The Truth About Antioxidants
The word "Antioxidant" has become more and more common lately. The problem is that most people have no clue what they really are. All they know is that they are "said" to help prevent and maybe even cure diseases. In this article, I am going to clear things up a bit and tell you exactly what they are, what they do, where you can get them, and if they are necessary. Unfortunately, in order to explain what they really are, I am going to have to explain it in a scientific way. "An Antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves. A "free radical" is any molecule that has a single unpaired electron in an outer shell(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioxidants)." In other words, as these chemical reactions take place, the free radicals can allow for other molecules to bind to them which can cause cellular damage.
An example of oxidative stress, or a chemical reaction associated with it, can be seen with the rusting of metal. Antioxidants are believed to help prevent and cure diseases, but this theory is yet to be totally proven. It is unclear if oxidants trigger the disease, or if they are produced as a consequence of the disease and cause the disease symptoms. Whatever the case, since oxidative stress has been associated with the pathogenesis of many diseases, it can only be said that antioxidants are vital to our health. Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) has become the current industry standard for assessing antioxidant strength of whole foods, juices and food additives.
Antioxidants are found in varying amounts in foods such as vegetables, fruits, grain cereals, legumes and nuts. Some of the best sources, at least those with the highest ORAC value, can be found in the following: Goji berry, Wolfberry, Acai berry, Mangosteen fruit, green tea, pomegranate fruit, pine bark, grape seed, grape skin, and most every fruit (with the listed fruits having the highest values).
You may hear of many products out there claiming to have "healing" powers and the best antioxidant but I just wanted to say that the healing power is really no mystery but a science as described above. I have researched many companies claiming they have the best antioxidant, and found that Intramax is the best! If you don't get any juice drinks with the best anti-oxidants, I highly recommend that you at least eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Overall, I have found that antioxidants are a vital component to living a truly healthier life!! Thank you and as always, have a Healthy Day!
Dr. James P. Nill, D.C.
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