What Do Antioxidants Actually Do?

You have heard of the word "antioxidant," but do you really know what it does? Do you truly understand the function that an antioxidant takes on once it is inside the body?

Antioxidants assist with the destruction of oxidation pollutants in the human body. Ironically, even though we rely on oxygen to stay alive - oxidizing which occurs in the body is actually harmful to the cells and the human body itself. Hence, antioxidants work to stall and prevent this process from continuing.

The Different Types Of Antioxidants

Most people have heard of the word "antioxidant," but the likelihood is that a vast majority of these people don't actually know what the term truly refers to - nor the fact that there are two different types of them. In a scientific sense, the difference between the two types of antioxidants is actually quite different.

Activity of the Water Soluble Antioxidants

Water soluble antioxidants are referred to as hydrophilic antioxidants. Basically, they are able to assist the body in the process of cell cytosol, and help out in the blood plasma. In other words, they rid the body of harmful free radicals and pollutants. Following is a list of the most common water soluble antioxidants:
• Ascorbic Acid • Gluathione
• Lipoic Acid
• Uric Acid
As you can see, most of these are acids. Their concentration in the human serum and liver vary to a large extend, and some of these antioxidants are certainly more powerful. As you would expect, any food which contains any of the above antioxidants in large quantities is definitely beneficial to helping eradicate harmful oxidants from the human body.

Activity of the Lipid Soluble Antioxidants

Unlike water soluble antioxidants, the lipid soluble version do not actively go out seeking to destroy rogue cells in the human body. These are the antioxidants which in fact have a much more passive role in keeping the human body healthy. 
Basically, these antioxidants work by clinging on to damaged cells, and injecting valuable nutrients which support the replenishment and health of that particular individual cell. In this way, antioxidants are able to promote the health of cells on a cellular level, by working in sync with the cells themselves. Here are a few examples of lipid soluble antioxidants: • Carotenes • Ubiquinol Just like water soluble antioxidants, these can be found in a few foods - mainly fruits.

The History Of Antioxidants

What many people don't know about antioxidants is that they were actually used for a number of different purposes before being made available for human consumption. It wasn't actually until the mid 20th century that scientists realized and understood exactly why the human consumption of antioxidants was helping to extend life expectancy and quality. 

Early Use Of Antioxidants

In the 19th century, engineers discovered that a particular substance was able to prevent the expensive condition of "metal corrosion," by shutting off the oxidation process. The chemicals they recruited to do this task were called "antioxidants," and the ability to prevent metal from corroding and saved the industrial industry millions of dollars in wasted resources.
Although the reasons why antioxidants were so effective at preventing this nasty situation from developing, scientists would soon turn their focus on the industry, and attempt to apply the same logic and principals to biotechnology.

From Metal To Food To Cells

This indeed happened in the mid 20th century. It all started with the attempts by scientists to extend the life of foods. By combining antioxidants with foods high in unsaturated fat, the tests were able to prevent the onset of rancidity. As this process continued, and new information was brought to light, it was quickly discovered that a few of the key and vital vitamins - essential in the human diet - were actually able to be classified as antioxidants too. This meant that over the past 1,000 years, people had been consuming antioxidants on a daily basis. From here, further research was started which would eventually reveal that antioxidants were able to extend the human lifespan, cut down the effects of the aging process, and provide general well being to the human body.
Oxidative Stress Lowers Your Lifespan

It may be the case that we should actually give antioxidants more credit that they currently get. That is the conclusion of a recent scientifically conducted trial where antioxidants were put under the scrutinizing microscope, and analyzed intensely. The reason for this investigation was not actually to find out whether the oxidization process taking place inside the human body was detrimental to our health or not. This has been an established fact for many years now. Instead, scientists focused on whether or not the oxidizing process itself can be responsible for decreasing the lifespan of certain individuals. Oxidization inside the body does have a significant effect on the lifespan of an individual, so much so that it is often possible to predict to the difference between the average lifespan of someone who does not consume a decent amount of antioxidants, and someone who does.

Imagine The Corrosion Of Metal

Possibly the best illustration of the destructive properties of oxidization is with a piece of metal. If this particular piece of metal hasn't been treated with an antioxidant coat, then over time, as the surface of the metal gets exposed to the elements, rust and corrosion will begin to take place. If this is the case with metal - imagine the effects of the identical process on the human body. Our cells are a lot more sophisticated than a slab of metal and are much more fragile. Hence, we need to protect them with bio-antioxidants to ensure that the "protective coat" is always in place within our system.

So How Do We Acquire This Protective System?

Antioxidants are found in most of the foods and drink we consume, however there are some particular foods where a higher density of antioxidants can be found. For example, blueberries have a chemical called resveratrol - which is a powerful antioxidant, and contains approximately 200 times the protection power of a grape.Therefore, to ensure you get enough antioxidants to prevent the dangerous oxidation process from starting, eat plenty of red fruits and healthy vegetables. 

Exercise and Antioxidants For Your Health?

Research actually proves that following a bout of intense exercise, the body goes through a period of recovery in which a number of nasty interactions take place. Exercise is extremely important for your general well being and cardiovascular health.

After Exercise, The Body Begins Oxidizing

Following an intense cardiovascular exercise, or a demanding weight lifting session, the body goes in to a state of oxidization, which is intended to help remove damaged tissue from the body. Unfortunately this oxidizing process does more than just remove damaged tissue. It also destructs and removes perfectly healthy tissue. But luckily there is a fairly reliable and easily accessible treatment option for such a condition. It's called an "antioxidant," it works to reverse the cycle of damage on a microscopic level. You need to provide antioxidants to your body via either natural fruits or foods which have high levels of antioxidants or alternatively a specialty antioxidant supplements, such as
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