08 Jan Free Radical Damage
You have probably heard of antioxidants by now, but why do we take them? The answer is simple; we are constantly being bombarded by “Free Radicals”. We only ever hear about taking antioxidants because
they are good for you and never hear or understand what they are fighting (Free Radicals).
Free radicals are highly offensive compounds that are introduced to the body in several different ways. Our normal metabolism is one of the key ways in which these harmful compounds come to exist in the body. Our body’s are just like a car. We take in fuel, burn it and get energy and exhaust. The exhaust if not neutralized or vented from the car will eventually make the car not run properly or even worse stop working altogether. Just like with your car, the faster you go the more exhaust you will produce. This exhaust (free radicals) can and will if not neutralized cause damage to your cells and trigger a cascade of events leading to poor health. Other ways we are exposed to free radicals is through our environment. Environmental sources of free radicals include exposure to radiation (x-rays, sun exposure etc.) cigarette smoke, unsaturated fats, alcohol, ozone, automobile exhaust, heavy metals and from many other sources found in our air, water and foods. You can’t hide from them and if you do not take a proactive approach, you will most likely end up with one or more of the health conditions now linked to free radicals. Conditions such as cancer, heart disease and many of the aging health issues are all linked back to free radical damage.
So what is a person to do? As I mentioned in my last issue of the newsletter, CRN (crnusa.org) recommends that antioxidants be a part of your dietary supplement pyramid. Antioxidants are known to neutralize these harmful compounds and protect the body from the potential damage they cause.
We are all familiar with Antioxidants like C, E, Zinc and Selenium, but you may not be aware of the abundance of other (more powerful) antioxidants like Pycnogenol ®, Pomegranate, Alfa Lipoic Acid, lycopene, and herbs like Turmeric, grape seed extract and Green Tea. We all need antioxidants as part of our daily supplement program. Whether you are young or old the benefits are to numerous to count. When seeking an Antioxidant supplement, I recommend looking for a blended product, not one individual vitamin or mineral. I prefer the herbal (plant based) antioxidants too. Products like New Chapter’s Super Critical Antioxidant would be a great broad spectrum choice. Other products like Weil Nutritionals-Daily Antioxidant combine plants and other nutritional antioxidants. To better assist you, check with your health food consultant in the store to select the supplement that is right for your specific needs.