Monday, December 10, 2007

Understanding Antioxidants

The whole mangosteen fruit has been shown to contain powerful antioxidants—compounds that inhibit oxidation or reactions promoted by oxygen and peroxides. Antioxidants are highly regarded for their ability to protect the body from the deteriorating effects of free radicals.

Free Radicals

Omni-present in our food, air and environment, free radicals storm our bodies every day. It's a simple fact. Free radicals (compounds that seek an electron in order to become atomically balanced) attack our cells, stealing electrons from any substance with which it comes in contact. By removing electrons from healthy compounds, free radicals inflict damage—often known as oxidation—which is irreversible.

Antioxidants Can Help

The good news—antioxidants, like the ones abundant in every mangosteen, preempt free-radical damage by donating the needed electron and balancing the substance, rendering the free radical harmless.

Antixodants are nutrients that protect the body against the harmful and damaging effects of chemicals called 'free radicals', which develop within the body through age and poor diet.

Antioxidant deficiency

Studies throughout the last 30 years reveal that many of the so-called degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's and arthritis arise because of a deficiency in antioxidants.

Free radicals

These destructive chemicals wreak havoc by damaging cellular DNA (our genetic material), destroying cells and corroding cellular membranes. This sort of damage is the number-one cause of ageing and a significant contributor to diseases in those aged 60 or over.

Free radicals enter our bodies as we breathe in polluted air and cigarette smoke, and are generated during prolonged stress or illness and through every metabolic reaction involving oxygen.

When oxygen molecules become unstable they seek to stabilise by reacting with other chemicals. If left unchecked, this leads to inflammation and arterial wall damage. This can lead to disease and premature ageing.

Antioxidant action

Antioxidants can 'mop up' free radicals and prevent this damage from taking place. The key to good health, disease prevention and anti-ageing is therefore to make sure that our antioxidant levels are consistently high enough to neutralise the free radicals within our bodies.

By increasing the daily intake of antixodants through diet and supplements, free radical activity within the body can be reduced, significantly lowering the risk of developing degenerative diseases.