The role of Antioxidants is to fight free radicals although to prevent other oxidation processes they themselves are oxidized. Oxidation is one of essential life processes both to plants and animals. A complex system of multiple types of antioxidants is needed since side effect of oxidation also cause damage.
Among the types of antioxidants are glutathione, vitamin E and vitamin E along with other enzymes such as dismutase, superoxide and catalase. Failure to have antioxidants can inhibit antioxidant enzymes which can cause oxidation stress make the cell damage or worst cell death.
To prevent various disease like cancer and heart diseases, to-days antioxidants are widely used as part of dietary supplements. Beside this function, it also used in food and cosmetics as preservatives.
Antioxidants: What they can do?
Protect against cancer, eye diseases like age related muscular degeneration, and hearth diseases are among the proven benefits of antioxidants in the body.cardiovascular health and stronger immune system along with better protection against heart attack and stroke also identified with antioxidants.
Antioxidants also used as medication for brain injuries because brain is prone to oxidative injury considering that is need high oxidation rates and metabolic. But to be used as a treatment require complex process.
It can also lessen the risk of various diseases especially those that involves the brain and heart since it proven to minimize damaging effects of free radicals.
Since there are other elements that have different reaction with oxygen, the level of antioxidants in food is not that easy to determine. But in general you can found in the following:
Vitamin A and Carotenoids – Common sources are sweet potato, broccoli, squash, carrots, peaches and other bright colored fruits and vegetables
Vitamin C – These are found in broccoli, green peppers, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits like lime and oranges
Phytochemicals – Pomegranate, black tea, green tea, watermelon along with cranberries, tomato product, red wine and soy have high amounts of antioxidants
Vitamin E – Whole grains, nuts and seeds are the main source of vitamin E antioxidants, along with vegetable oil and liver oil.
Types of Antioxidants
In general types are classified depending whether it is soluble in water or in lipids. Lipid solubles functions as protection for the cell membranes against lipid peroxidation. Water soluble antioxidants react with oxidants in the cytosol and blood plasma.
Natural antioxidants in animals and plants
Glutathione. Glutathione is one of important celular antioxidants to improve immune system, turn carbohydrates into much more energy, prevents build up of bad fat and improve eye sight.
Ascorbic Acid. Ascorbic acid or known as vitamin C is an agent that can neutralize and reduce reactive oxygen and so it lessen oxidation stress.