Much has been written about the power of antioxidants, so much so that we may take their benefits for granted without knowing what’s going on behind the scenes. What do antioxidants really do, and what makes them so critical to your body’s well-being? Like many good stories in life, you can put in the context of love.
Every cell in your body contains electrons that much prefer to go through life in pairs. Imagine two of them, living happily together, paired inside a cell. Then one day, a single, lonely electron, without a mate to call its own, reaches into that little cell and swipes one of those electrons away.
The electron that is left behind in the cell, unpaired and alone, does what most of us do when we get left behind — it loses its will, it deteriorates, its cell structure suffers. Its whole being is out of balance and it may even stop working correctly.
And that wandering single electron that broke them up? You might know it by a different name. That electron is called a free radical.
Free radicals are any substance — it could be an atom, molecule or ion — that form in your body during a natural process called oxidation. Toxins such as cigarette smoke, pollution, and UV light or radiation can often trigger the growth of free radicals. Even our drinking water and food can contain toxins such as pesticides and bacteria. To imagine what free radicals do to your body, think of the dry and cracked windshield wipers of your car, or the cracked tires after many miles of driving. This deterioration is caused by UV-induced free radical damage.
Once a free radical forms, it is hungry for one thing: another electron. Each time they encounter an electron pair in a cell, they try to steal one of them away. If they succeed, this ‘cell vandalism’ can cause serious damage to your body and alter the function and structure of the cell it robs its electron from.
And if the electron in the damaged cell stays ‘single’ for very long, it will go hunting for another electron as a free radical itself. So the real complication of an excessive amount of free radical circulation in the body is the domino effect of one free radical creating many others.
Free radical cell damage has been linked to all kinds of age-related ailments, from arthritis to dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer and skin deterioration. If a free radical robs from a strand of your DNA, it can even change the genetic instructions coded in those cells.
The important thing to understand about antioxidants is that they are not so much an actual substance, but a chemical process that donates electrons to those roving free radicals in search of a mate. Antioxidants have a special property that enables them to generously act as electron donors without turn into free radicals themselves. In a way, you can think of the antioxidant as a kind of cupid’s arrow for your cells, bringing single electrons back into pairs again. Antioxidants are also instrumental in sweeping unpairable electrons out of your system.
Fortunately, your body is able to produce its own antioxidants. But aging can reduce the enzymes in your DNA that help produce antioxidants. Your body can also extract antioxidant properties from many foods. Certain foods carry antioxidant properties because they are rich in vitamins A, C, and E; because they contain plant-derived polyphenols found in many colorful fruits and vegetables; or through the element selenium, which is found in nuts and broccoli.
Flavonoids are richest in foods that are eaten close to their natural state and color, and are found in nearly all fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.
Foods that are naturally vibrant in color are usually the most high in flavonoids:
The best way to eat these foods is straight from the earth, bush or grove. The more cooked or processed these foods are, the more the flavonoid properties will be drained from the food and the less antioxidants you will ingest.
While an antioxidant-rich diet is a great defense against free-radical damage, aging reduces your natural and food-related antioxidant defenses. And because of the domino effect — that one free radical will produce many others — your body’s natural antioxidant production and extraction from food can become overwhelmed. This is when supplements can help reinforce your body’s natural defenses.
Good antioxidant supplementation can have a profound effect on how you both look and feel, helping your body to stay youthful for longer, and defending your body against potentially life-threatening diseases.
Antiaging System’s antioxidant supplement, ACF228, developed by Nobel Prize nominee Dr Richard Lippman, contains a range of antioxidant ingredients that protect your body in a variety of ways. Some of those include:
Dr. Lippman, the creator of the nicotine patch and author of the book Stay 40 Without Diet or Exercise, posits that 73% of the aging process is free-radical related. His formula for ACF228 is the only patent ever granted by the U.S. Patent Office for a substance that retards human aging.
As we age, more and more ‘break-ups’ are happening between the electron pairs in our body every day. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet full of flavonoids, consider your supplementation when it comes to antioxidants. Good antioxidant supplementation can help ensure that the love story between your electron pairs always has a happy ending.