Should healthy people take antioxidant supplements?
Thousands of companies today farm, manufacture and distribute dietary supplements. With millions of different products on sale online and over the counter, authorities are rushing to put in place proper regulations and structures to safeguard consumers.
In the United States, for example, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved a small fraction of the standard process supplements currently on the market. If user testimonials and reviews are anything to go by, most antioxidant supplements actually deliver what they promise
Understanding antioxidant supplements
As your body digests food and exercises, it releases free radicals. Additionally, air pollutants, exposure to UV rays, tobacco smoke, pesticides, and other chemicals inject free radicals into your body’s system.
When there are too many free radicals in the body, you may not naturally be able to fight them off. This results in a condition referred to as oxidative stress. By this time, your body will be susceptible to diseases such as cancer.
Activities that cause an increase in free radicals are too much exercise, mitochondrial activity, trauma to tissues, and injury or inflammation of cells. Similarly, consumption of highly refined meals, foods rich in trans-fat, artificial sweeteners, additives and dyes is a problem.
Vitamins A, C, E, and the mineral called Selenium are responsible for regulating the presence of free radicals in the human body. Scientists and nutritional experts believe that the introduction of antioxidant supplements prevents body cell damage. It is this phenomenon that drives experts to believe that antioxidants promote longevity while fighting disease.
Read More: Your Essential Supplements
Advantages antioxidant supplements
Many people who have used antioxidant supplements say that they work. This is because, in part, the products come from natural antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants that are free from artificial chemicals and additives are therefore safe for all.
You can help your body fight diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Antioxidant supplements introduce anti-carcinogenic molecules into your blood cells. It is then better equipped to fight aging and disease.
Antioxidants have been observed to help in building muscle. They help in flushing out harmful chemicals in the body cells. In turn, they help in sending nutrients and oxygen to the tissues. Simply put, organic supplements that contain proper amounts of oxidants are fit for human consumption.
Side effects and risks of antioxidant supplements
When you take antioxidants in high dosages, they become counterproductive. For example, too much Vitamin C can become pro-oxidant and cause more trouble than relief. You should take the recommended amounts in order to fight free radicals properly.
Simply taking antioxidant supplements does not automatically mean that you will be free of disease. Vitamin C supplements won’t guarantee that you will not catch a cold. Similarly, Vitamin E supplements do not cushion you against aging. While they help you in the fight against oxidants, they are not an alternative to a balanced diet and ordinary medication.
Some manufacturers of antioxidants are not transparent with the ingredients they use. You could still ingest harmful compounds even when these products are labeled ‘natural’ and ‘organic’.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers are advised to steer clear of antioxidant supplements. It is believed that they can cause birth defects in unborn babies. Additionally, people already being treated for chronic diseases should avoid all supplements unless under the instruction and supervision of a trained physician.
Studies indicate that the intake of antioxidant supplements can slow down disease and fight symptoms of aging. However, it is good for you to do your homework before purchasing any product, especially the heavily advertised ones.
You could read independent reviews of people who have used these products in the past. At the same time, let people close to you such as friends, family, and relatives advise you on the best brands. After that, you will be closer to making a prudent and healthy decision.