The Next Vitamins

The Next Vitamins



The Next Vitamins
Vitamins A,​ C,​ E and quasivitamins Coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid are powerful antioxidants that neutralize the​ damage caused by free radicals and oxidation. Our bodys cells are undergoing a​ continuous cycle of​ oxidation losing an electron and reduction gaining an electron. Oxygen and other atoms or​ molecules that are unstable because they lack an electron are called free radicals. These free radicals dont like to​ exist in​ an unstable state and will steal another electron from where ever they can and can damage the​ cell that they oxidize. Free radicals are created as​ part of​ the​ bodys normal metabolic process and if​ there are insufficient antioxidants available to​ donate electrons and neutralize the​ free radicals then cell damage will result. When we​ are young,​ the​ body generates some of​ the​ antioxidants it​ needs and it​ acquires the​ remainder from the​ food we​ eat. as​ we​ get older,​ the​ body generates fewer antioxidants and the​ free radicals outnumber the​ antioxidants. This means the​ body is​ unable to​ repair the​ free radical damage and it​ ages and becomes subject to​ agerelated degenerative diseases like cancer,​ diabetes,​ heart disease,​ strokes,​ Alzheimers disease,​ and macular degeneration. Additional free radicals are created when we​ expose our body to​ the​ suns ultraviolet radiation,​ cigarette smoke,​ exhaust fumes and other air and water pollutants. Approximately 10 million people in​ North America have cancer and about 600,​000 people will die from it​ this year. Until recently,​ we​ thought the​ key to​ slowing the​ aging process and associated diseases was to​ ensure the​ body had an excess supply of​ antioxidants by eating lots of​ fruits and vegetables and supplementing our healthy diet with multivitamins.
For years we​ assumed it​ was the​ vitamins in​ fruits and vegetables that provided us with a​ defense against aging and agerelated diseases. we​ also wanted to​ ensure we​ had an adequate supply of​ vitamins so we​ took low dose onceadaytype multivitamins for insurance. However long term studies have shown that low dose multivitamins had no impact on​ the​ survival of​ healthy people. Recently scientists have theorized that the​ health benefits due to​ eating fruits and vegetables may be from other nutrients such as​ phytochemicals or​ the​ combination of​ phytochemicals and vitamins. Phytochemicals or​ phytonutrients are simply plant chemicals that exist in​ fruits,​ vegetables and other plants like whole grain and tea. Scientists have already discovered thousands of​ phytochemicals and think that as​ well as​ being powerful antioxidants these phytonutrients provide our body with an entire range of​ health benefits. a​ few examples of​ foods,​ the​ phytochemicals they contain,​ and their health benefits are discussed below.
Blueberries,​ strawberries,​ raspberries,​ cranberries and other berries contain the​ phytonutrients anthocyanidin and ellagic acid which are antioxidants that can suppress cancer and protect against heart disease. Berries are also rich in​ soluble fiber which should lower our cholesterol. Citrus fruits such as​ oranges,​ lemons,​ limes etc. contain flavanones such as​ limonoids which help stimulate the​ bodys enzymes to​ detoxify carcinogens. These citrus fruits also contain carotenoids which are powerful cancer fighting antioxidants and flavonoids which are antioxidants that may inhibit blood clotting.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli,​ brussel sprouts,​ kale,​ cabbage,​ cauliflower etc. contain indoles which act to​ make estrogen less potent and which may reduce the​ risk of​ breast cancer. These vegetables also contain isothiocynates such as​ sulphoraphane which may neutralize cancercausing chemicals and interfere with tumor growth. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like apricots,​ papaya,​ sweet potatoes,​ carrots,​ sweet peppers,​ etc. and leafy greens such as​ spinach contain carotenoids such as​ beta carotene,​ lutein and zeaxanthin that are powerful antioxidants that should suppress cancer,​ strengthen the​ immune system and reduce the​ risk of​ atherosclerosis. These colorful foods are also rich in​ Vitamin C,​ other vitamins,​ minerals and fiber and should reduce the​ risk of​ macular degeneration.
Nontraditional healthy foods such as​ tea,​ wine and soy have also been found to​ be high in​ phytonutrients. Both green tea and black tea contain flavonols which combat cancers and catechins which may protect arteries from the​ buildup of​ plaque. Red wine contains resveratrol which may prevent internal cell and skin cell damage,​ inhibit tumor growth and lower blood cholesterol. Other phytochemicals in​ red wine are flavonols like quercetin and catechins,​ anthocyanidins and ellagic acid which were discussed earlier. Soy products contain isoflavonoids,​ lignans,​ saponins and protease inhibitors which can all provide cancer protection.
Products to​ combat aging and degenerative diseases are being developed. Both Pfizer and Merck are testing ​Drug​s to​ stimulate the​ older body to​ make more growth hormone and develop more lean muscle mass. Controlled studies on​ seniors are showing a​ lot of​ promise. Phytonutrient supplements like lycopene and beta carotene have been available for some time. the​ next supplements based on​ groups of​ phytonutrients that target specific conditions are already being marketed. How effective they will be remains to​ be seen. For now we​ should concentrate on​ obtaining our phytonutrients from our healthy diet and monitor developments in​ the​ pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement industries.




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