The Role of Antioxidants in Cardiovascular Disease(48988)

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You have likely heard the term “antioxidant supplements,” but do you know the role that antioxidants play in preventing cardiovascular disease? In fact, according to proponents of antioxidant supplements, antioxidants cannot only prevent cardiovascular disease, but also reverse the damage that often leads to numerous chronic diseases. It’s important to understand the role of antioxidants in the body.

How Antioxidant Supplements Work

As cells in your body metabolize oxygen, the by-products that result from the metabolizing process are called free radicals. A free radical is an atom with an unstable, unpaired electron. Free radicals steal electrons from cells in your in an effort to gain stability. This causes the oxidation of cells and could even affect your DNA, according to Free radicals in the body also result from environmental pollution, herbicides and cigarette smoke. Detoxifying your body from such free radicals and other toxins is important to prevent further damage in the body.

You can compare the oxidation process in the human body to the corroding effect that rust has on a piece of metal; the oxidation causes the metal to break down. Oxidized cells lead to premature aging, disease and death.

Antioxidants found in antioxidant supplements, on the other hand, seek out free radicals and neutralize the oxidation properties. Antioxidants also have the ability to repair the damage that free radicals cause. In this way, antioxidants help the body to rejuvenate itself and produce an anti-aging effect.

Examples of Antioxidant Supplements

The ideal way to give your body the antioxidants it needs to protect itself is through your daily diet. However, if you’re like most people, a hectic lifestyle often gets in the way of healthy nutrition. Moreover, fast food, carbonated drinks and processed products contribute to the oxidation process in your body. Under such circumstances, taking nutritional supplements with antioxidiant properties will likely reduce the damage caused by free radicals in your body.

  • Pomegranate juice - The pomegranate fruit is particularly known for its ability to prevent or reverse heart disease. According to researchers, the antioxidant properties in pomegranates can reduce or prevent atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, and prevent blood clots. According to the American Journal of the College of Cardiology, Sept. 2005, only 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day for three months can increase the amount of oxygen to the heart muscle in coronary heart disease patients. Other promising benefits of pomegranate juice involve prostate and breast cancer. Pomegranate extract can help reduce inflammation in arthritis patients and reduce the enzyme activity that breaks down cartilage.
  • Acai berry - The acai berry is related to the cranberry and blueberry. The fruit is rich in flavonoids and anthycoanins, antioxidants that protect the body against the stressors of life. The pulp of the acai fruit is rich in antioxidants. According to research, the acai fruit has a higher antioxidant content than strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cranberries.
  • Goji berry - Many antioxidant supplements contain goji berry. Goji berries are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Antioxidant vitamins found in the goji berry are vitamins C, E and beta carotene.

Types of Antioxidant Supplements

You can find antioxidant supplements in the form of juice, tablets, capsules, powder and softgels. You can generally take the supplement any time during the day. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when taking an antioxidant supplement or follow your health care advisor‘s instructions.

How to Buy Antioxidant Supplements

If you choose to take antioxidant supplements, select a supplement from a reputable manufacturer. Research the manufacturing company if you’re not familiar with a brand. The effectiveness of a product often depends on the quality of the ingredients used. Some manufacturers use fillers, which reduce the product’s strength and effectiveness.

It’s a good idea to start at your local health food store when shopping for antioxidant supplements. Health food store attendants are generally knowledgeable about the brands they carry. They know what brands are sought-after and preferred by their customers.

Expect to pay anywhere from about $20 to $40 for an antioxidant supplement.

Antioxidants are indispensable for longevity and good health. Without antioxidants, the cells in the body become oxidized and die. Antioxidant supplements can provide the antioxidants that your body needs to fight off free radicals and repair damaged cells. If you don’t feel that your body is receiving an adequate supply of antioxidants through your daily diet, antioxidant supplements could likely help your body protect itself from free radicals.

Copyright © 2011 Ana Jackson. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part constitutes plagiarism, is illegal and strictly prohibited.


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