Free-Radicals, Aging & Antioxidants – What’s the Connection?
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on July 6, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Aging is a natural part of living. We can’t avoid it, however, many of us age faster (premature aging) nowadays due to chronic exposure to free-radicals: unstable molecules that can cause serious damage to cellular structures.
Free-radicals are naturally occurring in the body on an ongoing basis. They are produced during normal oxygen metabolism, as well as from exposure to toxins such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, environmental pollution, foods, drugs, stress, UV light, and inflammation.
Free-radicals can damage cell walls, the genetic material within cells, and other internal cell structures. Many chronic health conditions are associated with the effects of free-radical damage, such as degenerative eye and joint conditions, cardiovascular problems, and premature aging.
Common signs and symptoms of premature aging:
• Pain and inflammation
• Reduced skin elasticity
• Gray hair and hair loss
• Frequent illness
• Joint instability
To combat free-radicals, our body produces, or ingests by way of the diet, substances called antioxidants. There are thousands of types of antioxidants: vitamins like C and E; minerals such as selenium, zinc, and copper; amino acids like glutathione; and flavonoids such as quercitin, to name a few. Eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables (dark chocolate is an excellent source, too!) will help provide your body with these protective antioxidants. Many of the colors associated with foods are a result of their flavonoid, carotenoid, or other colorful antioxidant pigments.
In our day and age, however, exposure to free-radicals can often outweigh our body’s ability to produce or store enough antioxidants.
Antioxidant Complex™ can help to fill that gap! It contains over 20 sources of natural, powerful antioxidants that provide you with superior daily protection from the damaging effects of free-radicals, including premature aging.
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan