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The Secrets of Antioxidants and You

Antioxidants and skinFree radicals, unstable molecules that can damage your skin, can damage your body. Antioxidants can help protect you from free radicals.

The human body has its own natural antioxidants to protect itself, but many different factors can affect its ability to do so. These may include genetics, age, sex, and lifestyle. Having an antioxidant plan in place can help you improve your looks and your health.

FREE RADICALS

These molecules are very reactive. Their purpose is to destroy tissues, protein bonds, and cells. UV radiation, alcohol, stress, and pollution can all contribute to the production of free radicals. Interestingly enough, rigorous exercise and a poor warm up or cool down can do the same. Free radicals keep reproducing until antioxidants stop them from doing so.

Free radicals also interrupt cells’ ability to reproduce. This, in turn, can inhibit muscle growth, development of the immune system, and potentially increase the risk of injury to the body. The skin’s DNA can also be damaged, which can age the skin. It can cause the complexion to be rough or dull, and increase the risk of skin cancer.

How antioxidants work is only now beginning to be understood. Studies have shown that antioxidants can avert the rapid reproduction of free radicals before damage takes place. Your body may not be able to handle this alone, unfortunately. Most people’s eating choices do not allow for nearly enough antioxidants in their diet.

RUBBING IT IN—CREAMS AND OTHER TREATMENTS

There are many types of topical antioxidant treatments that can penetrate the skin’s surface easily. Before these formulas were created, users had to resort to rubbing the serum from capsules onto their bodies. These serums were sticky, hard to absorb through the skin, and caused problems for those with sensitive skin . Manufacturers have noted that some popular vitamin based antioxidants, especially in the new, lighter forms, are most effective when combined with other ingredients. Examples include Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

These creams and serums are designed to disperse free radicals and help make the fibroblasts, which support your skin, stronger. The fibroblasts also help prevent your skin from becoming rough, aged looking, and saggy. The vitamins in the treatments may also help stimulate collagen production. Collagen breaks down as we age, and helps our skin remain healthy looking.

DIET IS IMPORTANT

Eating properly is a crucial part in creating antioxidants. Vitamins C and E are not the only substances that contain antioxidants; magnesium, copper, and zinc have antioxidants as well. There are a number of foods that contain vitamin C and E, and are full of antioxidants. Whole grains, apricots, fish oils are examples of Vitamin E, while citrus fruit, strawberries, and green peppers have Vitamin C.

THE EYES HAVE IT

Antioxidants are good for the eyes and may lessen the chance of macular degeneration, as well as cataracts.

FINDING THE RIGHT BLEND

Since each person’s situation is unique, there will be different factors that decide what the best antioxidant plan is for you. Genetics, age, race and health, among others, must be taken into account when determining this. There will be many options for your diets and creams, however, and the plan will change as you age. Discuss goals for your skin and your expectations with your skin doctor to help him or her plan the right treatment for you.

Antioxidants and You!

Antioxidants are chemicals that protect cells by neutralizing external forces (such as damage from the sun, pollution, wind, and temperature) and internal factors (for example, emotions, metabolism, and the presence of excess oxygen). Common antioxidants are Vitamins A, C, E, and beta carotene. These special chemicals assist in skin repair and the strengthening of blood vessels.

Which foods are rich in antioxidants?

Antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as in other foods including nuts, grains and some meats, poultry and fish. The list below describes food sources of common antioxidants.

  • Beta-carotene is found in many foods that are orange in color, including sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos. Some green leafy vegetables including collard greens, spinach, and kale are also rich in beta-carotene.
  • Lutein, best known for its association with healthy eyes, is abundant in green, leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, and kale.
  • Lycopene is a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and other foods. Estimates suggest 85 percent of American dietary intake of lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato products.
  • Selenium is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient. However, it is a component of antioxidant enzymes. Plant foods like rice and wheat are the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries. In the United States, meats and bread are common sources of dietary selenium. Brazil nuts also contain large quantities of selenium.
  • Vitamin A is found in three main forms: retinol (Vitamin A1), 3, 4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods rich in vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks and mozzarella cheese.
  • Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, and can be found in high abundance in many fruits and vegetables and is also found in cereals, beef, poultry and fish.
  • Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in almonds, in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils, and also found in mangos, nuts, broccoli and other foods.

This is intended to provide general information only. If you require additional information please contact our office at 888.931.3366. For details please consult your physician.