Which Ones Are Important Antioxidants

Fighting Free Radicals

In the last 40 or so years, modern medical science has come to realize just how much of an effect free radicals have on the body.  On the one hand, they are a necessary by-product and essential part of our body's natural process.  But too many free radicals can cause a lot of damage to our system, including leading to cancer.  Antioxidants help to fight the spread of free radicals, but which are the most important antioxidants?

Lester Packer and Important Antioxidants

Lester Packer, Ph.d, is a molecular and cellular biologist who has spent decades studying antioxidants and free radicals.  He is one of the forerunners in the field of antioxidant research, and has composed a list of what he considers the 5 most important antioxidants.  He first released this list of important antioxidants in 1999, but it still remains one of the standards gone by today.  He calls this list of important antioxidants the “Antioxidant Network”.

    • Vitamin C.  Everyone knows that Vitamin C is very healthy for us.  Whenever we have a cold we always look to get some Vitamin C.  What you may not know is that Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants.  It cleanses the body fluids of free radicals, and also protects arteries against atherosclerosis.
    • Vitamin E.  Vitamin E has long been considered one of the most important antioxidants.  It also has many other important effects on the body, reducing risk of heart disease or stroke, fighting arthritis and much more.
    • Coenzyme Q10, better known as Co Q10.  This is another very important antioxidant.  It is also one that is produced naturally by the body as part of the production of cellular energy.  A fat-soluble antioxidant, Co Q10 helps fight free radicals in the fatty portions of our cells.  As we grow older our ability to produce Co Q10 lessens, making supplementation important.
    • Alpha-Lipoic Acid.  Some research has suggested that Alpha-Lipoic Acid could be the most important of antioxidants.  The reason is that, unlike other antioxidants, Alpha-Lipoic Acid is both fat and water soluble, meaning it can travel through both the fatty portions of your cells and through the body fluids in order to fight free radicals.  Although it is produced by the body, it is produced in only very small amounts.
    • Glutathione.  This is another antioxidant that is produced naturally by the body.  In fact, it is the most prevalent antioxidant produced by the body.  Supplementation of Glutathione is not recommended, as the it is very difficult for the body to absorb this important antioxidant from food.  Alpha-Lipoic Acid supplementation, however, does work in increasing production of Glutathione.
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