Aging is a natural and unavoidable process that occurs in all living organisms. As we age, our bodies undergo a number of changes that may end up leading to the development of chronic diseases and a decline in our immune system function.
However, there are micronutrients in our diets that can help to combat the effects of aging and promote overall health and wellness. One such group of micronutrients is antioxidants.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds that protect your cells against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition where there is an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and our body’s ability to neutralize these harmful molecules.
When ROS levels exceed the capacity of your body to neutralize them, they can cause damage to the proteins, lipids, and DNA in your body which can lead to cellular dysfunction and ultimately cell death. Antioxidants work by neutralizing ROS and preventing them from causing damage to cells.
Types of Antioxidants:
There are several different types of antioxidants, including:
- Vitamins: Vitamins A, C, and E are all potent antioxidants that have been shown to protect against oxidative stress.
- Minerals: Selenium, Zinc, and Copper are minerals that act as antioxidants in the body.
- Flavonoids: These are a group of compounds found in plants that have antioxidant properties. Examples include Quercetin, catechins, and anthocyanins.
- Carotenoids: These are pigments found in plants that act as antioxidants. Examples include Beta-Carotene, Lycopene, and Lutein.
How do Antioxidants Support Healthy Aging?
Aging is a complex process that is influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. One of the key drivers of aging is oxidative stress.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at neutralizing ROS, which can lead to an accumulation of damage in cells and tissues. This accumulation of damage can ultimately lead to aging “faster,” and the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Antioxidants can support healthy aging by combatting the effects of ROS and supporting cellular defense against oxidative stress. Studies have shown that increasing antioxidant intake can support more-graceful aging throughout your entire life, including supporting better overall health and well-being.
For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that taking a daily antioxidant supplement (vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene) supported maintaining healthy vision in older adults. Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that taking vitamin E supplements supported optimal heart health in women.
In addition to their antioxidant properties, some compounds, such as flavonoids, have been shown to have additional health benefits. For example, studies have found that flavonoids can improve endothelial function, reduce inflammation, and improve insulin sensitivity.
How do Antioxidants Support the Immune System?
The immune system is responsible for protecting the body against foreign invaders, such as parasites, bacteria and viruses. As we age, our immune system function declines, which can lead to an increased risk of infections and other diseases. Antioxidants can help support the immune system by reducing oxidative stress and helping to balance inflammation, both of which can impair immune function.
Antioxidants and Your Body:
Antioxidants have been shown to support human health in a variety of areas, including:
- Heart Health: Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in the development of heart health challenges as we age. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, have been shown to support endothelial function and help your body balance inflammation, both of which support heart health throughout life.
- Cellular Health: Oxidative stress can lead to DNA damage, which can contribute to the development of ill health. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and flavonoids, have been shown to support DNA health. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that higher intake of antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, was associated with better health in both men and women. Another study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that higher intake of flavonoids was associated with healthier adults.
- Brain Health: Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in the development of brain health challenges. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin E and flavonoids, have been shown to have neuroprotective properties. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that supplementation with Vitamin E supported healthy cognitive function in aging adults. Another study published in the Journal of Neurochemistry found that flavonoids have neuroprotective effects and may help to support healthy aging of your brain.
- Blood Sugar Balance: Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in the development of dysregulated blood sugar and its complications. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and flavonoids, have been shown to support insulin sensitivity and help support healthy blood sugar levels as we age.
Sources of Antioxidants:
Antioxidants can be found in a variety of foods, including:
- Fruits and Vegetables: Many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, including berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, are good sources of antioxidants, especially Vitamin E & Selenium.
- Herbs and Spices: Many herbs and spices, such as ginger, and cinnamon, contain antioxidants and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Glutathione the "Master" Free Radical Fighter
Glutathione is often referred to as the "master antioxidant" due to its unique ability to recycle other antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E, and keep them in their active form.
This recycling process allows these antioxidants to continue to neutralize free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, Glutathione has the ability to detoxify harmful substances in the body, making it an essential component of the body's natural defense system against toxins.
Glutathione has been linked to a number of health benefits, including:
- Immune System Support: Glutathione plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system by protecting immune cells from oxidative damage and regulating the immune response. Low levels of Glutathione have been linked to a number of immune-related disorders.
- Healthy Aging: Glutathione has been shown to have optimal-aging effects by protecting cells from oxidative damage and supporting healthy cellular function. Low levels of Glutathione have been associated with a number of age-related conditions.
Glutathione is highly reactive. That is, it loves to neutralize free radicals. In fact, neutralizing free radicals is one of its specialties. Free radicals are produced naturally through normal bodily processes, such as breathing and eating, as well as from exposure to xenobiotics.
If free radicals are left unneutralized due to a shortage of antioxidants, or if the number of free radicals becomes so high it overwhelms the antioxidants, cells can be damaged or even killed, and pathways altered. Serious disease may
Pure TheraPro's Glutathione GOLD 100 mg is an acetylated form of Glutathione. As a result, it is well-absorbed and more stable throughout the digestive tract than other available types of Glutathione.
Ingredient absorption and stomach acid resistance are further promoted by utilizing an enteric-coating process on the capsule ingredients. Lab results show that S-Acetyl Glutathione raised intracellular Glutathione while having a positive impact on many oxidative stress biomarkers.
To wrap up Antioxidants 101, antioxidants are important compounds that can help to combat the effects of aging and support your immune system. They work by neutralizing ROS and protecting cells against oxidative stress, which can lead to the development of health issues if left unchecked.
Antioxidants can be found in a variety of foods and supplements. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of action of antioxidants, consuming a diet rich in antioxidant-containing foods, and supplementing with antioxidants and free radical fighters, such as Glutathione, can help to support lifelong health and well-being.
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