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Antioxidants - How to slow down Aging

February 2nd, 2006

Antioxidants - How to slow down Aging

colorful vegetables

We are a product of our environment and must be realistic in knowing that the environment is not pure and because of the basic instinct of greed, we are living in a polluted world. The people, who live the longest, exist in the high mountains where the air is not polluted, the water is full of healthy minerals and the food is free of synthetic chemicals.

In the polluted world, we must recognize that polluted air, water and food produce free radicals and pathogenic germs that cause us to prematurely age with diseases and pain. For those of us that live in the chemical world, we can live 20 years or even longer, if we prevent free radicals and pathogens from shortening our life. Anti-aging depends on fighting free radicals and pathogens. Conventional medicine may let us live 20 years longer, but with the expectation of suffering. Fortunately, the choice is ours.

 

ANTIOXIDANTS:

Antioxidants are chemicals that defuse free radicals and other biologically damaging molecular fragments in the body.  They consist of nutrients such as Beta-Carotene, Coenzyme Q10, Selenium, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are well known for their antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are found in a full-range of fruits and vegetables, as well as in some meat, like fish. However, fruits and vegetables are the key source of antioxidants.  Although, our bodies produce its own antioxidants, the level of product declines over time because of environmental factors and through the aging process.

ANTIOXIDANT THEORY -- HOW THEY WORK:

Free Radicals As part of the normal cell function, cells make toxic molecules called free radicals.  Free radicals are damaged molecules-molecules that are missing electronics.  Free radicals are regarded as the primary force of destruction in nearly all-living things.  Free radicals take electrons from other non-damaged molecules. By doing so, the free molecules damage the cell.

As cell damage continues, it contributes to certain diseases and aging.  Free radicals can cause cancer, diabetes, cataracts, cardiovascular disease and wrinkles.

 

THE BENEFITS OF ANTIOXIDANTS:

Slowing down oxidation with antioxidants is a good way at slowing down the oxidation process.  When oxidation occurs in food, fatty acids undergo chemical changes.  Fatty acids are also found in the blood, which can undergo similar chemical changes, as does food.

“Mental Decline Resulting From Aging”, A study published by the Journal of Neuroscience showed that rats fed antioxidant-rich strawberries and spinach had better memories and slower decline of nerve cells functions than rats fed a standard diet.

Most of us know that we need to consume more fruits and vegetables than meats. Fruits and vegetables play an important role in protecting against and possibly reversing the cognitive declines seen from aging.

Free radical destruction is said to be a key factor to a decline in memory and motor performance seen in aging.  The brain is especially vulnerable because it is relatively deficient in antioxidants to begin with.

 

WHICH ANTIOXIDANTS ARE BEST THEN?

Two general types of antioxidants work together to protect the cells and tissues of our bodies. One type protects the aqueous (watery) portion of the tissues and the other the hydrophobic, or lipid (fatty) component. The aqueous environment is protected by vitamin C, and at least two additional antioxidants produced by tissues, glutathione and thioredoxin. Cell membranes are protected by the lipid-soluble antioxidants, including vitamin E, and the ubiquinols (CoQ10). Another antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid, is unique in that it can enter and protect both lipid and water environments.

When vitamins C and E react with and neutralize a free radical, the oxidized or spent vitamins are converted back to the reduced or recharged, active form. Vitamin C can donate electrons to oxidized vitamin E and convert the E back to its active state, leaving vitamin C oxidized. Vitamin C, in turn, can be recharged after reacting with glutathione or the more potent antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid.

The most versatile antioxidant in the cell is alpha lipoic acid. It is one of the more potent antioxidants, owing to its property of being the most easily oxidized. Alpha lipoic acid is the foundation of an antioxidant network involved in the conversion of the spent or oxidized forms of four different cellular antioxidants back to their active protective forms. The obvious questions, then, are how lipoic acid is regenerated and whether this process ever ends.

The answer lies in the unique property of lipoic acid, its solubility in both water and lipid.  Lipoic acid can be converted from its oxidized state to its reduced state with the aid of a mitochondrial enzyme (the organelle within the cell where energy is produced). Unlike vitamins C and E, the cell has machinery specifically designed for the regeneration of reduced lipoic acid. Therefore, lipoic acid can itself react with and neutralize free radicals in addition to recycling vitamins C and E (as well as CoQ10, glutathione and thioredoxin). This is critical, since each antioxidant has a unique function. The conclusion, then, is that all of these antioxidants are required for optimal cellular health

FOODS HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS:

Beta-carotene -- Found in dark green, dark yellow and orange vegetables and fruits.

Selenium -- Found in meats, fish, cereal, dairy products, Brazil and some other nuts.

Vitamin C - Found in orange juice, kiwi, grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, green peppers, cauliflower and broccoli.

Vitamin E - Can be found in mayonnaise, margarine, salad dressing, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, crab, shrimp and fish.

RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCE:

Make sure you get the RDA for vitamin C, E and beta-carotene. If you rarely eat dark-green or orange varieties of fruits and vegetables, take a supplement, which supplies 100% of the RDA vitamins and minerals. 

Studies show that people, especially as they age, don't get the RDA for vitamin E. Good food sources for vitamin E again are breakfast cereals that are fortified with 100% of the RDA for vitamins and minerals, shellfish, mustard or turnip greens, kale and collards.

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By Ito Nakamura
Ito Nakamura is an internet health entrepreneur specializing in marketing contact lenses, health supplements; exercise equipment & beauty products.  http://www.detoxprofessor.com

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:49 PM