Why antioxidants prevent aging
The Martial Art of Wellness
Volume 10 – July 2011
Welcome to this month’s BioNews. We must learn to free ourselves from the control that others exert over us. As we learn we become FREE, we become powerful. This pursuit of self defense in wellness, I call “The Martial Art of Wellness”. And as we practice we become Wellness Ninjas.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
” The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease. “
– Thomas Edison
THIS ISSUE’S TESTIMONIAL:
Hard to believe how good that stuff is
“ I just ordered and other BIOSUPERFOOD f3. Hard to believe how good that stuff is. I noticed recently that looking in the mirror my skin in my face seems to look much younger but I thought that was just a figment of my imagination until a friend of mine a few days ago asked me what happened and why is my face looks different like much younger. WOW!! By the way I am not a spring chicken at 73 years old and now going on 44 :-)). I also have more energy than I use to have. Thanks a million. ”
– Ron C., Alberta, Canada, June 2011
THE MARTIAL ART OF WELLNESS ( Why antioxidants prevent aging )
As a Wellness Warrior in the Martial Art of Wellness, understanding the importance and the use of antioxidants are a critical component in pursuit of wellness. I am writing this article because over the years of assisting people on their healing journey, I have found that many tend to rely on superficial information when deciding to use antioxidant as supplements. With this article I want to provide broader information and alternatives to supplementation.
Why antioxidants prevent your body and your brain from aging
If you are interested in natural health, you have not escaped the pervasive speech on antioxidants inviting you to combat “free radicals”. But has someone ever explained clearly what these famous free radicals are, why they can hurt you, and what are the simple and effective ways to combat them?
If yes, then you don’t have to continue reading this article.
If not, then read on because you’ll finally know. And at the same time, you will discover information that can extend your life and greatly reduce your risk of serious diseases. Before we can explain antioxidants we need to know what are free radicals and what is oxidation.
What are free radicals?
A simple definition of “free radical” maybe understood from the definition of oxidation at WiseGeek.com.
” Oxidation is defined as the interaction between oxygen molecules and all the different substances they may contact, from metal to living tissue. Technically, however, with the discovery of electrons, oxidation came to be more precisely defined as the loss of at least one electron when two or more substances interact, leading to free radicals”
When there is a loss of an electron a free radical is formed. Free radicals are the result of normal chemical reactions in the body called oxidation which when left unchecked can leave the body with thousands of unbalanced electrons leading to further imbalances and diseases.
Why are free radicals so dangerous?
Keeping our free radicals in balance is critical in fighting disease in general, and in the aging battle. Free radicals are usually created in your body and are dangerous because, in large quantities, they cause oxidation and lesions of your cells, making them grow old and die, and can damage your DNA, your protein, your fat and other molecules in your body. But free radicals can also come from outside, if you are exposed to pollutants or if you suffer radioactive radiation. In addition, they will increase as a result of stress and an unhealthy lifestyle.
The damage accumulates over time and largely explains why the cells, tissues, organs of the elderly are more damaged than those of children. Worse, when these lesions are not repaired, the genetic code is altered, and there is a concern with free radicals being mutagenic, that is to say capable of causing cancer.
To date, aging itself, hundreds of diseases and disorders can be attributed to free radicals. A few examples:
- Wrinkles: caused by the degradation of structural proteins of the dermis.
- Cataract: as a result of sunburn or smoking, the lens proteins are denatured.
- Emphysema: damaged by tobacco induced free radicals, proteins of the lung lose their elasticity.
- Myocardial infarction: oxidized by free radicals, cholesterol is deposited along the arteries.
- Cancer: Support the genetic code, DNA, towels each day about 10 000 due to free radical attacks.
What is oxidation?
The oxidation process can be seen in the rusting of metal, or when the flesh of apple, carrot, meat, fish or other living tissue, change shape and rust when cut and left in the open air.
What’s going on? Living cells contain many elements that react to the presence of oxygen, oxidizing. By cutting the flesh, you break the protective membranes of cells. Directly exposed to oxygen, elements that were well protected inside our cells will turn bad. For chemists, the oxidation phenomenon is fascinating. Electrons roam from one molecule to another. But if you want to know more about oxidation at large, you may refer to Wikipedia.
In this article we speak only of oxidation that may directly affect your health. Suffice it to remember that when a molecule is oxidized, it loses one or more electrons, and changes properties. It may even change completely in appearance. An example to further explain: the iron atom depending on the number of electrons it loses (3 max) has several oxidation states; If it loses three, it becomes rusty. If he loses two, it turns green (the green rusty battery comes to mind). In both cases, it no longer looks like the iron we know as a hard gray metal. When it’s your living cells that are involved, oxidation can have serious impacts on their operation.
