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Antioxidants

  • Ashwagandha Shoden - 60 capsules
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    Ashwagandha Shoden - 60 capsules

    GN Laboratories

    Attention: Now with 35% withanolide Ashwagandha has pronounced antioxidant properties that protect cells and genetic material of the body from damage caused by...

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  • Curcumin Plus - 60 capsules
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    Curcumin Plus - 60 capsules

    GN Laboratories

    The ultimate superfood to support health and well-being with a maximum concentration of active ingredients and a üb...

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    Egyptian black cumin oil - 200 capsules

    GN Laboratories

    The heart-healthy supplement rich in omega 9 fatty acids and antioxidants, which, in addition to its multiple health benefits, is also suitable for sports...

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  • Ashwagandha - 60 capsules
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    Ashwagandha - 60 capsules

    Biotech USA

    Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb from Southeast Asia used by many traditional medical trends as an ancient adaptogen Why recommend...

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  • OPC 95 - 120 capsules
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    OPC 95 - 120 capsules

    GN Laboratories

    Contains a highly effective blend of antioxidants from natural sources that protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals s...

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  • Ashwagandha 600 - 60 capsules
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    Ashwagandha 600 - 60 capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) - also known as Indian ginseng - is one of the most important medicinal plants in the field of Ayurvedic medicine ...

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  • NA-R Alpha Lipoic Acid - 60 Capsules
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    NA-R Alpha Lipoic Acid - 60 Capsules

    GN Laboratories

    Alpha lipoic acid in its most powerful form for antioxidant protection, increased energy, faster recovery after exercise, ges...

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  • Astaxanthin - 60 capsules
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    Astaxanthin - 60 capsules

    GN Laboratories

    The multi-talent for increasing athletic performance, which in addition to pronounced antioxidant properties a variety of other healthy...

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  • Ashwagandha 60 Caps - 60 capsules
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    Ashwagandha 60 Caps - 60 capsules

    Himalaya

    Against stress and for a better well-being Product Highlights: Anti-stress effect Adaptogen Rejuvenates body and mind Himalayan Herbals Ashva...

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  • Ashwagandha Pro - 60 capsules
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    Ashwagandha Pro - 60 capsules

    PEAK

    Ashwagandha Pro - THE supplement in stressful phases Stress dominates all our daily lives - The job, the other obligations of daily life...

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  • Ashwagandha Health+ - 90 capsules
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    Ashwagandha Health+ - 90 capsules

    Zec+

    Ashwagandha is a plant that is found in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The name comes from the Indian and means...

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  • ANTI-OX Power Blend - 60 capsules
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    ANTI-OX Power Blend - 60 capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    if you really care about your health, don't choose mediocre and cheap supplements but the absolute complex - Olimp A...

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  • Gold Vita-Min Anti-Ox Super Sport - 60 Capsules
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    Gold Vita-Min Anti-Ox Super Sport - 60 Capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Olimp Gold Vita-Min Anti-Ox Super Sport - A powerful antioxidant shield! With a specially selected VITAMIN-MINERAL formula ...

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  • Perfect Skin Hydro-Complex - 30 capsules
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    Perfect Skin Hydro-Complex - 30 capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Olimp Perfect Skin Hydro-Complex Especially recommended for women who want to improve the appearance of their skin! A combination of active...

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  • Garlicin - 30 capsules
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    Garlicin - 30 capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Olimp Garlicin the most powerful garlic extract available on the market. A pure source of allicin! Olimp Garlicin - This supplement contains 200 m...

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  • N-Acetyl L-Cysteine Health+ - 120 Capsules
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    N-Acetyl L-Cysteine Health+ - 120 Capsules

    Zec+

    N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is an L-amino acid and an important precursor of the body's antioxidant glutathione, which fights free radicals...

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  • Resveratrol - 90 capsules
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    Resveratrol - 90 capsules

    PEAK

    Peak Performance Resveratrol contains OPC and high-dose vitamin C! Resveratrol is a natural phytoalexin that is found in larger quantities in red...

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  • Antioxidant Stack - 90 Capsules
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    Antioxidant Stack - 90 Capsules

    PEAK

    Antioxidant Stack - the all-in-one antioxidant product for your health! Especially strength athletes have a higher level of antioxidants due to ...

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  • Astaxanthin - 30 softgels
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    Astaxanthin - 30 softgels

    Doctors Best

    ASTAXANTHIN 6MG Astaxanthin by Doctors Best provides one of the most powerful natural antioxidants to support the body's defense against...

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  • French Red Wine Extract - 90 Capsules
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    French Red Wine Extract - 90 Capsules

    Doctors Best

    The best of red grapes for your health Doctor's Best French Red Wine Grape extract helps support healthy aging. The...

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  • Green Coffee - 120 capsules
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    Green Coffee - 120 capsules

    Biotech USA

    Dietary supplement formula with green coffee extract and chromium! In 1 serving: 1,000mg Green Coffee Bean Extract Chlorogenic Acid Content: 420 mg 12...

