Antioxidants: Why You Need Them

Antioxidants! Free radicals!  

We hear about these everywhere, but I think I can speak on behalf of most of the population when saying I wouldn’t have any idea of how to actually define them. Usually we think on this level: antioxidants= good, free radicals= danger zone. Luckily, we’re going to break this all down.

Let’s talk molecules

Free radicals

The human body goes through a bunch of chemical reactions that we usually refer to as metabolism. Molecules need stability which requires the right amount of electrons. If it loses an electron, it becomes unstable and can become a free radical.

Free radicals wreak havoc- they can disrupt normal DNA, damage molecules, and form chain reactions (which create, you guessed it, more free radicals).

 

Antioxidants

The antioxidant is a hero molecule that can save the day by “giving” a free radical an electron, making it stable. Once this occurs, no more harm can be done by this molecule.

 

Are free radicals all bad?

In small amounts, no. Our body is constantly making free radicals, and they serve a purpose. For example, the cells in our immune system use them to kill bad bacteria in our system. They’re kind of like a little weapon for our cells in this case.

 

What if my body has too many free radicals?

That would lead to what’s called oxidative stress. This can lead to cell death which can ultimately cause cancers or cardiovascular issues. Common causes of excess free radicals? Cigarette smoke, drinking alcohol, bacterial or viral infections, too much iron or magnesium in your diet, and air pollution. The list goes on.

Why antioxidants matter

They keep us alive and well. The big ones we find in our diet are Vitamins C, E, and Flavonoids (found in plant based foods). We’re also a fan of curcuminoids because they are antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory, too (hello tumeric shots).

It goes without saying, we adore CoQ10 here at BINTO. Not only does it act as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals, it also can improve your immunity and boost your energy. It has also been linked to helping prevent gastric ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure, and migraines (1). Did we mention it can potentially slow signs of aging? Yeah, it’s that awesome.  

 

Reminder: everything is good in moderation. Never take more antioxidants than recommended by a health professional. Antioxidants in massive amounts can do you more harm than good.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained#section5

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178961/

 

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