Just as lemon juice protects apple pieces from browning, antioxidants help to protect our body from early ageing. Ageing as well as diseases are caused by free radicals.

We are constantly exposed to free radicals in our environment, such as oxygen, sun light, air pollution, cigarette smoke and many more. Not only does the external environment attack us, our body itself creates free radicals by burning energy or killing germs. Amazingly, excessive exercise can produce enough free radicals to harm us, thus it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

So how does it work?

Our cells are made out of atoms around which pairs of electrons dance. Free radicals are single electrons. They race around and grab electrons of healthy cells to partner up, therefore damaging those cells. Like dominoes, one creates another and another and another.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E are powerful antioxidants that disarm free radicals by providing partners for them. Vitamin-like antioxidants include:

  • alpha-lipoic acid
  • beta-carotene
  • coenzyme Q10
  • glutathione
  • lutein
  • lycopene
  • selenium
  • ubiquinol

Antioxidants are best used as a network to protect us like a powerful army. High doses of single antioxidants can create the opposite effect by turning into pro-oxidants that increase free radical damage. This can be extremely dangerous if we are under high oxidative stress e.g. certain lifestyles, smokers, medications, established cardiovascular disease, or poor diet.

Possible exceptions to the pro-oxidant effect are Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) and other combinations of flavonoids. We find them in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. OPC is widely found in grape seed and pine bark extracts. Real OPCs, based on research by Dr. Jack Masquelier, Professor from the University of Bordeaux in Southern France, are more powerful than Vitamin C and Vitamin E and also help other antioxidants to work better.

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"We're not ageing, we're ripening to perfection."

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