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Antioxidant - Research on Antioxidants

  • Published: 2008-12-26 (Revised/Updated 2011-03-19) : Author: John Janson
  • Synopsis: Vitamins and minerals from plants have always been part of the countless products of nature that help humans in staying healthy.

Main Document

Various universities and institutes all over Europe, Asia and America have done research on what structures these antioxidants have that made them effective in stopping the reactive oxygen species. They found out the antioxidants have a structure that is stable and has a place open for a radical.

Vitamins and minerals from plants have always been part of the countless products of nature that help humans in staying healthy. Phenols derived from plants help protect DNA from damage and the body's lipids and proteins from breaking down. Humans discovered that members of the plant kingdom kept them healthy and young. To be able to survive, man learned to adapt to his environment.

Humans also discovered that a lot of factors can affect their health.

As man progressed technologically, more and more of the things that he discovered affected his health. Cigarettes, which provided him with euphoria, gave him quadrillions of reactive oxygen species that threaten to make his lungs collapse. The sun, which has always provided him with light and energy, also gave him millions of quadrillions of ultraviolet rays that threaten to hasten the aging of his skin and body. Even the natural processes of his body gave man more reactive oxygen species to contend with.

It is therefore not questionable why scientists spend thousands in research to find ways to stop the reactive oxygen species from giving humans more diseases such as neuro-degenerative disorders and skin cancers. Scientists discovered antioxidants from their research and sought to determine their components and uses.

One such research by a team of dedicated scientists from the Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center reported that reactive oxygen species attack the DNA and cell membranes. The team found out that the human body evolved to protect itself from the harmful effects of these reactive species by producing antioxidants like coenzyme Q10 and vitamins C and E. The scientists recommend that vitamin supplementation and dietary intake of foods rich in these antioxidants help build up the body's defenses to fight the harmful effects induced by reactive oxygen species.

Various universities and institutes all over Europe, Asia and America have done research on what structures these antioxidants have that made them effective in stopping the reactive oxygen species. They found out the antioxidants have a structure that is stable and has a place open for a radical. They also found out that because reactive oxygen species match the space provided by the antioxidant, it is easy for the latter to search the cells and tissues in the body and catch these free moving reactive oxygen species before they cause damage to these cells.

A lot of scientists also studied which sources are best for achieving the desired effect.

They concluded that a color wheel exists for antioxidant sources: the part of the wheel with the dark colors of purple, blue and red is the part where the richest sources belong. This means that sources with these colors contain more antioxidants than any other group.

Another group of scientists also found out that some antioxidants like vitamin E are soluble in fats so are most effective in scavenging reactive species from fatty molecules in the human body while others like vitamin C are soluble in water and are therefore most effective for the aqueous environment of most cells.

Because antioxidants have a lot of good effects on the body, more studies on their characteristics and uses can be expected in the years to come.

In the meantime, enjoy the benefits of antioxidants.

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