An antioxidant is a natural biochemical substance that protects living cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals cause oxidation, the same chemical process that causes the metal to rust and apples to turn brown. In the body, if left uncontrolled, free radicals cause cell membranes to erode and die, leading to a variety of degenerative conditions.
Produces as a by-product of cellular activities, free radicals are typically neutralized and rendered harmless by antioxidants. But when environmental and other toxins(poor diet, pollution, stress, cigarettes) introduce an increases burden of free radicals, the body’s reserve of antioxidants is quickly exhausted.
Types of Antioxidants-
– Amino Acids: cysteine, glutathione, methionine
– Bioflavonoids: anthocyanin bioflavonoids(in fruits, especially grapes, cranberries, and bilberries), citrus bioflavonoids (in grapefruits, lemons, and oranges), oligomeric proanthocyanidins(OPCs)in Pycnogenol (pine bark or grape seed extract).
Carotene: alpha and beta-carotene(in red fruits and vegetables, such as red grapefruits and tomatoes).
Spices: cayenne pepper, garlic, turmeric
Herbs: astragalus, bilberry, ginkgo, green tea, milk thistle, saga.
Minerals: copper, maganese, selenium,zinc
Vitamins: A, B1, C and E coenzyme Q10, NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide)
Enzymes: catalase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase.
Miscellaneous: lipoid acid.