Network antioxidants work together in our bodies to strengthen us and protect us from disease. There are literally hundreds of antioxidants, only five appear to be network antioxidants:
Vitamin C : is not produced by the body and must be obtained through food or supplements.
Vitamin C is a potent free radical quencher, and it is essential for a strong immune system.
• People who take vitamin C, will live longer, healthier lives than those who don’t. They reduce their risk of dying of cancer and heart disease.
• Vitamin C prevents cancer by shielding DNA from free radical damage.
• Vitamin C is the vitamin for great skin.
• Vitamin C protects against caracts, a leading cause of vision problems among older people.
• Vitamin C is abundant in plants and is present in many fruits and vegetables including red peppers, broccoli, cranberries, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, and citrus fruit.
Vitamin E : the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant, must be obtained from food or supplements. Compared to glutathione or vitamin C, there is only a tiny amount of vitamin E in the sells, yet it is one of the most important and well studied of all the antioxidants. Vitamin E travels through the body in molecules called lipoproteins and protects them from oxidation. The oxidation of lipoproteins is believed to be the first step in the formation of atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, which can lead heart disease.
• Recent studies have shown that vitamin E can prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and even slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
• Vitamin E keeps your skin youthful by protecting against damage from UV radiation and ozone, the major causes of wrinkles, brown spots and even cancer.
• You can find vitamin E raw vegetable oils, nuts, nut butters, rice bran oil, barley and in smaller amounts of green leafy vegetables.
Glutathione: is found in virtually every cell and is an important weapon in the battle against free radicals. When we reach the age of forty, our production of glutathione begins to decline; it can drop almost 20 percent by the time we are sixty. At any age, low levels of glutathione have been linked to premature death and disease.
• Glutathione is instrumental in the detoxification of drugs and pollutants and for healthy liver function.
• It is important for a strong immune system.
• Glutathione is abundant in fruits, vegetables, and freshly cooked meat, but it is broken down during digestion.
Lipoic acid: is the most versatile and powerful anti-oxidant the entire antioxidant defense network. It has been used in the treatment of complications from diabetes. Lipoic acid is unique in that it is the only antioxidant that can significantly boost the levels of glutathione, another key network antioxidant that instrumental in ridding the body of toxins.
• Lipoic acid may also offer significant protection against stroke, cataracts and heart disease.
• Lipoic acid turns off bad genes that can accelerate aging and cause cancer.
• It strengthens memory and prevents brain aging.
• Present in small amounts in potatoes, spinach, and red meat.
Coenzyme Q 10: is an effective treatment for heart failure, angina, and high blood pressure. It is also being investigated as a treatment for cancer and age-related brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
• Co Q10 is used to treat gum disease.
• Co Q10 is currently being investigated as a treatment for advanced breast cancer.
• It is synthesized by the body; also found in seafood and organ meats.
Vitamins C and E are not produced in the body but must be obtained through food. Glutathione, lipoic acid and CoQ10 are produced by the body, but levels of these antioxidants decline as we age. That is why we need to supplement all of them. What makes network antioxidants so special is that they can greatly enhance the power of one another. As a result, they are particularly effective in slowing down the aging process and boosting the body’s ability to fight disease. The antioxidant network is a shield that protects the body against the forces that age us before our time and rob years from our lives.
Today no one blinks when we live into our eighties or nineties and some scientists think that within a few generations, many of us will live well into our hundreds. You probably aren’t surprised because you’ve seen what modern medicine, better sanitation and improved nutrition can do to extend life span. But you’ve probably also noticed that although people are living longer, too many are plagued by chronic diseases that not only hamper their ability to make the most of these added years, but sometimes even seem to make them a curse. A longer life doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to our new understanding of antioxidants and the role of the antioxidant network, we can live not just longer, but live well, in bodies that stay healthy, strong and vigorous, with minds that are alert and memories that are intact. It is not just adding years to our lives, it is about adding life to our years.
We know that the key to preventing disease and extending life is as simple as maintaining the right level and combination of antioxidants in our bodies.
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