Authored by Rodney Southern in Diseases
Published on 03-29-2009
Antioxidants are believed to be able to aid in the prevention of disease. The prevalence of this belief in recent times has resulted in their increased popularity antioxidants from a consumer standpoint. Seems everywhere you look these days, antioxidant properties are prominently displayed on the label. With increased occurrences in cancers, and with a better knowledge of cardiovascular disease, the medical communities have turned toward the possibility that antioxidants can prevent such diseases. It is for this reason that antioxidants have become rock stars if you will within health conscious circles.
The belief is that antioxidants aid in the fight against certain diseases by reducing excessive levels of free radicals as well as neutralizing them within our bodies. In stabilizing these free radicals, diseases are said to be prevented. Diseases that are believed to be prevented by the consumption of antioxidants range from cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer and those of a degenerative nature typically associated with aging.
However to achieve the maximum disease preventive properties out of antioxidants, the must be consumed through food sources as opposed to supplementation. Foods high in antioxidant levels assist in the achievement of a healthier lifestyle in more ways than just the prevention of disease. These foods are typically higher in fiber (for weight management), and serve as an ideal protein source as they are generally lower in saturated fats.
Common antioxidants that are sufficient in the prevention of disease include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, lycopene, lutein, and beta carotene. These are antioxidants that are found naturally in foods and are easily accessible in the local grocery store. Many foods with high antioxidant levels fall within the food and vegetable food groups.
Vitamin C has been used for decades in the prevention as well as the treatment of the common cold. This is the most common proof that antioxidants can prevent disease. Vitamin E has been used in recent times as a preventative measure against the battle in heart disease, although research has stated that excessive intake of vitamin E can be toxic and possibly fatal. The antioxidant properties of beta carotene and lycopene have studied have been studied in the prevention of cancer though results have been inconsistent.
In addition to antioxidants showing promising results in preventing disease, they also serve in the fight against cell degeneration. Diets high in antioxidants can help prevent cells from prematurely aging. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E are frequently used in skin treatments for mature skin for this reason.
Research regarding the link between antioxidants and their ability to prevent diseases is coming out consistently. The results of such research tend to fall in a positive light with little proof that antioxidants having negative or harmful effects in the prevention of disease.