Antioxidant Health Supplement: What Ingredients Should You Look
Posted Dec 15 2009 12:00am
The health benefits of antioxidant supplements are, without question, phenomenal. They can slow the aging process, arrest inflammation and heart disease, boost immunity and prevent cancer and autoimmune disease. But what constitutes a good supplement and what ingredients should it contain?
The best way to ingest and absorb nutrients is through a healthy, balanced diet. However, modern farming and food manufacturing practices have been responsible for eliminating a lot of essential nutrients from our diet.
If, like most people, you live a busy life and have to compromise on your food preparation and time, you are missing out on a lot of important protective factors. A good supplement can compensate for some of these deficiencies in your diet and help protect your body against the ravages of modern life and aging. Here are some antioxidants that a well-formulated supplement may contain:
Green tea has been used by the Chinese to improve well-being and increase life expectancy for thousands of years. The extract contains high levels of polyphenols and is rich in EGCG, an antioxidant that is hundreds of times more potent than vitamin E. Its health benefits range from lowering cholesterol, preventing the growth of cancer cells, and alleviating inflammation in arthritis to promoting weight loss.
Pomegranate juice is a "super antioxidant" with the highest polyphenol content, according to a recent study that compared eight beverages. Its antioxidant content, activity and protective benefits are exceptional and it outperforms other "superfoods" like acai berry, green and white tea, in scavenging free radicals and preventing oxidation of LDL or good cholesterol.
Besides the fact that it contains more vitamin C than citrus fruits, broccoli sprouts also have high levels of glucoraphanin, also known sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS). Not only is this compound effective against cancer, but it has been found to increase tissue anti-oxidant defense mechanisms, lower inflammation, and protect the cardiovascular system from hypertension and stroke.
Amla Fruit Extract
Also known as the Indian Gooseberry, it is believed to be the richest known source of Vitamin C on earth and contains more than 30 times the amount found in oranges. It is also a rich source of polyphenols, bioflavonoids, carotenoids and flavones.
In Ayurvedic medicine, it is a powerful regenerative medicine used to treat degenerative disorders and boost immunity. Among its numerous health benefits, it also prevents lipid peroxidation in cell membranes, protects against stress-induced free radicals and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Glutathione is a powerful anti-oxidant that plays a vital role in boosting free radical defenses. It protects the liver, lungs, brain and immune system from oxidative damage. The enzyme, glutathione peroxidase (GPX), requires selenium pathway by which glutathione works and cause cardiomyopathy. Selenium supplementation was found to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, alleviate asthma and promote wound healing.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Taking alpha lipoic acid has been found to increase levels of the master anti-oxidant, glutathione. It can raise glutathione levels by 30-70% in people living with HIV. As it is both water and fat soluble, it can act on many forms of oxidative stress in any part of the cell. It plays a role in regenerating and recycling vitamin C, E and glutathione.
It is one of the supplements recommended in the anti-inflammatory diet and has been shown to repair collagen and significantly improve the texture and appearance of aging skin.
It can only be obtained through the diet. It is a powerful anti-oxidant that prevents many debilitating diseases and boosts immunity. It keeps the body's ligaments, tendons and collagen healthy, hence its benefits in preventing arthritis and aging. It also helps recycle other antioxidants and is most effective when taken along with vitamin E, carotenoids and flavonoids.
It is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing LDL or bad cholesterol oxidation by 50% and arresting atherosclerosis. According to experts, chronic health problems that create high levels of oxidative stress can improve with Vitamin E supplementation when taken in doses higher than the currently recommended daily intake.