FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Robert C. Atkins, M.D says “There are a lot of issues that my colleagues in anti-aging medicine disagree on, but there’s one that has a near unanimous agreement: damage from free radicals is at the heart of aging.”
WHAT ARE FREE RADICALS?
Think of a piece of metal that rusts or a piece of apple that goes brown when exposed to air. There is a similar process in our bodies and it is called oxidation.
During the normal metabolism (or breakdown) of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy production, certain unstable molecules are produced.
An atom should have a pair of electrons spinning around them. If an atom only has one electron in its orbit it is very unstable. Chemists call this atom a free radical.
This free r adical will try to repair itself by stealing an electron from a neighboring molecule which then causes that molecule to become unstable. It then tries to repair itself by stealing an electron from another molecule and this of course sets up a vicious chain reaction of cellular destruction. A single free radical can cause damage to millions of other molecules in your body, preventing your body from functioning properly!
The process of this damage is called oxidation.
COMMON CAUSES OF OXIDATION:
• Cigarette smoke
• Fried and barbecued foods
• Car exhaust
• Prescription drugs
• Air pollution
• Chemicals and additives in your food
• Daily living (including exercise)
ANTIOXIDANTS SAVE THE DAY
Since some of this oxidation occurs as a result of just plain living, it ma kes sense that your own body has a way to counteract these oxidants by producing antioxidants.
An antioxidant has the ability to neutralize oxidants (toxins or free radicals) thus protect your cells from being damaged.
Your body normally produces its own antioxidants such as Glutathione, which helps fights these oxidants (free radicals) but it requires proper nutrition to make them.
In order to produce Glutathione you need adequate supplies of selenium, B1, B2, B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin E all of which are found in your Total Health Packs (which is yet another reason to take your supplements daily).
Another excellent way to increase your antioxidant protection is to eat fresh fruit and vegetables (organic is best).
THE BALANCE IS IMPORTANT
You need a balance of oxidation in order to fight infections or do repair work within cells. However when there is to o much oxidation without adequate antioxidant support, your body undergoes what is called oxidative stress.
THE RESULT OF OXIDATIVE STRESS
When there is too much oxidative stress for prolonged periods, it can take a toll on your entire body. For instance, if oxidants damage DNA, the eventual consequence could be a higher likelihood of cancer. If the damage occurs in arteries that supply blood to the heart, it could lead to hardening of the arteries and a heart attack. All these changes lead to disease and premature aging, including wrinkling of your skin.
SUPPLEMENTAL ANTIOXIDANTS CAN ASSIST
I believe first and foremost in eating a wholesome nutritious diet and minimizing your exposure to chemicals. But unfortunately even our best efforts may cause you to be under oxidative stress.
Free radicals cannot be completely avoided. They are produced as a result of normal functions in your body. This includes both things that are detrimental to your health such as chemical exposure as well as things that are beneficial to your health such as exercise. Believe it or not, the more you exercise, the more antioxidants you need to combat that oxidative stress. Plus, as you age your body produces fewer and fewer antioxidants.
Since the function of antioxidants is to destroy harmful free radicals, counteracting the damaging of tissues and in effect, treating aging or causing its retardation, I believe that you should add supplemental antioxidants to your daily regime.
WHAT ANTIOXIDANTS CAN DO FOR YOUR HEALTH
Antioxidant therapy can be effective against a wide variety of health problems including:
• Heart Disease
• Macular degeneration
YOUR INSURANCE POLICY
With some nutrients (e.g. magnesium), you can feel almost immediate benefits but anti-oxidants do not usually work that way. Fortunately there is a growing body of evidence to support the theory that whether we can experience the difference or not, supplemental antioxidants are protecting every cell in our bodies.
For example, new research presented at the 36th annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Chicago, Ill., revealed the incredible power of antioxidants to protect the body against the damaging effects of radiation. An antioxidant blend given to patients before a medical imaging exam (e.g. CT scan) visibly reduced DNA damage by as much as 50 percent.
We will explore some options in antioxidant supplementation.
Yours in Total Health,
Brenda and Megan
Brenda Eastwood is a holistic health expert who specializes in Women’s Health Issues. Her expertise stems from over 35 years’ experience as a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner. This includes ongoing research, 17 years running a successful private practice, presenting hundreds of seminars and workshops, as well as coaching clients through her unique online Inner Circle program. Today she is reaching out to even more women through her regular article contributions to HANS (Health Action Magazine) and her book “”. For more information on Brenda Eastwood please visit or for information on her Total Health Packs visit