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Antioxidant is a word you hear a lot in our modern world. But why are they so special and why do we need them?
As it’s an ANTI-Oxidant, first let’s talk about oxidants.
These are the agents in our environment that cause oxidation, it’s a natural process that takes place all around us every day, even in our bodies. Examples of oxidation include metal rusting or fruit turning black.
Who are the Free Radicals?
In our bodies oxidation can be caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules and they are more reactive than other molecules.
This means when our bodies are working well the concentration of free radicals is kept in balance by our antioxidant defences. But when there is an unbalanced level of free radicals we get a thing called oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress in our bodies.
When oxidative stress occurs in our bodies the free radicals can cause damage to other molecules within healthy cells and tissues, such as DNA, fats and proteins, causing damage to normal cell functions that can lead to cell death.
It sounds dramatic but it happens every day through many aspects of modern living such as diet, alcohol, pollution, medications, sun exposure and smoking. All of these can increase oxidative stress.
When your body is experiencing oxidative stress it requires higher levels of antioxidants.
The antioxidants come to the rescue and inactivate free radicals by stabilising them, helping to prevent cell damage.
Where to find antioxidants.
You’ll find antioxidants in a diet rich in Vitamins C and E, selenium, zinc and bioflavonoids. Obviously it’s hard to know if you’re getting enough through diet, so daily supplements can provide you with the extra boost you many need to fight oxidation.
Now that you know what you’re dealing with you can take action to protect yourself against the effects of daily life. If we get enough antioxidants we can help keep free radicals in balance to help prevent oxidative stress. Adding supplements high in antioxidants is a simple way to ensure you are ready to face free radicals every day.