Free radicals cause cell damage – at the DNA level – which can result in:

  • inflammation
  • aging
  • cancer and
  • autoimmune disorders.

How do they cause this damage? Free radicals are the result of normal chemical reactions in the body called oxidation which then leaves the body with thousands of unbalanced electrons.

These unstable electrons can then cause damage to our cells and especially the macula where there is a lot of oxidation.

According to Dr. Lylas Mock, Visual Rehabilitation and Research Center of Michigan.

“Almost every single one of the risk factors we have for macular degeneration can be linked to free radicals.”

The dangers of oxidative stress on the macula was also reported by this article in Pub Med.

“Oxidized phospholipids in the macula increase with age and in eyes with age-related macular degeneration.

There is good evidence that oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

It is likely that controlling oxidation of phospholipids may be a potential treatment for AMD.”

Benefits of Antioxidant

eyeanatomysmallKeeping our free radicals in balance is extremely critical in the prevention of macular degeneration , in fighting disease in general, and in the aging battle.

What are the benefits of antioxidants to macular degeneration? Antioxidants supply the missing electron that is needed to balance the free radical so that the cell is neutralized and now unable to cause damage and injury to healthy cells and tissue.

The 2005 study in the Netherlands sought to evaluate whether antioxidants that are present in normal foods could play a role in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Those who had an above-average intake of

  • Beta Carotene,
  • Vitamin C,
  • Vitamin E and
  • Zinc

had a 35 percent reduced risk of AMD.

Experience the Benefits of Antioxidants through Food

vegetablesbasket2We can get plenty of antioxidants through our diet. However not all foods contain the same concentration of antioxidants. It is important to know the foods high in antioxidants. Not only are berries high in antioxidants but so are beans, nuts, and vegetables.

Benefits of an Antioxidant Health Supplement

Antioxidant supplementation is supported by research.

Read the findings from Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2007:

“Our findings support the suggestion that supplementation with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals may reduce the risk of development of AMD.

Taken together with the results of recent studies demonstrating that macrophage depletion reduced CNV formation in an animal model, our findings suggest that suppressing macrophage accumulation by controlling the macrophage responses to oxidative lipoproteins or suppressing phospholipid oxidation may be treatments for AMD.”

Antioxidants and Cancer, Heart Disease and Aging

Benefits of antioxidants is also realized by the National Cancer Institute.

Here is the definition from the National Cancer Institute:

“A substance that protects cells from the damage caused by free radicals (unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during normal metabolism). Free radicals may play a part in

  • cancer,
  • heart disease,
  • stroke, and
  • other diseases of aging.

Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins A, C, and E, and other natural and manufactured substances.”

TheAmerican Institute for Cancer Research 1997 Report Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective states,

“Evidence of dietary protection against cancer is strongest and most consistent for diets high in vegetables and fruits.”

Antioxidants for Better Health

Every day your body is attacked by chemical compounds, toxins, and harmful substances called “free radicals.” Find out how herbal and vitamin antioxidants can help you cleanse your body of harmful substances and provide you the ability to live a longer and healthier life.

Natural Antioxidant Supplements and Vitamins

The human body derives its energy from the utilization of nutrients and oxygen as fuel. It also utilizes oxygen to help the immune system destroy foreign substances and combat disease. The byproducts of this and other metabolic processes can lead to the development of molecular agents that react with body tissues in a process called oxidation. While this process is a natural consequence of the energy generation system, its byproducts called free radicals can damage healthy cells. Antioxidants work in several ways: First, they may reduce the energy of the free radical. Second, they may stop the free radical from forming in the first place. And finally antioxidants interrupt the oxidizing chain reaction to minimize the damage caused by free radicals.

Many members of the medical and scientific communities believe that free radicals are major factors leading to more than sixty different health problems including aging, cancer, and atherosclerosis. Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients has the potential to reduce the risk of health conditions caused by free radicals.

Our bodies produce several 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, supplementing with the building blocks the body uses to make SOD, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase may prove to be more effective. These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD, and selenium for glutathione peroxidase.

In addition to enzymes, many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin B2, coenzyme Q10, and cysteine (an amino acid) act as natural antioxidants. Herbs, such as milk thistle, aloe vera, cascara sagrada, bilberry, turmeric (curcumin), grape seed or pine bark extracts, and ginkgo can also provide powerful antioxidant protection for the body and help inhibit many of the health problems associated with free radicals.

Consuming a wide variety of antioxidant enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and herbs is recommended as the best way to provide the body with the most complete protection against free radical damage.

There are a number of user submitted antioxidant product reviews and ratings available at

Natural Sources of Antioxidants

Natural antioxidants are most abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as in other foods including grains, nuts, and some red meats, poultry and fish. The list below describes food sources of common antioxidants.

  • Beta-carotene can be found in many foods that are orange in color, including carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, squash, pumpkin, and mangos. Some green leafy vegetables are also rich in beta-carotene. Some of these include collard greens, spinach, and kale .
  • Lycopene is a potent antioxidant most commonly found in tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, guava, apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and other foods. It is estimated that nearly 85 percent of American dietary intake of lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato based products.
  • Lutein, well known for its association with healthy eyes, is found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, and kale.
  • Selenium is a mineral, not technically an antioxidant in its own right. However, it is an important component of most antioxidant enzymes. Plant foods like rice and wheat are the the most common dietary sources of selenium in most countries. The concentration of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the foods grown in that soil. Consequently, animals that eat grains or plants grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their bodies. In the United States, breads and meat are typical sources of dietary selenium. Brazil nuts also contain large quantities of selenium.
  • Vitamin A is found in three main forms: retinol (Vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods will a lot of vitamin A include liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, milk and mozzarella cheese.
  • Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant that can be found in high concentrations in many fruits and vegetables. It can also be found in cereals, beef, poultry and fish products.
  • Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in many oils including wheat germ, corn, safflower and soybean oils, and is also found in mangos, nuts (almonds), broccoli and other foods.

If you’re diet doesn’t include a large amount of the food sources above we strongly suggest taking antioxidant vitamins or supplementing with a complete antioxidant complex.

Who Should Consider Antioxidant Supplements

Some people who may need to supplement their diet with antioxidants are:

  • 55+ years old
  • athletes
  • cancer patients
  • vegetarians

Vitamins and Herbs in Antioxidant Dietary Supplements

A common vitamin formula found in antioxidant dietary supplements is referred to as ACES:

  • beta carotene (provitamin A)
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • Selenium

Antioxidant-rich herbs that are often found in antioxidant dietary supplements are:

  • rosemary
  • green tea
  • grape seeds
  • jiaogulan