Antioxidants ~ ReallyWell.com
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Antioxidants are among those natural agents receiving much attention for good reason. They are special food compounds from plant sources that counteract damaging free radicals.
These special nutrients protect tissues and organs from the deterioration caused by the bombardment of the free radicals by preventing formation of some of them and neutralizing others.
Antioxidants help to counteract the threat of allergic reactions as well as cell damage from free radicals and other toxins created by unfriendly germs and other parasites, or from stress, or from environmental pollutants.
Free radicals are active, unstable, positively-charged particles that zing around the body seeking a stabilizing negative electron mate. As they steal electrons from the cells of our tissues, they damage these and create more free radicals. Harm from these toxins is a major contributor to most disease.
An antioxidant works by providing an electron to the free radical, stopping it from damaging tissue further. Most antioxidants become a milder free radical themselves in this process as they give up their electron. However, the antioxidants slow down the formation of free radicals, and reduce the loss of electrons by the cells of the body.
Free radicals have been found to be involved in several of the most severe diseases, including circulatory disease, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and AIDS.
Antioxidant nutrients help prevent damage to tissues by free radicals in one of two ways: by reducing free radical formation, or by apprehending and neutralizing free radicals that have formed.
Antioxidants include many nutrient compounds from multiple food sources:
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, phytonutrients, such as pigments and flavonoids (including OPC's as from pine bark and grape seeds, chlorophyll as in green foods and carotenoids as from algaes and red/yellow plant foods), polyphenols (such as resveratrol from red grapes, lignans as from flax seeds, and ellagitannins as from red raspberries), tocotrienols (as from rice bran), curcuminoids (as from turmeric), negative ion hydrogen and others.
Phytonutrients are beneficial plant compounds developed from the interaction of sunlight, minerals, water and enzymes in plants. Phytonutrient compounds are found in many plants.
Anthocyanadins, flavonols, xanthones, and tocotrienols, are a few of these groups. Some of these are especially high in certain fruits, including mangosteen, Chinese wolfberry (“goji”), noni, grapes and several types of berries.
These have similar benefits of antioxidant protection, improved brain function and nicer skin, as well as protecting against serious diseases. Supplements and juices are now being made from concentrated extracts of these various fruits with wonderful results.
Chlorophyll and carotenoids (carotenes and xanthophylls) are well-known pigments that are protective antioxidants.
Chlorophyll, found in all green foods, is similar in its make-up to human blood, except it has magnesium as the centerpiece atom, while blood has iron. It is relatively easy for the body to make blood with a good intake of chlorophyll.
Carotenoids are from the red and yellow part of the color spectrum. They are antioxidants that are particularly protective for the skin, eyes and other soft tissues, as well as the liver.
Oligo Proanthocyanidins are powerful antioxidant pigments that have received a great deal of attention in recent years. OPC’s are flavonoid compounds found in certain pine extracts and in some fruits, especially grape seeds.
Native Americans used parts of special pine trees centuries ago in the form of a tea made from the needles and bark that was used to prevent scurvy, colds and flu in the winter.
OPC’s extend the effectiveness of Vitamin C in the body dramatically, and the Vitamin C extends Vitamin E. OPC’s are outstanding as antioxidants, 20 times as effective as Vitamin C and 50 times as effective as Vitamin E.
OPC’s also strengthen blood vessels, including fragile capillaries, enhance the brain, and firm collagen in the skin, renewing a youthful appearance.
Similar flavonoid pigment compounds to OPC's are found in other fruits, especially berries. Flavonoids are commonly associated with vitamin C, and serve to extend its effectiveness. All flavonoids have similar benefits to those of OPC's in antioxidant protection, improved brain function and nicer skin.
Antioxidant supplements are now being made from concentrated extracts of various algae, fruits and other plants with wonderful results.
The television and newspaper media have featured stories about the health benefits of red wine, citing research that suggests that red grapes and wine may lower the risk of developing certain diseases.
Research studies from around the world on resveratrol and the other polyphenols found in red grapes, red wine and other plants, confirm that these help improve overall health and longevity.
Lignans are polyphenol antioxidant compounds that are considered "phytoestrogens". Some of them are hormone-like substances that can act similarly to estrogen, though mildly. In this regard lignans can help balance hormonal irregularities. They are known to be helpful in cancer prevention. The best known food sources for lignans are flax seeds and sesame seeds.
University studies have shown that a special concentrate of red raspberries high in ellagic acid has dramatically helped many with cancer.
