What Are Antioxidants And Why Should You Care?

What Are Antioxidants And Why Should You Care?

Research shows that around two-thirds of American adults take at least one dietary supple­ment, most often a multivitamin or mineral pills. These are often supplements to boost metabolism or supplements for digestion to aid American adults in losing weight.

But recently, more and more American adults have begun taking antioxidant supplements, and there are a few reasons why. The benefits of antioxidant supplements are widespread and can aid the entire body in many ways.

The best antioxidant vitamins are things like vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids, and are found naturally in many fruits and vegetables.

Why Are Antioxidants Necessary?

First, you have to understand the benefits and the science behind antioxidants. To start, oxidation is the process in which an atom or molecule loses electrons; its one of the essential parts of the food-to-energy conversion for our bodies.

But it can also be damaging to us in that it sets off reactions that ultimately damage and kill cells. Animals, like us, make use of a variety of antioxidants, which inhibit oxidation to limit this damage.

Too much oxidation can account for a lot of the degenerative changes of aging and many age-related diseases. So, getting a lot of antioxidants into a young adult’s diet can promote general health and slow the progression of several age-related diseases.

How Much Does An Adult Need?

Antioxidants cover a wide range of nutrients that work by very different systems. Some may react directly on oxidized cells, others protect cells by neutralizing oxidizing minerals in the blood. For that reason, it’s hard to recommend the exact intake levels one needs from supplements, as requirements can vary.

However, more is not necessarily better. Unless recommended by a healthcare provider, an adult should limit their supplement intake of vitamin E to 100-200 IU, and their selenium to 100-200 mcg. Vitamin C is safer in large doses, due to being water soluble, but the maximum benefit generally comes around 250-500mg/day.

Consuming too many antioxidants, at levels far higher than the U.S. recommended daily allowance of individual micronutrients can actually have a pro-oxidant effect, and thus should be avoided at all costs.

If you have any questions regarding antioxidant supplements or other micronutrient supplements, contact us. We can shed light on any specifics you might need to know.