthen capillaries and thus improve blood oxygen circulation throughout the body. These antioxidants also act to protect soft-tissue collagen in the joints and skin from free-radical damage and premature ageing.
The powerful free-radical scavenging effects of grape seed extract protect the skin from UV radiation damage, the blood vessel walls from inflammatory stress and the brain from low oxygen states. Due to the benefits that grape seed extract has on these systems, it has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer, improve blood pressure and protect against dementia.
Evening Primrose Polyphenols
Evening primrose seeds are a rich source of not only a valuable oil containing an essential fatty acid – but also polyphenols which can be obtained from the biomass remaining after oil pressing.
Polyphenols are found abundantly in natural plant food sources and play an important role in maintaining your health and wellness and have antioxidant properties. There are over 8,000 identified polyphenols found in foods . . . and this is why we hear of the health benefits of certain foods such as tea, wine, chocolates, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil, just to name a few.
Studies have shown that Polyphenols: have cardio-protective effect, an anti-cancer effect, and anti-diabetic effect, anti-ageing effect, and neuro-protective effect.
Evening primrose extract has also been show to lessen the incidence of dental problems.
Green Tea Concentrate
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.
You don’t have to drink it all day to receive the benefits – supplementing with green tea extracts provide a constant source of the beneficial polyphenol compounds like flavonoids and catechins – powerful antioxidants.
Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence!
What gives turmeric its anti-oxidant nature is one of its key ingredients – ‘curcumins or curcuminoids’. Studies have shown that curcuminoids are very effective in scavenging free-radicals and neutralising them. Many high quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.
Some of the key benefits of turmeric are: Anti-ageing; provides protection against tumours, cell-mutation and cancer; helps in keeping heart healthy by removing oxidized cholesterol from body. Also it helps in reducing both oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
The team at Authority Nutrition put together ‘The top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric‘.
Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical that gives fruits and vegetables a red colour. Lycopene is found in watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, and pink guavas. It is found in particularly high amounts in tomatoes and tomato products.
Lycopene has been well studied with benefits for many issues. People take lycopene for heart disease, atherosclerosis, prostate problems and cancer. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. This is why there is a lot of research interest in lycopene’s role in preventing cancer.
Rosemary has been used for thousands of years as a savoury spice, food preservative and as an herbal medicine for a variety of health disorders. Until now however, the exact chemical pathways involved in its beneficial effects have remained unknown.
There are hundreds of research papers and studies on the extensive antioxidant capabilities of rosemary. Before retiring from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, botanist Dr. James Duke established the landmark Phytochemical Database that lists all the known chemical compounds in more than 1,000 edible plants, including the most common herbs and spices. According to Duke, rosemary contains more than two dozen antioxidants, and it is the only compound in his database (CRC Handbook of Biologically Active Phytochemicals, 1992) to have immune-regulating, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities.
Although rosemary extract has been used commercially as an antimicrobial food preservative for years, now we know for certain that it also has a lot to offer as a nutritional supplement – especially in the prevention of some types of cancer, allergies, and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Rosemary extract: Provides powerful antioxidant protection, protects brain cells from the normal effects of ageing, may slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, protects cells from carcinogens, inhibits growth of cancer cells, helps reduce allergy symptoms (especially to dust mites), increases potency of vitamin E, helps reduce hypertension.
Rosemary is also used for digestion problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas and flatulence, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. It is also used for gout, cough, headache, high blood pressure, and reducing age-related memory loss.
Lutein, nicknamed ‘the eye vitamin’, is a type of carotenoid antioxidant that is most well-known for protecting eye health. Just like many other types of antioxidants, lutein is found in brightly coloured foods like fruits and vegetables – especially leafy greens and types that are deep orange or yellow.
Along with another vision-boosting antioxidant called zeaxanthin, lutein is abundant in anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting foods including kale, broccoli and many other green vegetables, eggs yolks and citrus fruits – all of which help protect the eyes from oxidative stress.
Some benefits: Protects against eye disorders like macular degeneration, helps protect skin health, might help lower risk of cancer and diabetes, can help maintain heart health.
Pine Bark Extract
White Pine Bark extract has been independently studied and proven to have a wide array of benefits! It is used for treating many issues such as: circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, ADHD, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, painful menstrual periods, erectile dysfunction, and retinopathy. It is also used for preventing disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke, heart disease and varicose veins.
It’s often used in formulations for slowing the ageing process and it also helps to maintain healthy skin, improve athletic endurance and improve male fertility.
Citrus fruits are well known for being a good source of Vitamin C. The reason is that the flavonoids they contain greatly enhance and prolong the effect of the Vitamin C.
Most Vitamin C supplements available through stores are made from synthetic ascorbic acid. Without the natural flavonoids found in citrus (and some other fruits and vegetables), ascorbic acid is easily oxidized and can actually harm your body.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges and tangerines contain many other nutrients that enhance the effects of Vitamin C as well as being powerful antioxidants. The most potent of these citrus nutrients are a group of bioactive flavonoids also known as ‘Vitamin P’. They include diosmetin, diosmin, hesperidin, naringin, narirutin, neohesperidin, nobiletin, quercetin, rutin and the flavone tangeritin. They are essential for the proper absorption of Vitamin C, and studies have shown that they enhance and prolong the action of vitamin C.
