You may have heard about a new miraculous substance called an antioxidant.
In it, scientists believe they have discovered a sort of 'Fountain of Youth'. Actually,
antioxidants have been around for a long time. Many of the vitamins we rely upon are
antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. But there are other less well
known antioxidants that are even more potent which are called the super
These super antioxidants, although not called vitamins because they aren't essential to
life, are powerful weapons in our quest for optimum health. There are literally
hundreds of scientific studies that show that these super antioxidants can do everything
from supporting heart health to improving normal vision and enhancing normal brain
Oxidation in the body is a process similar to what happens to metal when it rusts, or to
an apple when it turns brown after being cut. And just as a squeeze of lemon juice stops
the oxidation of an apple, so do antioxidants stop the rusting inside our bodies caused
The word oxidation come from oxygen, an element that is essential to life, but can be
harmful in some forms inside our bodies. A good oxygen molecule has its electrons paired
up, making it stable. An unstable or harmful oxygen molecule has a missing electron,
creating what is termed a Free Radical. These are bad because they go around grabbing onto
other cells in their attempt to find another electron and become stable. In doing this,
they can cause problems with the workings of the cell to which they attach. Scientists
speculate that this is what accelerates the aging process.
Free radicals are all around us; in the air we breath, in the food we eat, and even as a
natural product of living. In fact, free radicals are used by the immune system to fight
off invading bacteria and viruses. They have become a problem because of the polluted
environment we live in and our poor diets. Antioxidants directly combat free-radicals,
mitigating their negative effects.
It is the excessive free radicals, not balanced properly with antioxidants, that do
damage. The ideal body, with ideal nutrition, in an ideal environment, would have the
ability to counteract the free radicals it produces, and keep them under control.
Eating and normal metabolic processes are responsible for a large percentage of the free
radicals the body must deal with.