Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Many medical professionals have acknowledged for a long time that many long-term health problems seem to be connected. A lot of the people who develop heart disease will also develop high blood pressure. Many of these patients will also develop cancer. It seems that some health problems tend to occur in clusters. Certain habits seem to encourage all of these conditions, and certain habits seem to discourage them. There are clearly many uniting factors that have led to a situation in which people will develop many life-threatening conditions all at once. Harmful molecules called free radicals might be the answer. These molecules can be counteracted thanks to antioxidants.
Fighting Free Radicals With Antioxidants
People get exposed to free radicals quite frequently as a result of modern life. While people in the past were exposed to them as well, the people of today are going to face even more risk factors. Environmental pollutants are going to expose people to free radicals in high concentrations. Many of the medications that people will take to treat major, minor, and chronic illnesses will also expose the body to free radicals.
It is true that people can partly eliminate their exposure to environmental pollutants, and some people will be able to reduce the quantity of medicines that they take. However, normal biological processes like the release of digestive enzymes and the metabolism of sugars will also produce free radicals as by products. There is only so much that people can do to avoid this part of the process.
Some experts have said that when people reduce their intake of sugar and eat healthier food, they will reduce their exposure to free radicals. However, it should be mentioned that the human body runs on glucose, and that the breakdown of all sugars is going to release free radicals. Eating healthier might help, especially since it will probably expose the body to fewer chemicals in the process. However, it isn’t going to eliminate the release of free radicals altogether.
People who eat less in general sometimes have gained at least short-term longevity benefits. This may be purely due to the fact that they are taking in fewer toxins and breaking down less energy. It remains to be seen whether these benefits are long-term, or whether or not they are even going to be substantial enough to justify such a radical lifestyle change. It makes more sense for people to simply increase the quantity of antioxidants in their diets. Antioxidants and free radicals share an adversarial relationship. Antioxidants can easily help the body counteract a lot of the damage that it would otherwise sustain as a result of the free radicals in a person’s system.
It should be noted that it is always a good idea to get antioxidants through food and through beverages, given the risks associated with getting antioxidants through supplements. Antioxidants are more or less basic nutrients. Vitamin C and E are both master antioxidants, and so are minerals like selenium. People will be able to get all of the antioxidants that they could need just by eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea. There is no need to invest in any expensive supplements in order to get the antioxidants that are necessary for staving off disease.
Experts aren’t sure whether or not exceeding the recommendations of antioxidants is going to make a difference in the struggle against free radicals. A good portion of the people who develop diseases related to too many free radicals might simply have been deficient in those vitamins and minerals. The people who are already getting the required doses may start getting diminishing returns the more they start taking antioxidant supplements.
It is possible that the experts are wrong about the quantities of antioxidants that a lot of people actually need. Many of these recommendations are based on statistics and averages, which is not going to mean anything when it comes to diagnosing individuals. Some people might be better off by trying to consume as many fruits and vegetables as possible in a given day. Between seven to ten servings is at least a good start for the majority of people. Some people will also try to get their antioxidants from wine and tea. Wine in particular has some negative aspects that might cancel out some of its health benefits, but people will at least get some benefits when it comes to antioxidants and free radicals.
The people who try to load up on antioxidants as much as possible through supplements are usually making a mistake. For one thing, experts still don’t know whether or not over-consuming antioxidants is really going to help anyone. It is possible that once people take the required quantities, they should just call it a day. However, plenty of supplements have been recalled over the years when it was discovered that high enough quantities of those supplements could cause all sorts of additional problems. Some people developed heart problems from taking massive quantities of vitamin E, for one thing. These people would have been better of getting all of their vitamin E through diet.
The industry in charge of supplements has pushed for them for years. This is good for them, but it might be genuinely bad for the consumer. These supplements also tend to be very expensive, particularly in view of the fact that they are just supplements for vitamins and minerals. Dietary supplements are also not regulated by the FDA. People are potentially taking a risk when they experiment with dietary supplements. When it comes to antioxidants and free radicals, it is usually a much better idea to just go with the natural antioxidants that are already present in what people eat on a regular basis. People can easily slip more fruits and vegetables into their daily meals. Taking the time to swallow random pills can often cause more problems for a wide range of people. Antioxidants and free radicals are all natural, and there is no reason to resort to artificial solutions.