How should I take antioxidants?

Your foods (mainly fruits, whole grains & vegetables) and daily multivitamin and mineral (MVM) formula should contain most of the antioxidant nutrients you need such as vitamins C, E, different carotenoids and the minerals that are part of the body’s antioxidant systems. Therefore most of your needs would be covered by daily ingestion of a healthy diet and your MVM tablet.

Antioxidants are substances that help keep free radicals under control. Excess free radicals are caused by normal biological processes, exercise, and the environment and have been linked to the aging process and chronic disease. If you are looking to hedge your bets against chronic disease by adding more antioxidants to your daily intake, listed below are other antioxidant compounds with the most supporting research.

Alpha-Carotene is present in cell membranes. Recently, the intake of alpha-carotene has been associated with a lower risk for breast and lung cancers and may offer protection against colorectal and prostate cancers, coronary artery disease and ischemic stroke.

Lutein/Zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the human eye. Clinical trials show that supplementation with lutein and/or zeaxanthin increases macular pigmentation. Lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against eye diseases such as cataract formation & age-related macular degeneration (AMD) the leading cause of vision loss.

Lycopene is the most effective carotenoid at quenching the free radical singlet oxygen. Conclusions from many clinical trials suggest that consumption of lycopene (either as a dietary supplement or in the form of processed tomatoes) can reduce DNA damage and may have beneficial effects on prostate cancer.

Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) is involved in energy production in the electron transport chain. It is a fat-soluble substance, providing protection for cell membranes against oxidation. CoQ-10 also prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is thought to contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a part of energy producing cycles in the body and is a “universal antioxidant.” It scavenges the major free radicals. It can also regenerate other antioxidants (C and E) in the body. It is therefore protective against oxidative damage and may play a role in disease prevention. ALA is being extensively researched for several disease states including diabetic peripheral neuropathy, heart disease, obesity-related disease, and memory loss reduction.

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