Antioxidants are compounds that combat oxidation, a chemical process that has the ability to produce free radicals (or reactive oxygen species), which can lead to the destruction of cells within an organism. Free radicals develop as a result of waste created by cells, a reaction from our body as it processes food and responds to our environment. If the body cannot remove free radicals in an efficient manner than oxidative stress can occur.
Oxidative stress has been linked to several ailments, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, immune deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and more.
Factors that can cause oxidative stress include:
- Environmental pollution
- Tissue damage
- Excessive exercise
- The consumption of processed food and artificial sweeteners
- Exposure to chemicals
These factors cause damage to the body’s cells and could lead to:
- An increased rate of enzymes that produce free radicals
- The release of an excessive amount of iron and copper ions
Types of Antioxidants
The number of substances that act as antioxidants within our body is unknown, but it is thought to be near hundreds, or maybe even thousands.
Each substance plays a unique role in protecting our body from the harsh effects of free radicals. Free radicals can be triggered by both internal and external sources.
Examples of antioxidant vitamins that work to keep our bodies performing at an optimal level include:
- Lipoic acid
- Vitamin C
- B1 Thiamine
- B9 folic acid
- B12 methylcobalamin
- B complex
- Vitamin E
What Are the Benefits of Antioxidants?
Antioxidants work to render free radicals in our body ineffective and boost our overall health. Benefits associated with antioxidants include:
Studies have suggested that antioxidants may help counteract the negative effects of aging, most notably memory loss. Antioxidants possess two types of flavonoids (a group of plant metabolites that carry health benefits) and these flavonoids have been shown to reduce the levels of microscopic brain proteins that build up and cause communication disruptions in the brain.
Antioxidants’ role within the body are to protect our cells (membranes, enzymes, and DNA) from the negative effects of free radicals. The way antioxidants protect our cells is by destroying unstable molecules that pose a risk to our overall health. They keep our immune system strong by performing hundreds of necessary functions within the body, such as helping convert food into energy and repairing damaged cells.
When our skin is exposed to high levels of radiation, such as UV light, reactive oxygen damage is induced, leading to the formation of many types of reactive species of oxygen that can cause sunburns and skin cancer. Vitamin E, combined with other antioxidants have been shown to help protect our skin from the harsh effects of reactive species of oxygen.
What’s the Best Way to get Antioxidants?
Traditionally, we acquire antioxidants by consuming foods rich in nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables. Today, it is possible to boost the efficiency and potency of our vitamins through vitamin injections and IV therapy.
When we receive a shot of anything, it’s absorbed into our bloodstream, so injections are a more efficient alternative than the traditional means of acquisition. This allows our bodies to receive a more potent dose than what would have been possible through consumption helping you feel better faster.
For those interested in experiencing the benefits of an antioxidant refresher, find a location near you, and book an appointment today!