The Truth About Antioxidants…Health Miracle or Hype?

. . . stunning results from recent survey show Americans are confused and misinformed

What do rotting pears, rusty car fenders, and sunburned skin have in common? If you guessed oxidation, you’re right!

Oxidation occurs naturally in all living cells. Including the human body. Scientifically, oxidation is a natural chemical reaction between any substance and oxygen—a highly reactive molecule—where the reacting atom loses an electron. When an atom loses an electron, it becomes a free radical…and very unstable. Yet its tendency is to become stable again. So, it begins attacking other substances to “steal” back an electron. The attacked atom loses an electron and becomes a free radical itself…beginning a chain reaction.

What if this chain reaction in the body is not stopped? The free radical assault damages cell membranes and other structures including cellular proteins, lipids, and even DNA. This cellular damage leads to chronic disease and premature aging.

Free radicals aren’t all bad, but…

What’s intriguing is that your body naturally creates free radicals every day, all day long. They’re a necessary result of basic body processes like metabolizing food, exercising, or simply breathing in and out. However, your body is built to handle a certain amount of free radicals.

Yet free radical production inside your body can be accelerated by external forces. These include illness, diet (malnutrition, food toxins), emotional stress, cigarette smoking, alcohol, environmental toxins (pollution, chlorine in water, aluminum in sunscreens, fluoride in toothpastes, mercury in fillings, etc.), dangerous prescription drugs, excess sunlight, and many, many more.

Thus, an overload of free radicals on your body’s cells puts you at risk for a multitude of common—even life-threatening—diseases. Which begs the question…can anything stop this out-of-control oxidative chain reaction? The answer is yes.

The critical role of free radical-quenching antioxidants

You already know your body naturally creates free radicals from normal everyday body processes. Yet, there’s a hidden truth about antioxidants you may not know about. That is, your body was also designed to create its own antioxidants to combat this natural free radical production. Plus, many raw, whole foods are chock-full of these life-saving nutrients.

Recently, many anti-aging experts have weighed in on the matter. They consider antioxidants to be the greatest health miracle discovery of all time. But, how exactly do they stop free radical damage in its tracks?

Antioxidants “neutralize” free radicals by donating one of their own electrons. This ends the cycle of “electron-stealing”. These substances are unique in that they do not become free radicals themselves. Instead, they remain stable in either form. This daily give-and-take of electrons is at the very core of cellular survival…and optimal health.

Now, you have a good idea how critically important it is to ramp up your own daily internal production of antioxidants (endogenous), as well as to increase your intake of food-based antioxidants (exogenous).

But don’t take our word for it. Research credits antioxidants with the ability to fight serious diseases. In fact, one study showed dietary antioxidants decrease cancer risk. Similarly, previous findings showed dietary TAC (total antioxidant capacity) prevents stroke as well.

A revealing survey

There’s ample, credible scientific evidence of the amazing healing power of antioxidants. Not just for fighting disease, but also for its anti-aging effects. Yet, a recent survey by Wakefield Research shows most Americans are still confused over the truth about antioxidants.

As reported by PRNewswire.com—when asked what antioxidants are—an overwhelming majority (92 percent) of those surveyed could not accurately describe them. What makes this even more confusing is 91 percent could not recognize food sources rich in antioxidants, even though 75 percent insisted they actively try to eat foods filled with these nutritional powerhouses.

Clearly, Americans are getting the message that antioxidants are important. But, most still need help sorting out exactly why they are critical in our diet. And more importantly, how they can get more of this health miracle into their body.

Something better than food-based antioxidants?

Optimal health begins and ends with choosing foods that meet your body’s needs for high levels of both endogenous and exogenous antioxidants.

We’ve written previously on natural ways to get more antioxidants into your diet. Or, you can simply look for foods with a high ORAC score. The higher the ORAC score, the greater your body’s ability to protect cell health…eliminate disease…and extend life using exogenous antioxidants.

In most cases—along with your body’s own mechanism for producing antioxidants— these food-based antioxidants will help to keep disease at bay. So you can start feeling younger than your age.

But did you know the antioxidants your body produces are much stronger at fighting free radical damage than those you get from your diet? The challenge is…your body makes less and less of these endogenous substances as you age. However, researchers have identified certain foods known to ramp up your body’s own antioxidant production. So, it’s important you eat a wide variety of foods that are not only a rich source of antioxidants themselves, but also shown to trigger your body’s own production of these vital nutrients.

Yet, most people find they need a little more help. If you’re being ravaged by disease conditions and aging prematurely, we highly recommend our newest Beyond Health anti-aging product and breakthrough antioxidant supplement, Age Defense Formula.

Age Defense FormuIa combines the three strongest forces for fighting free radical damage in your body. Including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs with both a high-ORAC score AND the ability to stimulate production of your own internal antioxidants.

Working together, we’re confident these forces will make you a believer in the power of antioxidants to keep you healthy and feeling young.

Sources:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/16/all-about-antioxidants.aspx http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-antioxidants-work1 http://www.livestrong.com/article/266789-what-are-endogenous-antioxidants/

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