What You Did Not Know About Antioxidant Supplements

Not All Supplements Are Created Equally

One of the many things people don't realize about antioxidant supplements, and supplements in general, is that not all supplements are created equally.  For most of human evolution, obviously, nutritional supplementation did not exist.  We got what we needed from our food or we didn't get it. 

While supplementation has been a boon, unfortunately we are not always able to absorb all of the nutrients found in supplements.  In fact it has been shown that often we are only getting as little as 10 or 20% of the nutrients that we are taking in with traditional supplements.

Natural Versus Synthetic Antioxidant Supplements

There are two basic ways that antioxidant supplements are made.  One is extracting antioxidants from natural substances and using these to create the supplement.  The other is to synthetically develop antioxidants through various chemical processes in order to develop the antioxidant supplements.  Synthetic supplements are generally cheaper than natural supplements, so they are the most commonly found variety.

However, studies have shown that the body is better able to absorb naturally based antioxidant supplements than we can their synthetic counterparts.  With synthetic supplements most of the nutrients are just being passed through our system and not absorbed at all.  Natural antioxidant supplements have  a higher absorption rate, although it is difficult to tell just what these absorption rates are.  For liquid supplements (which have higher rates than powder-based pills) have been quoted to have absorption rates as high as 98%.

What Antioxidants Are in Antioxidant Supplements?

Another question when it comes to antioxidant supplements: just what antioxidants are found in a supplement?  Many people think that an antioxidant is an antioxidant, but this is not the case.  There are in fact a wide variety of antioxidants, all of which work in different ways in the body.

Most research shows that having a wide array of antioxidants is best.  This gives us the most power to keep antioxidants in our system and fight against the problem of having too many free radicals loose in our bodies.  However, many antioxidant supplements only contain one or two antioxidants.

The best antioxidant supplements are those that contain a variety of antioxidants.  Having only one type of antioxidant, while not a bad thing, will not work as effectively as having a large array of different types of antioxidants working together.  Not only does this increase the overall effectiveness of the antioxidants, but many antioxidants also work better in and of themselves when they are working with other antioxidants, making a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

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