How to avoid damage caused by oxidation?
Some of you that enjoy cooking may be familiar with this trick: When you pour lemon juice on apple slices, it delays the browning because it contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) a natural antioxidant. Well the same thing happens in your body, your cells are attacked, and rot under the influence of free radicals. But if you eat a diet rich in antioxidants, your cells are protected, and you stay young longer.
In fact, when you breathe, you absorb oxygen molecules that pass into your blood in the alveoli of the lungs. This oxygen is taken up by your cells where it produces oxidation essential to life. Think of this kind of oxidation as combustion giving you energy just like the burning of gasoline in your engine makes your car advances.
But producing combustion also causes molecules in your cells to lose one electron and become “free radicals”. Our cells are programmed to fill the electron vacancy from somewhere and normally, everything is resolved by our enzymes whose function it is to bring these electrons back with the like of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, etc.
But as is often the case, these enzymes are overwhelmed by free radicals, so much so that they can no longer recover the loss electrons. Then these free radicals begin to attack other molecules, which can destroy them in turn. At the extreme, they can seriously damage your cells and even kill them. This is known as cell necrosis. Wrinkles appear, cataracts manifest, and sometimes this leads to cancer.
Why are there so many free radicals in your body?
At this point, one wonders why a mechanism as natural as that of eating and breathing also produces free radicals damaging our DNA, our cells, our organs. We know that free radicals in moderate amounts are required: they play particular roles as messengers between cells.
Unfortunately, free radicals can be produced in large quantities by the body when under stress or chronic inflammation, such as asthma or arthritis for example. They can also come directly from the outside and invade your body, as with cigarette smoke, for example, that causes billions of free radicals with each puff. But many pollutants also enter the body through food, breathing and mucous membranes. Many of these nanoparticles can be highly oxidizing.
In addition, often your antioxidant enzymes cannot function because they are themselves poorly supplied with substances they need to be active, such as selenium or zinc. This is called “oxidative stress” where your cells are massively attacked and damaged by excess free radicals in your body. This is considered a leading cause of cancer and plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease, as in many common diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis or cataracts.
How to fight against oxidative stress?
You can fight against free radicals and oxidative stress by reducing exposure to pollutants (stop smoking, for example), by increasing your fitness level, and by consuming a diet rich in antioxidants.
There are many wonderful foods that contain nutrients with the power to protect your cells from excess of free radicals. Just like the cook, that showers his grated carrots with lemon so they keep their orange color, you too can protect your cells, including those of your brain, through eating a diet rich in foods that contain antioxidants.
There are popular antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E, but you must know that there is a wide range of antioxidants that can eat in a targeted manner. In particular, there are over 600 known carotenoids (found in fruits and vegetables like spinach, carrots, corn …) and many polyphenols found for example in red wine but also in many fruits and vegetables. There is abundant research and supporting recommendations even by the American Cancer Society that points to prevention of cancer with the consumption of many antioxidants rich foods.
On the other hand, be careful to not overdo any one single antioxidant. There is sufficient research showing that specific antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C or E when taken daily in large doses may lead to health problems instead of protect you.
Fight free radicals with Bio-Algae Concentrates
In recent years, carotenoids have received a tremendous amount of attention as potential anti-cancer and anti-aging compounds. Carotenoids are the most powerful antioxidants, protecting the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals. Carotenoids, and specifically beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, are also believed to enhance many functions of the immune system. Carotenoids are the most widespread groups of naturally occurring pigments. These compounds are largely responsible for the red, yellow, and orange color of fruits and vegetables, and are also found in many dark green vegetables. Bio-Algae Concentrates contains a high level of powerful antioxidants and polyphenols like: Alpha-carotene, Beta-carotene, Phycocyanin, Xanthophylis, Cryptoxanthin, Echinenone, Zeaxanthin, Lutein, Licopene, Astaxanthin, and many more. These and several lesser pigments such as phycoerythrin, tetrapyrrole, phytonadione are not just the “color” of living organisms, but are also used to carry on metabolic processes throughout the body. Without them, there would be no enzymatic reactions and cellular disintegration would occur.
Notes and references:
- Engelhart MJ, Geerlings MI, Ruitenberg A, van Swieten JC, Hofman A, Witteman JC, Breteler MM. Dietary intake of antioxidants and risk of Alzheimer disease. JAMA. 2002 Jun 26; 287 (24) :3223-9.
- The Magic is BAC – http://www.themagicisbac.com/page10-01.html
- The Magic is BAC – http://www.themagicisbac.com/page10-01-02.html