One of the things that have gained much talk these days are antioxidants. They are substances that fight free radicals in the body.
What free radicals are
Free radicals are substances that are produced during the normal metabolic activities of the body. They are by-products of cellular metabolism. When left in the body, they turn to affect DNA and cell membranes.
They also damage tissue and can damage vital tissues of the body. They can lead to the development of skin cancers. Smoking, alcohol, and radiation are some of the factors that can lead to the increase of free radicals in the body.
The only things that can check the activity of free radicals are antioxidants. They get bound to free radicals and make them harmless substances. They also repair damages that come as a result of the activity of free radicals.
Antioxidants should be taken in the right quantities for them to give the right effects. Antioxidants can be taken orally. Some common ones are Vitamin C and E, carotenoids and Selenium.They can be found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, red bell peppers, and carrots.
There are also topical antioxidants that can reduce damages of UVA. Topical antioxidants are in creams or ointments that can be applied to the body. Some examples are, glutathione, Lipoic acid, and soy-isoflavanone.
Types of antioxidants
Antioxidants can be grouped into fat soluble and water soluble types. Vitamin E, lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10 are examples of fat-soluble antioxidants.Vitamin C and glutathione are water-soluble antioxidants.
For Vitamin E to be effective it should be combined with other antioxidants such as lipoic acid and Vitamin C. Vitamin E can be found in fresh vegetables, nuts, and oils. It works against UV damage.
Coenzyme Q10 can be found in fish. It is able to penetrate the skin and reduces collagen breakdown as a result of exposure to UVA light.
Vitamin C improves healing of wounds and boosts the immune system. Vitamin C is found in fruits like oranges and apples. Lacking in Vitamin C can result in scurvy – that is bleeding gums and fragile skin.