The Key to Anti-Aging:
Combating Free Radicals
The weapons of choice against free radicals are antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that can neutralize harmful oxygen radicals and are found in some vitamins, minerals, chemicals, bioflavonoids, herbs, and other substances. Not all vitamins and minerals work as antioxidants. In today's society, with all the things we are exposed to, a great need exists to supplement our diets with extra antioxidants.
Free radicals are highly-reactive compounds created in the body during normal metabolic functions-like the ordinary metabolic breakdown of organic compounds-or introduced from the environment. Oxygen is one of the sources of free radicals. Increased oxygen consumption, as an exercise, leads to increased production of free radicals. Oxidation is one of the major causes of aging.
Electrons normally come in pairs. A free radical contains an unpaired electron. In its unbalanced state, the free radical wants to combine with other molecules and when it does, it can destroy an enzyme, a protein molecule, cell membranes, RNA, DNA, hormones, or a complete cell. The stealing of electrons by the free radicals creates a chain reaction, resulting in thousands of free radicals. Antioxidants work by seeking out and easily giving up electrons to free radicals, which neutralizes them. Antioxidants can reduce the energy of the free radical, stop it from forming at all, or interrupt the free radical chain reactions.
Environmental sources of free radicals include radiation, sun exposure, x-rays, automobile exhausts, heavy metals, cigarette smoke, second-hand smoke, unsaturated fat, chemicals in water, processed food, pollutants, toxins, and stress. Free radicals are believed to play a role in many health conditions, including the aging process, loss of elasticity, decrease in flexibility, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases. Over the course of time, they make the body vulnerable to disease by weakening the immune system. Most degenerative diseases are accompanied by damage to the immune system. Eventually, free radical build-up exceeds the body's ability to protect itself. Smokers take note-one puff on a cigarette brings trillions of free radicals into the body! I wonder if that has anything to do with why a smoker usually looks much older than his actual age. He not only looks older, but physiologically he is.
Antioxidants help protect your body from nearly every chronic degenerative disease, including cancer. Antioxidants in your food are one of the best ways to counter the damage that free radicals produce. Some of the highest-ranking antioxidant food sources are vegetables, blueberries, beans, and nuts.
Supplementing with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidant enzymes, and herbs may be the best way to protect the body from free radical damage. Don't think that supplementing with these things will make up for an unhealthy lifestyle-a poor diet, lack of sleep, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Supplementation should be added after you change these unhealthy habits. Supplementation is designed to be a part of a total health program, which includes adequate exercise, a healthy diet, and a strong, focused, healthy mind. The best mode of attack is to use a wide range of antioxidants as opposed to just a few.
Antioxidants are a major part of what I call "the fountain of youth." We can slow down the aging clock and live many more healthy and productive years by supplementing with antioxidants. If you use all of the resources in my book, you can actually reverse the aging process and become biologically younger. Look what antioxidant supplementation and weight training (the other fountain of youth) have done for my body's biological age! It is well known that weight training results in the secretion of anti-aging hormones such as testosterone and hgh.
The need for antioxidant supplementation increases with age, but even children can benefit from antioxidants. They experience the same free radical-producing conditions that adults do. It's never too early to start protecting their health. I will be coming out with my own line of TOTAL HEALTH FOR LIFE VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS in the coming months which will have the best delivery systems and highest bioavailability (amount actually absorbed and used by your body). Remember, all vitamins are not created equal!
Some of the most common antioxidants:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A & Beta-Carotene
- Green Tea
- N-acetyl Cysteine
- Coenzyme Q10
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid