Our body is exposed daily to free radicals - atoms or molecules, whose actions can lead to particularly serious consequences. Factors leading to their appearance are very diverse: exposure to sunlight or X-rays, dirty air due to cigarettes or automobile emissions, and not least - malnutrition. But to understand how to protect your body from all this and maintain its healthy balance, you need to understand the full definition of the concept of antioxidants.
Free radicals are usually present in our body, and although each of them is only a small part of the problem, with a large accumulation they can cause trauma, the consequences of which are irreversible. These particles lead to damage to the cell membranes of the DNA molecule, becoming one of the main causes of cell aging. The presence of free radicals leads to the development of pulmonary, cardiovascular and oncological diseases. It is assumed that each cell produces about 10,000 free radicals a day. And antioxidants are called to fight with them. People who seriously approach the concept of antioxidants, whose menu includes products rich in these substances, have good resistance, i.e. the consumption of these healthy and nutritious foods is the best preventive measure against the impact of hazardous particles.
Antioxidants - what is it?
They are groups of elements that protect human cells from the negative effects of free radicals, which can significantly worsen our immune system. From a chemical point of view, an antioxidant is any substance that prevents the oxidation and development of free radicals, preventing them from multiplying. In a broader sense, antioxidants are substances that can delay or prevent oxidative damage to biological structures.
Our body has its own innate set of antioxidants coenzyme Q10 and glutathione, which effectively fight the effects of free radicals. Unfortunately, with age, the adoption of uniform and inefficient foods constantly increases the likelihood of exposure to negative factors (smoke, chad, chemical contamination of food and water), the amount and effectiveness of antioxidants decreases inversely proportional to the activity of the radicals.
This means only one thing: with increasing age, consumption of foods rich in vitamin C and E, beta-carotene and selenium is necessary - these are some of the best antioxidants that not only inactivate free radicals, but also improve the physiology of the body, strengthen its protection against viruses, bacteria and toxic substances.
Mechanism of action of antioxidants
The protective mechanisms of the body can be divided into three levels:
- The first level includes all the factors that prevent the formation of endogenous free radicals. Their full definition sounds like "preventive antioxidants" - transferrin, ferritin, hemosiderin, lactoferin, albumin.
- The second and basic level of protection in the body ensures the tracking and removal of already formed free radicals or radicals with low reactivity. This is done with the help of enzymatic antioxidants - catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase.
- The third level of protection is classified by enzymes that have partially recovered from damage by free radicals. Such activity occurs in phospholipases A2, some proteolytic enzymes, DNA-reducing enzymes, etc.
The list of the most popular antioxidants:
4. Akay Bury
6. Alpha lipoic acid
8. Coenzyme Q10
9. Ginkgo Biloba
14. Blue-green algae
15. Dried fruits
18. Red wine
Recent studies show that their positive effect increases when several antioxidants are used together. In this connection, the question arises: "Is it possible to create a superantioxidant that effectively protects all cells from degeneration?" And the answer is likely to be positive. This is because all these ingredients can be combined properly to create a product that will be very useful when:
- active or passive smoking;
- the daily impact of air pollution, automobile emissions, work in an environment with a high concentration of toxic substances, etc .;
- excessive sunlight;
- the negative consequences of congestion;
- increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases, degenerative and neoplastic diseases;
- in the first trimester of pregnancy to reduce the risk of congenital anomalies and ugliness;
- prevention for all who would like to slow the aging process and keep their body in good healthy shape even after reaching the age of 60 years;
- maintaining a young, strong, elastic and better looking skin and reducing wrinkles.
Risks to health
Each of us knows that the consumption of foods such as blueberries, broccoli, pomegranates, citrus fruits, and the consumption of coffee and green tea are an extremely useful and desirable phenomenon for a healthy diet. But hardly any of us suspects that this sometimes creates a potential danger to the health of the body. This is not always consistent with the full definition of the concept of antioxidants, but this is already a proven fact.
Although the addition of antioxidants to various foods and drinks is considered useful, a study by American scientists from the University of Kansas shows that daily consumption of foods high in antioxidants (eg, vitamin C and E) can lead to dangerous and undesirable changes in the somatic cells of the human body that significantly increases the risk of tumors and cancer.
Scientists have observed how increasing the flow of oxygen to the cells affects their functioning. In their opinion, the antioxidant balance is extremely sensitive and even a small decrease or increase in the dose of the substance can have negative consequences and significance. American experts argue that an unreasonable overdose of antioxidants can only hurt. This at first sight may seem absurd, but it is a fact. Excessive amounts of substances with antioxidant properties reduce the body's ability to transfer oxygen to cells and this violates the key signaling mechanisms in the human body that are necessary for its normal functioning.
The authors of the experiment believe that high doses of antioxidants affect the activity of certain enzymes involved in correcting errors in the DNA chain that occurs during cell division. The study confirms the hypothesis that large doses of antioxidants can cause errors in the genetic code of the cell and create different mutations. For its part, errors in the DNA material are a prerequisite for the development of tumors, as well as a number of cancers.
Therefore, before you start using food supplements containing antioxidants, you need to make sure that the body really needs them. And this means that it is mandatory not only to consult a specialist, but also to conduct a series of analyzes and studies. On the other hand, the lack of certain antioxidants is the main cause of the development of chronic viral and infectious diseases, premature aging, further increase in the rate of development of degenerative eye diseases, such as cataracts. This means that it is necessary to find the right balance to be the most logical and consistent in the consumption of antioxidants. They combined with a healthy lifestyle will allow you to be in good shape even in old age.