Antioxidants – Are they good for health?
An antioxidant can be defined as a substance that obstructs the process of oxidation and gets rid of potentially damaging oxidizing agents in living organisms.
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are substances that are constantly being formed due to metabolism. They are essential for the optimal functioning of the human body, and important for survival. One of the functions that free radicals provides for the body is support to the immune system in order to kill bacteria that can infect us.
Antioxidants and free radicals, if present in a balanced amount in your body, can help improve the working of your immune system, keeping you healthy and fit. Thus, it is very important for antioxidants and free radicals to work in harmony and have the perfect balance. Disruption of this balance can cause problems with the working of the body. When free radicals outnumber the antioxidants in your body, it causes a state of oxidative stress. Activities that give rise to oxidative stress are smoking and excessive exercise. Environmental conditions like high pollution, exposure to radiation, and excess or lack of oxygen can also cause oxidative stress.
If one experiences oxidative stress for too long, it can cause cardiovascular diseases or even certain types of cancer. It is known to fasten the aging process as well.
Types of antioxidants
There are two categories of antioxidants, namely, water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidants.
Under these categories you will find three types of antioxidants which are:
- Vitamin C– It is an essential dietary nutrient. It is the most important water-soluble antioxidant.
- Vitamin E– This vitamin protects the cell membrane from oxidant damage. It is the most important fat-soluble antioxidant.
- Flavonoids– These antioxidants have many beneficial health effects and is a type of plant food.
Are Antioxidants healthy? Can they be consumed in an unlimited quantity?
Antioxidants are important for not only human survival but also survival of plants and animals. Antioxidants are found in all living organisms. However, too much of anything is not good. Antioxidants should be consumed regularly, but excessive consumption of antioxidants can cause toxic effects. In fact, high intake of antioxidants can promote oxidative damage instead of preventing it.
Some studies have shown that in severe cases, high doses of antioxidants can endanger the lives of people. In case you have a low level of antioxidants, it is wise to increase your level of antioxidants by consuming natural foods as compared to supplements. Also, drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice has greater antioxidant doses that are more powerful than those in a sugary supplement drink containing the same amount of vitamin C
The best and healthiest strategy to ensure that you get the right quantities of antioxidants is to consume foods that are rich in vitamins like vegetables and fruits as well as maintain healthy eating habits. You can always rely on low doses of multivitamin tablets in case you are deficient in a particular vitamin or are unable to follow a healthy diet. It is always recommended that you consult a doctor before taking these supplements.
It’s true that healthy lifestyle is the key to leading a healthy life in the future, but there’s no taking away from the fact that timely check-ups are just as important in ensuring our well-being in the long run. At Apollo Diagnostics, we offer free home collection facilities making health check-up convenient than ever before. To book an appointment, call 44442424 or visit www.apollodiagnostics.in