Why? Ask anyone about antioxidants and they have a strong positive association. Now, you find it everywhere, from high-end cosmetics to a can of soda. Kudos to the health conscious people for effectively spreading the word.
Antioxidants have also been embraced by people with aspirations of looking younger, warding off cancer, and being healthier... which is admirable but over-reaching. For years now I have been saying that antioxidants have been over-hyped.
Do you have the full picture behind antioxidants? Do you know how they work?
Did you know that there are pro-oxidants- the alter egos of antioxidants?
Here is a quick overview of how this works. (Antioxidants as a friend... like Chandler Bing or Ross Gellar)
The body responds to stress. One of the ways it deals with stress is by breaking down cells, which in turn, creates a by-product called "free radicals" (free radicals protest that the cells want less stress!). The antioxidants police the "Free Radical" protest to keep them in check. If the free radicals get unruly, they bounce around wildly looking to couple up with something more stable. Antioxidants provide this stability. This keeps the free radicals from careening off of other cells and dinging them like an out of control go kart. This is important because the dings add up and can damage cells leading to (possibly) the terrible three: Cancer, Disease and Premature Aging.(CPAD).
In summary, the body wants antioxidants to scavenge free radicals or "reactive oxygen species" (ROS), which are dangerously unstable chemicals that damage our DNA and proteins. Which can lead to premature aging and may be responsible for cancer and certain diseases.
At this point in our story, antioxidants are everyone's little darlings (like Hannah Montana?).
Next post, we move on to the alter ego... Antioxidants as a foe (like the twerking adult Miley Cyrus. Ew. Can you ever Untwerk once you've twerked?)