Antioxidant: The definition emanates from the Greek “anti,” meaning “against,” and “oxys,” which implies oxidation. Loosely translated, this means to rust. So simply put, antioxidants are substances that work against the process of oxidation or even more bluntly…rusting, aging, decaying, degenerating or just plain old falling apart.
Certain oxygen molecules produced in the body, identified as free radicals, are normally produced by your body’s own metabolism. But too many free radicals can and do cause cellular degeneration.
Various factors can cause your body to unnecessarily produce more free radicals than are truly requisite. These may include stress, smoking, alcohol, improper diet, excessive sun, obsessive exercise and pollutants in the air we breathe. When your body produces too many free radicals, the “extra” free radicals prey on healthy molecules.
Free radicals contain an unpaired electron and since electrons exist normally in pairs, they attack other molecules in the body to get an electron to pair up with, leaving the attacked molecule short an electron. This causes a molecular change (oxidation) that can eventually lead to disease.
Antioxidants prevent this process by releasing unpaired electrons to “neutralize” the harmful, excess free radicals, which subsequently don’t need to attack healthy molecules and cause oxidation.
Free radicals are simply extremely reactive molecules, created as a waste by-product by the body’s metabolic processes. Free radicals are so potentially destructive that they are now regarded as primary agents of degeneration and death in nearly all living things, and have been shown to be responsible for the initiation of heart disease, aging, cancer, and other degenerative diseases.
What antioxidants do is literally neutralize the free radicals, reducing their ability to damage the cells.
Antioxidants scavenge free radicals before they cause damage, or prevent oxidative damage from spreading out.
The antioxidant defense systems in the human body are extensive and consist of multiple layers that protect at different sites and against different types of free radicals.
Small molecule antioxidants can be separated into lipid-soluble and water-soluble antioxidants. The lipid-soluble antioxidants are localized to membranes and lipoproteins, whereas the water-soluble ones are present in extra-cellular and intracellular fluids.
Antioxidants can slow; block or reverse oxidative changes in body substances and cells. For example, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) prevents the conversion of nitrates (from tobacco smoke, smog, bacon, lunch meats, & some vegetables) into cancer-causing substances. Vitamin E retards cellular aging due to oxidation. It also helps to block oxidation that converts LDL cholesterol from a form that stays in the blood to a form that can stick to and clog arteries (atherosclerotic plaque buildups). Beta carotene has been shown to reverse precancerous changes in cells that line the mouth and cervix.
Fundamentally, antioxidants have the ability to trap organic free radicals and/or deactivate excited oxygen molecules. Practically speaking, they play a significant role in the prevention of aging, atherosclerosis (heart disease), certain types of cancer, cataracts, inflammatory-immune injuries / auto-immune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus), ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome), AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), etc.
Of course if you are a nay-sayer and believe that additional nutritional support through supplementation is just contributing to ‘expensive urine’, than please forget all that you have read here, but if you are interested in learning more about how antioxidants or nutritional supplements by and large can contribute to your enhanced wholeness and wellbeing, than by all means please check out kreatefitness.com
-Here’s to good health!
Kurt’s website [http://www.kreatefitness.com], as well as his Provo Utah Private Fitness Facility Synergy Fitness Systems, specializes in in providing leading edge exercise and nutrition programs and the Neo Physis super premium supplement line. All of these superior products offer superior results.