Free radicals are the common cause of tissue damage. Thousands of scientific studies have linked them to every known disease. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce by-products, or free radicals. These are damaged molecules which have become unstable because they have lost an electron. When that happens, they attack healthy cells nearby and steal electrons from them. Those cells then become unstable as well and end up attacking and stealing electrons from other nearby cells.
If nothing is done to stop the process, the instability spreads in a chain reaction, healthy cells quickly become damaged, and sickness or disease results. The signs of aging also begin to show. In fact, free radical damage accumulates with age.
In another post titled “Attack Of The Killer Free Radicals”, I list various ways to protect against free radical damage. One of the quickest ways is to increase your intake of antioxidants, substances which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Antioxidants are found in various foods, but taking antioxidant health supplements is probably the easiest way to get concentrated doses.
An antioxidant is essentially a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. By using antioxidants to remove free radical intermediates, the chain reaction where one healthy cell after another becomes damaged may be terminated. Also known as free radical scavengers, antioxidants can prevent and repair free radical damage.
Not all antioxidant supplements are equal. Some criteria you need to look out for:
• There are many forms of free radicals, so go for antioxidant supplements which combine a wide variety of antioxidants, not just one or two substances or nutrients.
• The antioxidant supplement should have high ORAC values. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and measures how well the food or antioxidant supplement combats health conditions like heart disease and cancer.
• To be effective, antioxidant supplements need to be easily absorbed and assimilated right up to cell level. Check that your supplements have high bio-availability before you buy them.
Choose your antioxidant supplements wisely. It could make all the difference in your battle against aging and sickness.