What Are Antioxidants? Dr. Gerald Horn Explains
In order to understand antioxidants, we must understand the power and toxicity of the Oxygen ion (O-) in the body leading to free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired electron, like heat-seeking missiles that will suck away an electron from any surrounding tissue it can dissolve into. These lethal cellular missiles are produced when your body is exposed to radiation or tobacco smoke, any use of your body or brain that outstrips its metabolic support, and almost any toxin, pollutant, or processed chemical in food. They are also produced as your body breaks down food in general, and a low level is considered normal, with strong antioxidant enzymes and related systems to reduce, suppress, and repair oxidative damage. When the levels of free radicals and reactive oxygen species in your body become too high, they can attack your cells and may play a role in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, ultimately expediting aging itself, explains Dr. Gerald Horn.
Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells from free radicals. Your body produces its own antioxidants - without these antioxidants, free radicals would quickly poison your body and, eventually, lead to death. Antioxidants can also be found in high levels in certain foods like:Fruits, Vegetables, Whole grains, Nuts, Seeds, Herbs and spices, Cocoa
Certain vitamins, like vitamin C and vitamin E, are excellent sources of antioxidants, says Dr. Gerald Horn.
Keeping the Balance Is Key Advises Dr. Gerald Horn
While free radicals can be an agent of certain diseases, your body actually produces them and utilizes them selectively for a reason. Apoptosis, the destruction of cells that are aging, and immune cells such as T-cells, utilize free radical and/or reactive oxygen species to kill pathogens. So while you need to ensure that you are maintaining a good balance of antioxidants and, to a small degree, free radicals within your system to remain healthy, the imbalance throughout our lifetime is a severe excess of free radicals and reactive oxygen species that leave us with increasing damage and degeneration that is the cumulative effect of years, decades, lifetimes, of oxidative stress ravaging our bodies.
When your free radicals outweigh your antioxidants, your body goes into a state of severe oxidative stress. Prolonged oxidative stress can cause damage to your DNA as well as other molecules in your body, says Dr. Gerald Horn. In serious cases, it can lead to cell death. Damage to your DNA - specifically the telomere that coats the strands - plays a significant role in the aging process. But, can antioxidants reverse or neutralize oxidative stress?
Can Antioxidants Reverse the Damage Done By Free Radicals? Dr. Gerald Horn Weighs In
Think of an antioxidant in its best use "putting out the fire" of oxidative stress. Imagine you have a wood-burning fire and oil that catches on fire in a frying pan on your stove. The fire-extinguisher that puts out the wood burning fire is useless on the oil fire in your frying pan. Dr. Gerald Horn tells us that antioxidants work similarly - some can put out the fire via a water base, and others via an oil base. Vitamin C for example is very soluble in your cells' water-filled cytoplasm, and can certainly help protect against damage - or further damage - to your cells caused by free radicals. Vitamin E on the other hand can penetrate oils, cell membranes to be more exact, and may help protect against antioxidative damage to cell membranes, such as particularly neurons. Even in these situations, each antioxidant may work best in very specific and somewhat limited ways. Breinfuel is built on the belief that a great variety of antioxidants, some water-soluble, some oil or lipid soluble is required to achieve greater overall reduction of conditions of oxidative stress that plague our health, and are part of the cause of feelings of poor health, poor energy, depression, and difficulty sleeping and recovering.
One common flaw Dr. Gerald Horn sees in scientific studies on antioxidants is the theory that if an antioxidant in a study was found to suppress a disease state - heart disease for example, then a corollary study on patients with heart disease should demonstrate improvement. But Dr. Horn believes that is a dangerous assumption, likely false. But their ability to reverse the damage already done to your body - the protein coagulation and other forms of tissue damage that occur, possibly even the amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's - that is very different, one he is not so sure about. He says that in his experience, antioxidants are best taken as a preventative measure, preventing disease and damage they are meant to circumvent or delay in onset. They're not a cure-all for your existing health problems. But if they are safe, robust, and in great variety, he feels they will best help protect you against further damage and reduce dangerous oxidative stress.
Breinfuel is a cerebral beverage with naturally sourced caffeine, fuel support, and antioxidant blends that includes the antioxidants in coffee beans and teas as well as Vitamins C and E, L-theanine, beetroot, and creatine designed to create a potent antioxidant blend developed by Dr. Gerald Horn. For more information, go to www.breinfuel.com.
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SOURCE: Dr. Gerald Horn
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