Should You Ditch The Vitamin C & E For A New Antioxidant Boosters?
As time progressed we learn more and more about how our body functions and the causes of disease. One major area of study in the last 30 years has been the effect of antioxidants upon free radical damage. Free radical damage is best described as being like a “rusting” effect upon the body. At the cellular level however, it is a fight between your atoms to attain enough electrons to make that atom stable. The antioxidants assist with that fight by supplying the missing electron and thus making the atom stable again.
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So where do these disease preventing antioxidants come from and how effective are they really? The source of the antioxidants that most of us are familiar with come from the food that we eat. We have all heard of vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. Vitamin C comes from foods such as such oranges, capsicum, broccoli, green leafy vegetables and various berries. Sources of vitamin E include wheat germ, fish liver oil, nuts, seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. The micronutrient selenium is considered to be a powerful stimulator of antioxidants as it increases the effectiveness of vitamin C and vitamin E by around 30% Dietary selenium comes from nuts, (especially brazil nuts) cereals, meat, mushrooms, fish, crab, lobster and eggs.
Unfortunately new research is revealing the antioxidants that we get from our foods are not as effective at protecting our bodies as we once thought. But the good news is, we are learning more and more about a new kid on the block, glutathione. Glutathione is endogenous to our body. In other words it is produced inside our body and compared to vitamin C, E and selenium it is a super scavenger of free radicals.
Once the effectiveness of glutathione becomes common knowledge, few people will bother with taking vitamin C, E or selenium. Why? Because when it comes to destroying free radicals, the antioxidants that are obtained from food sources or supplements work on a 1 to 1 ratio. In other words, for every molecule of vitamin C, one free radical is destroyed. When compared to the ratio of destruction to free radicals that glutathione produces, this is miniscule. Just one molecule of glutathione destroys around 1 million free radicals. So that’s a ratio of 1:1 compared to 1:1,000,000,000.Which one would you prefer?
Can glutathione be purchased as a supplement? Yes it can, but it is expensive and doesn’t taste particularly good either. By far the most effective way to increase glutathione levels is to take a supplement that triggers the body to produce more of its own glutathione. It is claimed that the new NRF2 activators can increase levels of glutathione by up to 300%, but also stimulate the production of superoxide dismutase and catalase. These products claim to be able to reduce free radical damage by up to 40% in just 30 days.
Now that is a powerful antioxidant effect.