“Antioxidants are natural compounds found in some foods that help neutralize free radicals in our bodies.”
Antioxidants play an important role in overall health. They are found in many plants throughout the plant kingdom with varying degrees of concentration. The body’s trillion or so cells face formidable threats daily, ranging from lack of food, lack of nutrients, lack of water, environmental or chemical exposure, to infections with a virus, bacteria, fungi, parasites and electrosmog – just to name a few!
In the Victorian government Better Health site, it’s stated that antioxidants benefit your health by cleaning free radicals out of your bloodstream. I wrote about the Antioxidants The Wonder Nutrients a few weeks ago, but have been getting a stream of questions regarding free radicals and why we recommend the specific antioxidants we do.
There are a few very simple reasons:
They are more effective, they are almost a third of the price of any competitor, and they contain almost twice as much of the active ingredients – as far as we can tell. This is the reason they out perform anything you can buy on the shop selves!
However I realised a little more information on both ‘free radicals’ and the free radical killer: ‘antioxidants’ would not go astray . . . so here goes!
The Protective Power of Antioxidants
Research suggests that antioxidants can indeed be effective in preventing a number of age-related diseases. Antioxidants have a range of health benefits such as reducing the visible signs of ageing by minimising wrinkles and preserving the texture of the skin. They can even protect your skin from sun damage, and reduce the incidence of sunburn.
The protective effect of antioxidants continues to be studied around the world. It’s well known that different antioxidants benefit different parts of the body. For instance, the lycopene found in tomatoes can contribute to prostate health and men who eat plenty of the antioxidant lycopene (found in tomatoes) may be less likely than other men to develop prostate cancer.
The beta carotene found in carrots can help maintain eye health. Lutein, found in spinach and corn, has been linked to a lower incidence of eye lens degeneration and associated blindness in the elderly. Flavonoids, such as the tea catechins found in green tea, are believed in Japan to contribute to the low rates of heart disease. Other research says those flavonoids found in cocoa and chocolate are also good for your heart, while the proanthocyanidins found in cranberries and apples can aid in the maintenance of the urinary tract.
Although antioxidants aren’t proven to treat any conditions, research has shown that antioxidants have also been implicated in the prevention of a number of degenerative, age-related disease, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment
- Immune dysfunction
- Impaired Eyesight
- Macular degeneration
To access the power of antioxidants we must convert the food we eat into the energy we use to fuel our lives. The more energy we have, the more we are able to achieve the life we want. To give our bodies energy, we need oxygen molecules. The oxygen molecule, having a smaller number of electrons, is able to accept electrons from our food and release the energy to our cells.
In the process of our body fueling it’s energy supply (a totally natural process), a large number of electron-deficient molecules will manage to escape unprotected. These nasty natural ‘chemicals’ are known as free radicals. Free radicals steal electrons from any stable source they come in contact with. Antioxidants counteract the destruction of molecules by releasing a surplus electron, thereby satisfying the ever present ‘greed’ of the free radicals.
Beware of Free Radical Attack
So our body faces a daily constant threat from free radicals. They are capable of damaging cells and genetic material. The body also generates free radicals as the inevitable byproducts of turning food into energy. Others are in the food you eat and the air you breathe. Some are generated by sunlight’s action on the skin and eyes.
Free radicals come in many shapes, sizes, and chemical configurations. What they all share is a voracious appetite for electrons, stealing them from any nearby substances that will yield them. Without an adequate and continual supply of antioxidants these molecule-destroyers run amok in the body, randomly seizing an electron from other molecules to make up their insufficient number.
This electron theft can radically alter the “loser’s” structure or function. Free radical damage can change the instructions coded in a strand of DNA. It can make a circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL, sometimes called bad cholesterol) molecule more likely to get trapped in an artery wall. Or it can alter a cell’s membrane, changing the flow of what enters the cell and what leaves it.
In today’s world we are exposed to many factors which impel these free radicals to grow at an unprecedented rate leaving us exposed to excessive aggressive free radical damage. This leads to oxidative stress in the body much like a bicycle which rusts quicker when exposed to salt air or lashed by the wind and rain than when left unexposed to these oxidising elements.
While free radicals are substances that occur naturally in our bodies, when in excess they can attack the fats, protein and the DNA in our cells, which can then lead to a variety of diseases as well as accelerate the natural ageing process. If this oxidisation is left unchecked even healthy cells age before their time.
The damage they can inflict on our cellular structure has been extensively researched and linked to many health related issues as well as more rapid ageing of the skin. No wonder our energy levels aren’t always where we would like them to be. No wonder our grandmothers skin looked so much smoother and plumper at 60 than most peoples do at 40 today!
The Effects of Free Radical Damage
According to the Australian (Victorian) government, some conditions caused by free radicals that can be improved with the addition of supplemental antioxidants include:
- deterioration of the eye lens which can contributes to blindness
- reduced circulation to your peripheral system including the eyes, legs etc
- inflammation of the joints (arthritis)
- damage to nerve cells in the brain, which contributes to conditions such as
- Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease
- acceleration of the ageing process
- increased risk of coronary heart disease, since free radicals encourage low-
- density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to stick to artery walls
- certain cancers, triggered by damaged cell DNA
As the above government site says, we aren’t defenceless against free radicals. The body, long used to this relentless attack, makes scads of molecules that quench free radicals as surely as water douses fire.
Some of the things that increase free radicals are:
- poor (low) nutritional uptake
- tobacco smoke
- environmental toxins
- bio-harmful chemicals
- or even too much stress can ultimately wreak uncontrollable havoc in our body.
The body holds free radicals at bay with enzymes, although these can hardly do anything when we are subjected to the amount of free radical exposure of todays modern world.
This is why we need help from outside:
Why we recommend what we do.
There are several important factors impacting a supplement’s effectiveness. First it’s a matter of synergistic blending of ingredients for optimal uptake, and the appropriate scientific delivery systems for effectiveness. Then, unless the actual ingredients are of the highest quality, the quantity of them is totally irrelevant as far as effectiveness goes for the end user.
Did you know that some manufacturers of nutritional supplements are continually reviewing the latest, extensive research available to be able to produce supplements that bring together the best of science and nature? This makes a difference to the end user, in the results they get. The Savvy Team have sourced all their wellness recommendations from companies who have proven to have this integrity.
What is impressive and says a lot for any company that does this, is that their ongoing passion and commitment to integrity means they do not just create another product to sell. Their commitment to providing only the best, means that if a particular ingredient for their formula arrives at the manufacturing facility and does not meet their high standards, then they return that ingredient (which is sold to another less stringent company) and they don’t produce the product until they find one that does. Now that’s real integrity!
That’s why our recommendations repeatedly seem to work better than our competitors, even if the amounts of any specific ingredient is not as high as might be listed in a competitors product. Ours work better, faster, with less – and are cost effective to boot!
To read more about how antioxidants can help with a myriad of health issues, contact your Savvy Team support person or email us at [email protected] .