Antioxidants and Anti-Aging

Anti-aging is something we do not think about when we are young. When you are young you are invincible. Yet we see as we grow up that death appears to be inevitable. At this time there is no Anti-aging “Miracle" that will keep us young forever. Yet our bodies appear to have been created to last forever. Our body can and does replace itself and fix itself when injured. The health and scientific community learn something new every day but as a whole we know very little about how the body really works.

We do know the body does replace itself. A few samples of this replacement are:

• Blood is completely replaced in about 120 days

• We grow a stomach lining every four days

• Our skin is new every five weeks

• Our livers are replaced in five weeks

Our bodies are fantastically intelligent. The body builds itself from 1 cell into 100 trillion cells in 9 months. It rebuilds 98% of itself in 3 months! That's right- 98% of the atoms that comprise your body right now will not be in your body 3 - 6 months from now. They will have been replaced by atoms that you accumulate from your environment, mostly in the form of food.


If we replace ourselves so often how is it we age. The first reason could be because we believe we are going to age and die in approximately 78 to 80 years. This evidence is shown to us every day. However the mind is a powerful tool. The mind body connection has now been shown to be extremely important in how we age and fix our bodies when disease and injury strike.

Secondly science has now shown that the body, it’s vessels and organs age because of free radical damage. When what we breathe, what we drink and what we eat produce more free radicals than our bodies were designed to handle then free radical damage occurs and our bodies show signs of aging and deterioration This aging is different in everyone. Many other things influence aging as well like your gene structure, DNA and heredity. There are probably many other factors too we just do not know what they are yet.

So that leaves us with what we do know and that is free radical damage. The present anti-aging “Miracle” is in controlling and trying to eliminate free radical damage.

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Live Long. How do some cultures live a healthy life to 80 to 100 years. It is not a secret just good habits. Antioxidants are believed to be effective in helping to prevent cancer, heart disease, stroke and a variety of other ailments associated with natural aging. Specifically antioxidants prevent ailments by destroying free harmful radicals inside the human body.

Left unmanaged, free radicals can damage cell walls, genetic material within cells and other cell structures. Over time such damage may lead to disease. Again, antioxidants are believed to assist in preventing disease by destroying free radicals before they get the chance to do harm to your body.

A few studies have shown that smokers with diets high in carotenoids have a lower risk of developing lung cancer relative to smokers whose diets are low in carotenoids. However, another study indicated that some beta-carotene takers, primarily smokers, actually had a higher death rate. Additional research has suggested that diets high in carotenoids may help lower the risk of breast cancer. Vitamin C has been shown to prevent the formation of N-nitroso compounds (cancer-causing substances from nitrates found in some foods).

Many healthcare specialists claim that the elderly, especially those with a reduced food intake, heavy drinkers, frequent aspirin users, smokers and individuals with immune problems may benefit greatly by taking daily antioxidant supplements. It is also possible that higher level of antioxidants may aid in preventing certain life threatening diseases.

The human body produces a number antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase, and catalase, that destroy many types of harmful free radicals. Supplements of these enzymes are available for oral administration. However, absorption of these enzymes is most likely minimal at best. Supplementing with the components the body requires to make these enzymes may be more effective. These include the minerals managanese, zinc and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase.

In addition to SOD, glutathione peroxidase and catalase, many vitamins and minerals are effective antioxidants in their own right, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, lutein, lycopene, vitamin B2, coenzyme Q10, and cysteine (an amino acid). Herbs, such as grape seed, bilberry, turmeric (curcumin), ginkgo, milk thistle and green tea also contain powerful antioxidant compounds.

Many experts believe that the best way to provide the body with the most complete protection against free radicals is to consume a large variety of antioxidants.

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