Antioxidant is a collective term used for substances such as vitamins E and C, dietary
elements, such as selenium and bioactive substances, such as those present in our vegetables and fruit. All of these help protect our cells and tissues from being damaged, and may prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases in the long run (although this hasn’t been proven yet). It has been proven that Vitamin C and E and selenium work as antioxidants in your body.
Taking supplements containing antioxidants will however not give you extra protection, and some research results show an opposite reaction!
Antioxidants are also used as preservatives in the production of our foods. Oxidation is a process in your body during which aggressive substances, called free radicals, damage your cells. Think of the next example: a peeled apple will turn brown, when it is exposed to oxygen. This process is called oxidation. When you put lemon juice on the apple, it will not turn brown, because lemon juice contains antioxidants, such as vitamin C.
Oxidation is a natural process in our body, that can cause damage to cells and tissue, which can result in cardiovascular diseases, cancer and damage to your nervous system in the long run. Eating healthy food containing a lot of antioxidants will prevent this from happening. These free radicals, that cause the damage, are formed during your regular metabolism, but also during smoking and sunbathing!
Certain diseases or infections can also cause your body to form more free radicals. This is because your body uses free radicals itself to eliminate unwanted intruders. Oxidation happens when the body’s own capacity is not sufficient to take these out. How useful or harmful free radicals are, depends on the type and the place where they are produced inside a cell. It is also important that the body has enough capacity for the antioxidants.
It is not yet clear how many (bioactive) substances have a strong antioxidant function. In a tube many do, but whether this is the same inside a human body is not yet known. Dietary elements such as selenium and zinc play an important part in eliminating free radicals.
Whether a certain substance has an antioxidant function or not, is actually not that important. What matters is whether the substance can eliminate the free radicals, which mostly depends on whether or not the body can absorb this substance. It also depends on the substance getting to the right place in the body.
Antioxidants are added to a lot of processed foods, to prevent fats from becoming rancid, and fruit from turning brown. Antioxidants are added to a lot of processed foods, to prevent fats from becoming rancid, and fruit from turning brown. The ones the food industry uses the most are: vitamin C, salts of ascorbic acid, different types of vitamin E, and synthetic antioxidants, such as BHA and BHT.
This information comes from our ‘Nutrition’ DVD. On this DVD, more information will be given concerning the influence certain nutrients have on our body. When you buy this DVD, you also support the foundation. The proceeds will be used to make new DVD’s and help even more people with their health issues.