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Antioxidants

Antioxidants are talked about almost every day. Nonetheless, most people don't know what antioxidants are nor what they do. This article defines antioxidants, explains what they do and the vital role of antioxidants in health and health care.

What is an antioxidant?

An antioxidant is a classification of organic substances that prevent free radicals from damaging the body.

Common antioxidants include Vitamins A, C and E, selenium, carotenoids and flavinoids, coenzyme Q 10 and idebenone. Antioxidants are found in fruits, berries and vegetables and in a wide variety of other substances. Antioxidants are also available in supplement form.

What do antioxidants do?

Antioxidants deactivate another type of molecule: the free radical. Free radicals are an unstable type of molecule that is highly reactive - so reactive in fact that it can cause damage to the walls of cells, to structures inside cells and even to genetic material. The main risk of free radicals is that the damage they cause accrues over time and leads to cancer.

Antioxidants actually tie up these free radicals, in effect eliminating their potential to do damage to the body.

Antioxidants and antiaging

Antioxidants are able to prevent and counteract many of the signs of aging that are caused by free radicals. Antioxidants primarily play a preventative role, though topical application of antioxidants have been proven to help eliminate wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin.

Eating a diet rich in antioxidants not only insures that the free radicals in the body are eliminated, it also provides vitamins, minerals and fiber in the quantities the body needs.

The benefits of a diet rich in antioxidants go even beyond cancer prevention. Scientists think that high levels of antioxidants can help prevent arterial blockages, heart disease and stroke. Antioxidants are key in most antiaging supplements and diet plans.

 

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