The best way to understand the need for antioxidants is this. Imagine a couple's retreat with 500 couples in attendance. Due to a scheduling error, 100 single women (free radicals) end up in the same area. You can imagine that this might cause some disruption. Antioxidants treatment would be adding a group of available men to pair up with the single women to minimize any problems.
These free radicals or oxidative agents are a normal byproduct of energy production in the cell. They can also be increased by exposure to external toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides and other chemicals. The greater the environmental, emotional and/or physical stress, the greater the need for antioxidants.
For example, early in the long distance running days, it was thought that no particular supplementation would be needed as this was a natural and healthy activity. After some noted runners died, it became obvious that this type of physical exertion required a greater level of antioxidant support. Running like any other physical activity requires energy production at a high rate for an extended time and therefore creates free radicals at a higher rate too.
The most commonly known antioxidants are glutathione, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and super oxide dismutase (SOD).
As we age most people have more trouble producing glutathione. Supplementation has been difficult because it is made of three amino acids that are quickly broken down into these basic components by the digestive system. The way around this has been injections, glutathione precursors and energy patches that stimulate the body's own production of glutathione. We prefer the latter two of these options for most people. If you are real sick you may still need injections or IV drips.
The human body does not manufacture its own Vitamin C. Some experts think we need the equivalent of 8-10 grams of supplemental C per day. Others say that is far in excess of our needs. We recommend taking 1000 mg of vitamin C two times a day just in case. Vitamin C is water soluble so if not needed it is easily excreted in the urine.
How much Vitamin E a person should take is also controversial. Some say to take 1000 IU's or more. About 5000 articles have been published about Vitamin E supplementation in the last 5 years or so most showing the benefit of added supplements. 400 to 800 IU's will be a good starting point for most people.
Similar studies have been done with NAC and SOD. Adding some of that to your daily routine will be beneficial in most cases.
Like anything, you can over do a good thing. We recommend getting your anti-oxidants but don't think that if a little is good, more is better. Do take these moderate amounts daily and you will get the benefit over time.
Return to Shop By Concern:Anti-Oxidant Support