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Antioxidants - Crisis Shapes the Market

The word "antioxidant" is often seen in the health and fitness world, but many people don't know what it actually means. Oftentimes antioxidants are identified as a kind of nutrient that can prevent aging or diseases - but how does this process work? We'll shed some light on the subject with this blog post, so you can be well versed in antioxidants!  


What is an Antioxidant? 


An antioxidant is simply a substance found in food which helps reduce oxidation. When we eat high-energy compounds like sugars and fats, they interact with oxygen. This reaction between oxygen and these substances creates free radicals - highly reactive substances that can damage cells. As a result of this, the energy production of our cells is compromised and we age more quickly. 


What is the Link Between Antioxidants and Nutritional Supplements? 


Actually, antioxidants can be obtained from food naturally. For example, many fruits have vitamin C present within their own sweet fleshy forms. These fruits are packed with their own natural antioxidants that help protect against oxidation and illness. But to obtain more potent amounts of antioxidants, you'll have to consume certain supplements. Here are a few examples: 


Vitamin C  (ascorbic acid) - A natural antioxidant found in food (fruits and vegetables). A natural antioxidant found in food (fruits and vegetables). Vitamin E -   or Tocopherol - An essential fat-soluble antioxidant. The vitamin E and tocopherols are finding more use in supplementation thanks to their ability to regulate our own bodies' antioxidant processes. An essential fat-soluble antioxidant. The vitamin E and tocopherols are finding more use in supplementation thanks to their ability to regulate our own bodies' antioxidant processes. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) - A natural antioxidant found in food (fruits and vegetables). 


A natural antioxidant found in food (fruits and vegetables). Vitamin E -   or Tocopherol - An essential fat-soluble antioxidant. The vitamin E and tocopherols are finding more use in supplementation thanks to their ability to regulate our own bodies' antioxidant processes. 


What Are the Benefits of Supplementing with Antioxidants? 


The most important thing about antioxidants is that they're natural substances found within our bodies, and that they help fight against free radicals within cells. Since oxidative stress can cause illness, we have a distinct biological need to get more antioxidants through food sources and supplementation. 


An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Inhibition of this reaction promotes the longevity of the other molecules. 


Oxidation is important because it allows for energies and substances to be released, including heat and light energy in exothermic reactions such as combustion, like in fires. As an electron carries energy, it will reach an outer orbital which contains more electrons than the inner orbitals do and therefore will want to release its energy by returning to an inner orbital. 


Antioxidants can act as electron acceptors instead of electron donors. They can reduce free radicals in the same way that an electron acceptor will reduce its own free radical. By doing this, they are able to act as an antioxidant. 


Glutathione is an important intracellular non-enzymatic antioxidant. It can be found in many different living organisms and has been classified as a water-soluble vitamin. Glutathione is present in almost every living cell of all types including animal, plant, monerans, fungi etc.. In humans, glutathione is synthesized in the liver and secreted into the blood plasma. The highest levels are found in the liver, kidney cortex and lungs but it can also be found in each and every cell of the human body which are all capable of synthesizing it.

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