An antioxidant is an element that reduces the rate of particular oxidation reactions in a specific context, where oxidation reactions are chemical reactions that involve the transfer of electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent.
Antioxidants are particularly important in the context of organic chemistry and biology of all living cells. Complex systems of antioxidant can help to prevent damage to the cells' components. The importance and complexity of antioxidants in biology is reflected in a medical literature of more than 142,000 scholarly articles.
A diet containing antioxidants from plants are required for good health since plants are an important source of organic antioxidant chemicals. Antioxidants are widely used as ingredients in dietary supplements that are used for health purposes such as preventing cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants can reduce oxidation damage to cells and biochemicals. Researchers have found high correlation between oxidation damage and the occurrence of disease. For example, LDL oxidation is associated with cardiovascular disease. The process leading to atherogenesis, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease is complex, involving multiple chemical pathways and networks, but the precursor is LDL oxidation by free radicals, resulting in inflammation and formation of plaques. Research suggests that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods reduces damage to cells. This may slow down, prevent, or even reverse certain diseases that result from cellular damage, and perhaps even slow down the natural aging process. Antioxidant supplements are also very key in fighting these free radial cells from harming your body.
Since the discovery of vitamins, it has been recognized that antioxidants in the diet are essential for healthful lives. More recently, a large body of evidence has accumulated that suggests supplementation with various kinds of antioxidants can improve health and extend life. Make sure these said supplements are plant based or food based. You can educate yourself on what to look for on the label by watching a 2 minute free video.
Many nutritional and health food companies now sell forms of antioxidants as dietary supplement. These supplements may include specific antioxidant chemicals, like resveratrol (from grape seeds), combinations of antioxidants, like the "ACES" products that contain beta carotene (pro vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E and Selenium, or specialty herbs that are known to contain antioxidants such as green tea and jiao gu lan tea.
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The information presented here should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you need more information about Antioxidants, please consult your physician or a qualified specialist.