Ellagic acid is a natural compound found primarily in red raspberries, and to a lesser extent in other berries and fruits. It has been proven to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties. Increasing ellagic acid may be the most effective way to prevent cancer. It blocks the growth of cancer cells and stops cancer growth in people genetically predisposed to it.
Research done at the Medical University of South Carolina on an ellagic acid concentrate has been confirmed at a number of other major universities. These have shown that ellagic acid destroys many cancer cells, including some of those related to a virus. Also, it inhibits division of most cancer cells.
Results have been similar for a variety of conditions, including: skin, breast, lung, esophageal, pancreas, prostate and colon cancers. It also prevents destruction of a gene thought to guard against mutation of cervical cells in women.
Further, there are indications that ellagic acid works with DNA to hide potential binding sites on a cell that a carcinogen or mutagen might occupy.
Since ellagic acid is also a powerful antioxidant, the consumption of it as a preventive agent is a wise practice for everyone.
Tocotrienols are one of the most health-restoring substances ever discovered. These are phytonutrient compounds found in certain plants and foods that have great benefits for restoration and protection of health in humans.
Tocotrienols are cleansing, strengthening and highly protective to the body’s tissues. The assistance these wonderful compounds bring to the body is of great value to the immune functions as well.
Tocotrienols are among the most powerful antioxidants known. They are 6000 times as effective as vitamin E in antioxidant activity, 2400 times as powerful as vitamin C, and about 120 times as effective as OPC’s, (eg., “pycnogenols”).
The potent antioxidant protection that tocotrienols provide could be very important to anyone known to have trouble with circulatory disease, as well as for many other conditions.
There are a number of cases of people recovering from cancer that was called “terminal”, who have taken a combination of plant-source enzymes, beneficial probiotic bacteria, superfoods containing plant pigments and other phytonutrients, and tocotrienols for cleansing and nutritional support. Liver support, enzyme-enhancement and antioxidant activity from tocotrienols are key beneficial factors for someone with this condition.
Tocotrienols feed the liver which makes enzymes, hormones and other compounds for the rest of the body, some of which nourish and stimulate the endocrine glands, including the pancreas, to function better.
Help for the pancreas should be of great interest to diabetics. Some research through health professionals utilizing natural methods indicates that tocotrienols could help reverse diabetes. Those who begin using a tocotrienol-rich nutritional supplement should monitor their blood sugar closely. Adjustment of the amounts of insulin or other medicines may be needed.
Beyond that, tocotrienols are neuro-stimulants, and help rebuild the sheath on the nerves, calming anxiety and stress and increasing mental abilities. These compounds also hold out hope for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, M.S., Parkinson’s and other nerve and brain disorders, as well as for children with learning disabilities or slow brain development. Children with “Down’s syndrome” may be helped to improve.
Over all, the protective benefits, the cleansing of the liver as well as the rest of the body, and the rejuvenating effect on all body tissues, makes supplementation with tocotrienols a wise choice.
Negative Ion Hydrogen
Negatively charged hydrogen has been found to be the most effective antioxidant, as it has the most available free negative electrons to neutralize free radical toxins, which are positively charged.
"Must Have" Antioxidants
Antioxidant intake is absolutely essential to counteract the tremendous bombardment our tissues receive from free radicals. It is valuable to consume a variety of antioxidants, though, as each has other accompanying benefits that it provides.
Outstanding Antioxidant Products
Click on the name to read about and/or order the item:
~ Delicious Greens 8000-- outstanding high antioxidant green food mix
~ Coenzyme Q10 -- antioxidant & cellular catalyst
~ Cordyceps -- great antioxidant & energy supplement - concentrated extract
~ Resveratrol Complex -- powerful concentrate of red wine grape antioxidants
~ Curcumin -- fantastic protective antioxidant from the spice turmeric
~ Tocotrienols -- strong antioxidants and organ repair nutrients
~ Negative Hydrogen (Microhydrin) -- one of the most effective antioxidants known for combating free radicals
~ Organic Milled Flaxseed -- rich in lignan antioxidants
~ Protandim -- powerful new breakthrough anti-aging supplement.
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Delicious Greens 8000TM
This excellent antioxidant green foods mixture has the highest ORAC value (measure of antioxidant capacity) of any superfood supplement. Yet it is less expensive than similar products.
This is a comprehensive powdered blend of high antioxidant organic greens (eg., dehydrated grass juices & edible algae), plus many other outstanding superfoods. Check it out.
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