Photo credit: pixabay
It’s vital that you remove oxidative stress to prevent cellular damage that initiates many diseases e.g. diabetes, Alzheimer Disease, atherosclerosis / heart disease.
Anti-oxidants are needed to balance the oxidants produced by and present in the body from normal biological activities that damage the body’s ROS anti-oxidant control systems.
Antioxidants are compounds which inhibit oxidation in the body or in foods. Oxidation is a chemical process which involves the transfer of electrons or hydrogen producing harmful free radicals in the body.
These destructive substances can cause cell damage or death in the body through altering DNA, which can in turn lead to development of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, due to cellular mutations.
External factors such as cigarette smoke, air pollution and excessive alcohol consumption can all lead to production of free radicals and are therefore harmful to the body. Antioxidants help to stop the damage done by free radicals and therefore may be effective in reducing risk of disease.
Oxidation is also the process that makes food go bad after a certain time and antioxidants are often used in food manufacturing to slow down this process, giving food a longer shelf life.
- Williams et al. Flavonoids: antioxidants or signalling molecules? Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2004.
- Arts et al. Polyphenols and disease risk in epidemiologic studies. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005.
- Boffetta et al. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Overall Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010