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Antioxidants

Index:
Antioxidants Medical Considerations
Antioxidants Discussion
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Antioxidants
Medical Considerations

Antioxidants: Free radical damages can be linked as one of the causative roots of many diseases, including dementia. Antioxidants help correct and then protect from further free radical damages. What is a Free Radical? A Free Radical is an unstable oxygen molecule that possesses an unpaired electron. This molecule is constantly trying to become whole by robbing cells of vital components. These biochemical compounds called Free Radicals damage our body and its cells. Both external pollutants and biochemical process of the body cause excess Free Radical reactions; Environmental pollutants, numerous food additives, and stress are only a few of the many ways Free Radicals are formed. The way in which Free Radicals are normally kept in check is by the action of Free Radical Scavengers that occur naturally in the body. These scavengers neutralize the Free Radicals. It’s important to assist our body by additionally supplementing daily with Antioxidants. Supplementation with only a few antioxidants though, gives us much less protection, than utilizing a complete array of antioxidants. This is due to the fact that the antioxidant defense system works as a team. If members of the team are missing, the outcome is poor. Maximum protection requires the complete array of established antioxidants in nutritionally meaningful amounts. Stressful living produces a much higher amount of free radicals than found in otherwise normal individuals. Free radical damage has many extreme negative complications, including faster aging, and is believed to be the root cause of many of our degenerative diseases. It is my professional conviction that "Type A" personalities will have a far greater amount of free radicals in their bodies when compared to Type C personalities. It is well known that Type A personalities die more often of heart disease, stoke and cancer than Type C personalities. Type A personalities do not handle stress well. Type C personalities are not affected by stressful situations like Type A personalities are, and they handle everyday stressors calmly. Most people I have met while working in my profession are Type A.

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Antioxidants
Discussion

There is a group of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes called antioxidants that help protect our body from the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that can cause damage to our cells, impairing our immune system and leading to various chronic and degenerative diseases. There are three known free radicals: the Superoxide, the Hydroxyl, and the Peroxide. They may be formed by exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals, over-exposure to the sun's rays, or through the action of various metabolic processes, such as the use of stored fat molecules for energy. The way in which free radicals are normally kept in check is by the action of Free Radical Scavengers, known as antioxidants, that occur naturally in the body. These scavengers neutralize the free radicals. It's important to assist our body by additionally supplementing daily with Antioxidants.

Antioxidants are truly at the foundation of health. There is extensive scientific evidence that links heart disease, stroke, circulation problems, cancer and even aging itself to elevated levels of free radicals within the body. Fortunately, the production of these free radicals can be controlled with the use of antioxidants. Supplementation with only one or just a few antioxidants provides far less protection from damaging free radicals than utilizing a complete array of antioxidants. This is due to the fact that the antioxidant defense system works as a team. If members of the team are missing, the team cannot perform maximally. Maximum protection requires the complete array of established antioxidants in nutritionally meaningful amounts. Below is a list of potential ingredients for a very effective antioxidant formula. Each of these will provide specific cardiovascular, immune, and neurologic and wellness support. These nutrients at appropriate levels have been shown in research studies to adequately control free radical damage.

Green Tea Extract - Green Tea’s active constituents are polyphenols, the best studied of which are the catechins known as epigallocatechine gallate. Green tea is beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as it exerts antioxidant activity, lowers cholesterol and reduces platelet aggregation (stickiness). Additional studies have demonstrated enhanced liver function and immune system function secondary to these polyphenols. Green tea extract is generally devoid of side effects.

Beta Carotene - This pro-vitamin is a precursor (is converted by the body) to Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is but one of many caratenoids found within green vegetables and yellow-orange vegetables. It functions within the body as an antioxidant and immune system booster.

Vitamin C - Please see discussion in my section on Vitamins.

Vitamin E - Please see discussion in my section on Vitamins.

Selenium - This trace mineral has been shown to have importance in enhancing immune system function, heart function, thyroid function and liver function. It is an integral component of glutathione peroxidase, one of the body’s enzymes responsible for detoxification. A recent double blind study following over 1300 people found that those given 200 mcg. of selenium per day for seven years had a 50% drop in the cancer death rate compared with the placebo group. This remarkable evidence has led one cancer researcher to state that "selenium supplementation may be the most important cancer prevention finding of the decade."

N-Acetyl Cysteine -This amino acid assists the body in the synthesis of glutathione - a critically important antioxidant which protects the liver and the body from exposures to toxic chemicals.

Ginkgo Biloba Extract - Please see discussion in my section on Herbs.

Bilberry Extract - This herb is another of the bioflavonoid family. It is a potent antioxidant as supported by in vitro studies. Additionally, as with certain other bioflavonoids, bilberry supports formation of tissue and capillary strength in the body. Studies conducted in Europe reveal that bilberry may prevent cataracts and be beneficial in other eye disorders including macular degeneration.

Grape SEED Extract - Grape Seed Extract is classified as a proanthocyanidin also known as OPC’s. They are a class of compounds, which belong to the bioflavonoid family. This is the same class of compounds which pycnogenol (pine bark) belongs to. These compounds share similar properties. (In fact, grape seed extract has all the same benefits of pycnogenol). They function mainly as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and as enhancers of connective tissue and blood vessel strength. These compounds not only are powerful antioxidants but may enhance capillary strength as well. Grape Seed Extract has been used to improve edema (swelling) in individuals with chronic venous insufficiency. No side effects have been reported with this compound.

Grape SKIN Extract - This component of the grape has shown remarkable in vitro activity against cancer cells causing apoptosis (cancer cell death) in test tube studies. At this time, no studies have evaluated this in humans. Based on its complete safety profile and its potential promise, it has been included in the Prevent formula.

Side Effects:

There are no side effects at recommended use.

References:

1. Kono S, Shinchi K, Ikeda N, et al. Green tea consumption and serum lipid profiles: A cross-sectional study in Northern Kyushu, Japan. Prev Med 1992;21:526–31.
2. Stensvold I, Tverdal A, Solvoll K, et al. Tea consumption. Relationship to cholesterol, blood pressure, and coronary and total mortality. Prev Med 1992;21:546–53.
3. Serafini M, Ghiselli A, Ferro-Luzzi A. In vivo antioxidant effect of green tea in man. Eur J Clin Nutr 1996;50:28–32.
4. Stoner GD, Mukhtar H. Polyphenols as cancer chemopreventive agents. J Cell Bioch 1995;22:169–80.
5. Murray MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995, 192–96.
6.Clark LC, Combs GF, Turnbull BW, et al. Effects of selenium supplementation for cancer prevention in patients with carcinoma of the skin. JAMA 1996;276:1957–63.
7. Yoshizawa K, Willett WC, Morris SJ, et al. Study of prediagnostic selenium levels in toenails and the risk of advanced prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 1998;90:1219–24.
8. Bravetti G. Preventive medical treatment of senile cataract with vitamin E and anthocyanosides: Clinical evaluation. Ann Ottalmol Clin Ocul 1989;115:109 [in Italian].
9. Brown DJ. Herbal Prescriptions for Better Health. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1996, 41–47.
10. Baroch J. Effect of Endotelon in postoperative edema. Results of a double-blind study versus placebo in 32 female patients. Ann Chir Polast Esthet 1984;29:393–95 [in French].
11. Masquellier J. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are the heart of the French paradox. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Dec 1996, 46–47.

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DISCLAIMER This information is provided for Educational Purposes Only and has NOT been designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. Please consult a qualified Health Care Professional with Nutritional Training to diagnose your health conditions and avoid self-diagnosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not evaluated statements about these health topics or any suggested product compositions.