Antioxidants and Free RadicalsSkip to the navigation
Antioxidants are nutrients that help minimize free-radical damage to the body. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that are created in the body during normal metabolic functions or introduced from the environment, such as by exposure to pollution and other toxins. Inherently unstable, free radicals contain "extra" energy which they try to reduce by reacting with certain chemicals in the body, which interferes with the cells' ability to function normally. Antioxidants combat free radicals in several ways: they may reduce the energy of the free radical, stop the free radical from forming in the first place, or interrupt an oxidizing chain reaction to minimize the damage caused by free radicals.
Consuming a wide variety of antioxidant enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and herbs may be the best way to provide the body with the most complete protection against free-radical damage.
Free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer , and atherosclerosis .1 Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients has the potential to reduce the risk of free radical-related health problems.
Oxygen, although essential to life, is the source of the potentially damaging free radicals. Free radicals are also found in the environment. Environmental sources of free radicals include exposure to ionizing radiation (from industry, sun exposure, cosmic rays, and medical X-rays), ozone and nitrous oxide (primarily from automobile exhaust), heavy metals (such as mercury, cadmium, and lead), cigarette smoke (both active and passive), alcohol, unsaturated fat, and other chemicals and compounds from food, water, and air.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
Antioxidants include many different nutrients, each of which has the potential to interact with drugs. Look up the unique interactions for each and discuss the potential benefits and risks of your current medications with your doctor or pharmacist before adding antioxidants, such as:
Interactions with Medicines
Certain medicines interact with this supplement.
Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check
Replenish Depleted Nutrients
Reduce Side Effects
Potential Negative Interaction
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers' package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
Antioxidants include many different nutrients, each of which has potential side effects. Look up the unique side effects for each and discuss the potential benefits and risks with your doctor or pharmacist before adding antioxidants, such as:
Last Review: 03-24-2015
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