ANTIOXIDANTS, THEIR MECHANISM TYPES AND BENEFITS
Here in this article, you will get to know about antioxidants, their mechanism, types and benefits. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals.
Antioxidants are of various types eg- Chemical and industrial antioxidants. The benefits of antioxidants are numerous as it can prevent us from many types of severe diseases. In this article, we will discuss antioxidants, their mechanism types and benefits.
ANTIOXIDANTS, THEIR MECHANISM TYPES AND BENEFITS
Antioxidants are substances that work against oxidation. Anti means against and oxidants refers to chemical causing oxidation.
In other words, antioxidants are the substances which inhibit or reduce the damage of cells caused by oxidation.
Industrial antioxidants are added to the food products that prevent the body cells from oxidative damage when consumed along with food.
The industrial antioxidants are chemicals that are added as preservatives in food during manufacture or processing.
Cosmetics also possess antioxidant in some amount as an oxidation-inhibitors.
Industrial food products are deteriorated by the effects of air (oxygen present in the air causing oxidation to them).
So in that case, antioxidants are added to food products (eg: vegetable oils and so on) to prevent or delay their deterioration from the action of air.
HOW DO ANTIOXIDANTS FIGHT FREE RADICALS?
Free radicals are formed in our body either due to excessive sun exposure, stress, unhealthy diet or several other factors.
These form during a chemical reaction inside our body as an unpair no of electrons. Further, these free radicals group together and form a chain reaction.
They are very harmful as they react with the cell membrane. They target the cells, DNA, collagen and destroy them.
These free radicals prevent the cells from doing their job properly and may cause cell death in harsh condition. To protect the body from the oxidative damage of these free radicals, antioxidants play a big role.
Antioxidants donate a pair of an electron to the free radicals and terminate the chain of reaction initiated by free radicals and thus save the vital molecules from damage.
LIST OF SOME IMPORTANT ANTIOXIDANTS:
Antioxidants are natural phytochemicals obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables that prevent oxidation of molecules in the body significantly.
There are several enzymes present in the body that act as antioxidants and save the cells from free radicals but the primary antioxidants are vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene.
All these antioxidants fall under the category of micronutrients. It should be remembered that the body cannot manufacture any micronutrient.
So, we must supply these micronutrients to our body through proper diet. Our diet should consist of some fruits and vegetables which are a good source of antioxidants. Some important antioxidants are enumerated as follows.
VITAMIN-E (D-Alpha tocopherol): It is mainly found in nuts, seeds, vegetables, fish oil, whole grains, apricot and fortified cereals. It is a fat-soluble vitamin.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin-E for the woman is 12 IU and for man is 15 IU per day.
VITAMIN-C (Ascorbic acid): It is mainly present in citrus fruits, some green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, green peppers, broccoli and also present in kale, kiwi, and strawberries.
It is a water-soluble vitamin. Its RDA is about 60mg per day for both man and woman. But it should be noted that if it is consumed more than 2000mg per day, it may cause some adverse side effects in some of the individuals.
VITAMIN-A (Beta-carotene/Retinol): Mainly present in some animal food products such as liver, egg yolk, milk, butter etc and also in some plant food sources like spinach, yams, tomato, peaches, grains etc.
The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin-A. It should be noted that vitamin-A has no antioxidant property and toxic if consumed in excess.
LYCOPENE: Lycopene is an antioxidant found abundantly in tomato and tomato-based food products. Lycopene belongs to the carotenoid family and being a powerful antioxidant it can prevent many severe diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, neurological disorder etc.
LUTEIN: Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant. Lutein can prevent many diseases like cancer, heart diseases, macular degeneration etc.
READ THIS ARTICLE: HOW ANTIOXIDANTS WORK IN THE BODY?
DISEASES WHICH ARE CAUSED BY FREE RADICALS:
Initially, it was thought that free radicals are responsible for faster ageing of any individual but later it was found to be linked with many degenerative diseases.
There several diseases that are caused by free radicals and they are cancer, atherosclerosis, joint disease(inflammatory), asthma, diabetes, senile dementia, and degenerative eye disease.
ARE ANTIOXIDANTS CAPABLE OF REVERSING FREE RADICALS DAMAGE?
There is a powerful anti-ageing antioxidants (e.g. Astaxanthin) that can prevent, repair and to some extent reverse the damage caused by free radicals to the body.
PREVENTION OF DISEASES BY FREE RADICALS:
Antioxidants have an important role in keeping a good health because, if free radicals are not treated with proper care they may cause a wide range of illness and also cause some chronic diseases.
Research has shown that an antioxidant supplement has little or no effect when it comes to prevention of any diseases. However, consumption of antioxidant-rich foods has greater potential in preventing macular degenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
ANTIOXIDANTS FOR HEALTHY SKIN:
When the skin is exposed to the sunlight, the sun’s ultraviolet rays may cause photo-oxidative damage to the cells inducing many types of skin disease, which is prevented by antioxidants.
When beta-carotene combined with vitamin-E and followed by Astaxanthin, it helps in protecting the skin from the harmful reactive species of oxygen.
SOME OTHER BENEFITS OF ANTIOXIDANTS ARE:
- It supports the immune system
- Cater to cardiovascular diseases
- Cater to many eye problems
- Improves memory power
- Helps in mood swing disorders, etc.
READ THIS ARTICLE: TOP 20 HEALTHY FOOD ITEMS RICH IN ANTIOXIDANT