Bioflavonoids have been proven to help with the following: Varicose Veins, Haemorrhoids, Cardiovascular Health, Bruises, Allergies, Hypertension and even Cold sores!
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance similar to a vitamin. Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, helping protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. CoQ10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, sardines, mackerel and peanuts.
Researchers believe that CoQ10 may help with heart-related conditions, because it can improve energy production in cells, prevent blood clot formation, and act as an antioxidant. CoQ10’s benefits are widely publicised and we’ve written about the benefits here on the blog as well.
At one time, Inositol was known as vitamin B8 and considered part of the family of B complex vitamins. Inositol is a nutrient that is a vital cofactor for the brain’s major neurotransmitters.
Now it’s considered a ‘pseudovitamin’, a neglected stepchild of the vitamin B complex . . . however that doesn’t mean that inositol is without merit!
For reasons not yet understood, it works particularly well in women to relieve anxiety, binge eating, PMS and more. Inositol is a mood-enhancing and sleep-promoting nutrient that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Inositol is used for diabetic nerve pain, panic disorder, high cholesterol, insomnia, cancer, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, promoting hair growth and psoriasis.
Taurine is an ‘amino sulfonic acid’, but it is often referred to as ‘a conditional amino acid’. A ‘conditional amino acid’ can be manufactured by the body, but an ‘essential amino acid’ cannot be made by the body and must be provided by the diet.
People who for one reason or another, cannot make taurine, must get all the taurine they need from their diet or supplements. For example, supplementation is needed in babies who are not breastfed because their ability to make taurine is not yet developed and cow’s milk does not provide enough taurine. So taurine is often added to infant formulas. People who are being tube-fed often need taurine as well, so it is added to the nutritional products that they use.
Taurine is found in large amounts in the brain, retina, heart, and blood cells. The best food sources are meat and fish.
Taurine has been well studied as an antioxidant and has many fundamental biological roles and is essential for cardiovascular function, the development and function of skeletal muscle, the retina, and the central nervous system. It assists the liver in the process of detoxification – and excessive liver toxicity leads to further free-radical damage in the body.
Evidence shows that long-lived cultures often have a high dietary intake of Taurine!
Vitamin C is one of the most recognised vitamins and has been for years, yet according to the University of Maryland, evidence suggests that many are deficient in this crucial vitamin. This is a major health mistake. Vitamin C is needed for a variety of vital body functions.
Vitamin C benefits include: repair and maintenance of teeth and bones, slowing and preventing cell damage plus maintaining healthy body tissues, boosts immune system, helps absorb iron from plant foods, decreases severity and duration of colds, builds collagen needed to bind bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments together, builds and maintains blood vessels.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, which plays a role as an antioxidant in the body. It also helps to prevent free radical damage to specific fats in the body that are critical for your health. Vitamin E is an important vitamin that is required for the proper function of many organs in the body and is extremely useful in naturally slowing ageing. Vitamin E benefits include – repairing damaged skin, supporting healthy hair, improving hormonal balance, supporting healthy vision, treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels; such as chest pains, high blood pressure, and blocked or hardened arteries.
There are many natural trace-elements that are essential for the body and also act as antioxidants such as Potassium, Selenium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.
Potassium for example, has a protective effect against cardiovascular damage, possibly due to its antioxidant action. High potassium intakes are associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes, a reduced risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
Potassium’s primary functions in the body include regulating fluid balance and controlling the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles. Potassium is an electrolyte that counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure to support. It is also needed to maintain acid-base balance.
Selenium is essential trace element that plays a key role in metabolism. While people only need a very small amount, deficiencies are still rampant.
Selenium is a ‘component’ of some proteins and enzymes in the body and selenium and its compounds are antioxidants. Selenium is an active immunomodulator, much more potent anti-oxidant than vitamins E, C and A or beta-carotene.
Selenium’s role was an antioxidant has been well documented, helping to defend against cancer, lower chance of heart disease, boost your immunity and increase longevity.
Zinc is another essential trace element and is needed in small amounts every day in order to maintain health and perform important functions each day. Zinc is actually present within all body tissue and needed for healthy cell division. It acts like an antioxidant within the body, fighting free-radical damage and slow the ageing process. Zinc also has a big impact on hormonal balance, so for this reason, even a small zinc deficiency can result in an increased risk for infertility or diabetes.
Zinc benefits the body in many ways: helping with hormone production, growth and repair of the body, improves immunity and facilitates digestion. Zinc benefits also include its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Without enough zinc present in your diet or through supplements, it’s possible to experience negative reactions like frequently getting sick, feeling like you’re always tired and run down, poor concentration, stunted growth, and the inability to heal wounds.
So in protecting your body from breakdown, remember what Dr Walker stated, “The only methods available to us to reduce this free radical attack on our bodies are to markedly reduce our exposure to these chemicals and to load ourselves to the eyeballs with antioxidants.”
With the amazing array of benefits that these nutrients provide – loading yourself up with these 17 antioxidants will certainly help you!
Reach out to us or your Savvy Team contact for how to source these nutrients in on handy supplement!