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What are Antioxidants?

By on May 27, 2010

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Have you been wondering what are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are naturally produced by the body, but due to the level of free radical damage that we are exposed to, it is advisable to supplement the diet with antioxidants. Antioxidants can be obtained from the diet in foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, although the levels are not high enough to combat the amount of free radicals that we are exposed to.What are antioxidants

There are various different types of antioxidants that are available to take as a supplement. Research has found that taking combination of these supplements has a synergistic effect in reducing free radical damage.

Co-enzyme Q10. This is a vital nutrient in the body that has many functions, and there are many studies that support the use of Co-enzyme Q10 in heart disease. Co-enzyme Q10 also has antioxidant activity. If you are taking a statin for cholesterol, you should supplement with this nutrient, as statins lower levels of coenzyme-Q10 in the body.

Acai. This is one of the most well known antioxidants on the market today. Acai berries are mostly found in Brazil and Peru. Because of the hype that is surround this product many companies are manufacturing acai capsules and juice. Please check the quality of the company before making a purchase.

Selenium is a mineral that is found in almonds and brazil nuts. Apart from being a good antioxidant, this mineral has many health benefits such as supporting the immune system and reproductive system. Studies have shown that supplementing with a dose of 200mcg of Selenium once a day can have a beneficial action on the heath of the prostate gland in men.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is sometimes referred to as the “universal” antioxidant because it is both water and fat soluble. This means that it can neutralise free radicals that are in fatty and watery parts of the cells. Alpha-Lipoic Acid can increase the effect of other antioxidants if taken together.

Other valuable antioxidants are Vitamin E, which  is a fat soluble and has beneficial action on the cardiac system, and Vitamin C which is water soluble and also is an immune booster.