Today, the word “antioxidants” has become a familiar term. You can hear it in various pharmaceutical ads, commercial products and other health promotion campaigns. But, what exactly is its role in the proper functioning of the human body?
The key to answering this question is to understand how does antioxidants work. Although, this may seem as an intricate matter, you’ll find this topic simple and interesting once it's presented in a step by step way. With that, the first step in unraveling this mystery is to understand oxidation and free radicals.
Oxidation and oxide inhibitors
Although oxidation is a normal function of the body, it can also cause undesirable effects especially when oxidative stress takes place. This happens when excessive amounts of free radicals are present and your body cannot neutralize all of it at once. Keep in mind that these substances will only become stable once they get their designated electron pair. What happens now?
If these unstable compounds are freely roaming inside your body; they can severely damage tissues, cells and its other components namely DNA. Afterwards, your body will start to malfunction and degenerate. The problem is this can continuously go on and progress, if not interrupted soon. In worse case scenarios, cancer may also develop. For that reason, substances that deter this process is essential to defend your body from harm.
How does antioxidants work?Credit: publicphoto.org
Antioxidants are substances that attach themselves to those unstable compounds discussed above. Once these compounds become stable, the havoc occurring in your body ends. Hence, oxidation is deterred. This task is actually done in two ways.
First is by breaking the process. In this case, the damage may have already been done and the body would need to repair itself.
The second scenario is when it haunts free radicals before the process begins. This is better compared to the first because the damage has not yet occurred. However, this will only happen if you have abundant amounts of nutrients that can counter the effects of free radical and other chemicals containing oxides.
For a more detailed explanation about antioxidants, you can watch the video below.
More Information about How Antioxidants Work
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A Final Note
Antioxidants are highly recommended because of today’s polluted environment. Although free radicals are internally metabolized, they can also be absorbed from the environment. Pollution is the byproduct of combined oxides or free radicals present in your surroundings.
One example is carbon dioxide. You may not know it but just by breathing, you’re absorbing certain amounts of this compound every day. Furthermore, any oxide-containing products sold in the market can also trigger oxidation. What most people don’t know is that exposure to these chemicals alone can already cause harm to your body.
In order to prevent this, eating fruits and vegetables or taking dietary supplements are your best options. However, as much as possible, one should try to acquire oxide-inhibitors from natural sources. This is because some synthetically prepared food supplements can give side-effects in high doses. So instead of helping your body recuperate, it may now cause more harm.
With all that, this simple explanation regarding how antioxidants work is a very valuable information you should keep in mind to protect your health from free radicals and other toxins.