what are antioxidants and how do they work

This article in pen downed on the significance of antioxidants and the harmful effect of free radicals. What are antioxidants and how to do they work for the immune system?

Antioxidants play a significant role in eliminating harmful cells from the body. They contribute to the production of cureless cancer, aging and several diseases. Scientific studies have made numerous investigations on what are antioxidants and the facts and figures are quite interesting to consider. It has been a subject of interest for players and athletes because of their improved health and exercise results. So, this article will discuss everything in detail about what are antioxidants and how do they work.

Who is actually responsible?

A radical…

Let’s understand free radicals first.
Practically, free radical is an atom that has unpaired or unstable electrons in its outer shell. It can interact with any unpaired atom to gain stability. It is usually formed when elements like oxygen react with other molecules. They are highly unstable and therefore, immediately start chain reactions that make the situation alarming. They react with important compounds like DNA or cell membranes and lead them to death after draining all power. So, to counter the harmful effects of free radicals, a defense system of antioxidants is needed.

Now, the question arises: what are antioxidants and how do they work to diminish free radicals. They are basically molecules that react with free radicals to obstruct the chain reactions before anything goes wrong. Interestingly, there are numerous types of antioxidants present in the body to fight against free radicals. But, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C have turned out to be the top three elements. They are more dedicated towards giving the desired results. While the body is unable to produce these micronutrients antioxidants, one must take supplements to overcome deficiency. For this, consult with a physician and know what is causing troubles within the body.

Selenium, a metal, can also be included in this category because it is another essential part of antioxidant enzyme systems.

how antioxidants work

Let’s now dig into the detail of how antioxidants works.

  • 1. Vitamin E: D-alpha tocopherol is a fat soluble element that is present in vegetables, fish, nuts, cereal, and grains. But, it’s necessary to take care of its intake- men should take 15 IU and women keep it 12 IU.
  • 2. Vitamin C: It is a form of ascorbic acid that works as a water soluble vitamin. It is usually present in food items like peppers, fresh fruits juices, cabbages, broccoli, spinach, kiwi, and strawberries. The recommended intake per day is 60 mg. Heavy dosage might result harmful.
  • 3. Beta-carotene: It belongs to the vitamin A family. It is widely present in items like spinach, carrots, yams, yolk, and tomato. As far as intake is concerned, experts did not mention any particular intake.

How do antioxidants work to kill cancer cells?

Research has shown drastic results to lower cancerous cells in people who consume fruits and vegetables in a high amount. Most importantly, they are the most reliable source to receive antioxidants to cleanse or even treat the body for numerous diseases. Extensive researches are already going on to explore more interesting facts about antioxidants. They can kill cancerous cells from the body. Whether it’s about curing lung cancer, stomach or any other type of cancer, patients have to take proper diet. Here, it is important to understand that doctor’s advice is important. Patients have to eat prescribed food items to improve their health faster.

Two smokers were chosen for an experiment- one used to take enough antioxidants on daily basis while other doesn’t. After some time, high risk of lung cancer was found in the person who didn’t take antioxidants. The other person, taking antioxidants, was having healthy lungs and has quite low chances of having that deadly disease. Therefore, one thing is quite certain that by taking foods high in antioxidants, the second person prolonged his life.

Manage exercise routine

Regular exercise can increase oxygen level in the body by 10 times than in resting state. However, this rise may be dangerous because it strengthens free radicals and leads to more concerns for major body organs. This is a big problem for athletes as free radicals used to weaken their immune system. They always have to find answer to the question: how to change their lifestyle? What type of antioxidants to use to control the production of free radicals? Scientists apply the method of measuring by-products after free radical reactions to determine the amount of antioxidants needed. Most importantly, this approach also helps to identify whether the person is taking enough quantity or not.

Certainly, regular physical exercise improves antioxidant defense system and safeguards free radical damage. Needless to say, irregular exercise sessions can induce high free radical damage as they are not used to regular exercising. So, it is harmful to those who only do exercise on weekends. It is even difficult to determine how much antioxidants to use as the body responds abnormally. Other attributes include the intensity of exercise, nature of athletic activities and diet. People have to know what are antioxidants and how do they work for the betterment of the entire body.

How do antioxidants help to recover from intensive workout?

Remember that vitamin deficiency can cause weakness in the body because it can cause hurdles in training and recovery. Antioxidant plays a significant role in allowing athletes to recover from any free radical attack. According to the research, vitamin E safeguards exercise-induced oxidative damage. It helps in recovering after intense exercise. An athlete must take adequate amount of vitamin E in his or her diet. If not possible, take supplements to strengthen the body so that it can work properly without causing much trouble.

Benefits of vitamin E

Normally, antioxidant supplements are not quite beneficial for athletes. Experts suggest to take vitamin E as performance enhancers after doing exercises at high altitudes. A recent study demonstrated fewer free radical damages and reduction in anaerobic threshold. Surprisingly, the results are much better among athletes who used to take vitamin E supplements.