Antioxidants and Anti AgingBy
Anti aging and antioxidants go hand in hand. They have a crucial role in health, wellness, longevity / life extension / anti aging and disease control. They prevent and repair damage done to the body’s cells and DNA from free radicals. Free radicals come from our environment and are also produced within our bodies as a result of metabolic waste (normal bodily processes). Even exercise, which is good for you produces free radicals as a byproduct of the burning of calories for energy production and repair. Free radicals enter the body through the air we breathe, food and drink we consume, products used and pollution absorbed through our skin as well as metabolic wastes and oxidation during the burning of energy. Smoking cigarettes is the largest free radical producer there is – don’t smoke cigarettes.
Free radicals are molecules which are missing an electron and makes for unstable molecules (positive charge). In order to balance it’s charge to neutral, it steals an electron from where ever it can find them – your cells and DNA. These unstable molecules have an accumulative effect on the body and cause oxidative stress. The “hits” on our cells and DNA contribute to aging and if higher than normal free radicals and/or lower than “normal” antioxidants in the body, they contribute to premature aging. This damage is also a contributor to many diseases such as: heart disease, cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, alzheimer’s, macular degeneration (leads to blindness), high blood pressure and many others.
The benefits of antioxidants are many as you can see from the list of diseases and antiaging benefits listed above. Antioxidants are produced within our bodies and also enter our bodies from food, mostly nuts, fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately we do not consume enough fresh organic fruits and vegetables to provide against free radical damage (5-8 servings per day). As we age, our bodies produce less and less antioxidants which contributes to and accelerates the aging process. With the benefit of adequate anti oxidants, our health, immune system and vitality operate at peak performance.
Fairly recently it has been discovered that these attacks on our DNA and specifically our telomeres determine cell lifespan. Telomeres are the protective ends of our chromosomes, which determine the number of times a cell can divide before cell death. By slowing down the oxidative damage to our cells and especially telomeres, we slow down the aging process. The activation of the enzyme telomerase can actually lengthen the telomeres and received a Nobel prize in 2009 for health or physiology. TA-65 is a highly concentrated extract of the Chinese herb Astragalus that activates the telomerase enzyme and lengthens the telomeres for life extension / antiageing abilities and actually reverse aging!
Back to antioxidants and their benefits. Primarily reducing cellular damage that affects the immune system and rate of aging. Vitality, health and energy production of the cells are side effects of adequate antioxidant levels. Research has shown Centenarians – those who live to 100 years old and beyond have elevated levels of antioxidants in there bodies and likely explain their long and healthy lives. Following is a list of antioxidants, both made by the human body and consumed as food and antioxidant supplements.
- Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) -THE most powerful antioxidant – produced in the body
- Glutathione Peroxidase (GPX) – Very powerful antioxidant – produced in the body
- Catalase – (peroxiredoxin) enzyme in the body converts hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or ubiquinol – produced within the body
- Glutathione – also produced in the body
- Resveratrol and pterostilbenes
- Vitamins A, C and E – mainly supplied by food – Vitamin C not made in the body
- Carotenoids, flavinoids – supplied by foods
- Proteins and minerals – supplied by foods
Antioxidant supplements are a good way to provide additional support to our bodies against the ravages of free radicals. There are some supplements such as Superoxide Dismutase or SOD that require a delivery system to bypass the stomach where it is destroyed. As these natural health and anti age technologies advance, more and better anti aging products will come to market. What good is getting old if you can’t move or think? Extend the quality of your life and get the most out of life, enjoy your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren with the energy to keep up with them.