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Today, antioxidants are regularly mentioned in the media as well as in professional literature. You can find antioxidants in drugstores, pharmacies and internet stores and their benefits are praised by both manufacturers and the media.

But still, very few people know what antioxidants really are and how they work. The concept of antioxidants is quite complex, but this article will do its best to explain everything important about the subject in a generally understandable way.

What are antioxidants and how do they work?

To understand how antioxidants work, we need to start at the molecular level... As everyone will probably know, all matter in our universe is made up of individual atoms. Atoms are made up of a nucleus, composed of protons and neutrons, and electrons orbiting around that nucleus. Electrons carry a negative charge, while protons carry a positive charge. Neutrons, as their name suggests, are electrically neutral and carry no charge.

When two or more atoms join together, they become something called a molecule. The human body is made up of substances such as proteins, fats, DNA, and many other building blocks, which are basically nothing more than large molecules made up of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of atoms bonded together. The human body and other organisms maintain their structure and function through chemical reactions. All the chemical reactions needed to sustain life are collectively called metabolism.

In these chemical reactions, larger molecules are broken into smaller molecules and larger molecules are built up from smaller molecules. For a molecule to be stable, it must contain the right amount of electrons. If a molecule loses one of its electrons, then it can turn into what is called a free radical.

Free radicals are unstable, electrically charged molecules that can react with and damage other molecules, such as the DNA of cells. This can lead to dangerous chain reactions when the damaged molecules themselves become free radicals again.

This is where antioxidants come into play. When a molecule loses an electron and turns into a free radical, the antioxidant molecule steps in and donates an electron to the free radical to neutralize it and thus render it harmless. The term "neutralize" here also applies in the sense of electrical charge, since the donation of the electron turns an electrically charged molecule into one with a neutral electrical charge. This is the mechanism underlying antioxidants. They donate electrons to free radicals, which neutralizes them and prevents them from causing damage.

Summary: Antioxidants are molecules that prevent damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants do this by donating an electron to these free radicals, thereby neutralizing them.

Antioxidants and free radicals are both important

Free radicals are continuously formed during natural metabolic processes, and without antioxidants, they would destroy your body quite quickly. However, it is important to keep in mind that these free radicals also perform important functions that are essential for our survival (1).

The body's immune cells use free radicals to kill bacteria that infect us (2). As with so many things in the body, we need a certain balance...we need the right amount of free radicals and the right amount of antioxidants to keep everything under control.

If this balance gets out of control, then things can start to go wrong. When free radicals, which have an oxidative effect, outnumber antioxidants, this can lead to a condition known as oxidative stress. During oxidative stress, important molecules in the body can be seriously damaged...sometimes even leading to cell death. Several stressors and lifestyle factors are known to promote excessive free radical formation and oxidative stress:

  • Air pollution
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Toxins
  • High blood glucose levels (3, 4)
  • A consumption of large amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (5)
  • Radiation including excessive sunbathing
  • Infections caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses
  • An excessive intake of iron, magnesium, copper, or zinc (1).
  • Too little oxygen in the body (6)
  • Too much oxygen in the body
  • Intense and prolonged training that causes damage to muscle tissue (7).
  • Excessive intake of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E (1)
  • A deficiency of antioxidants (8)

Prolonged oxidative stress leads to an increased risk of negative health effects, which include heart disease. Oxidative stress is also believed to contribute to the aging process.

Summary: The body needs a certain balance between free radicals and antioxidants. If this balance is disturbed, it can lead to oxidative stress, which can have all kinds of negative effects on health.

Antioxidants are essential for life and are found in all types of foods Antioxidants are essential for the survival of all living organisms. The human body even produces its own antioxidants, such as the cellular antioxidant glutathione. Plants and animals and all other forms of life have their own defenses against free radicals and the oxidative damage they cause. For this reason, antioxidants are found in almost all foods of plant and animal origin. Consuming antioxidants in the form of food is important. In fact, our lives depend on the intake of certain antioxidants - namely vitamin C and vitamin E. The health benefits associated with a plant-rich diet are based, at least in part, on the wide range of antioxidants it provides (9).

Meat products and fish also contain antioxidants (10, 11), although in smaller quantities compared to fruits and vegetables. Berries are a particularly good source of antioxidants (12). And then there are a number of other good sources of antioxidants...including green tea, coffee and dark chocolate. According to some studies, coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the Western diet (13, 14), but this is also partly related to the fact that the average person doesn't eat many antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants can also extend the shelf life of both natural and processed foods, which is why they are often used as food additives (15). Vitamin C, for example, is added to processed foods as a preservative.

Summary: Our diet is an essential source of antioxidants. These are found in foods of animal and plant origin and are particularly abundant in fruits, vegetables and beverages such as coffee and tea.

Different types of antioxidants found in food

There is a large variety of different antioxidants found in foods. These can be roughly divided into two different groups - water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidants.

Water-soluble antioxidants release their effects in the fluids inside and outside cells, while fat-soluble antioxidants act primarily in cell membranes. Here is a list of some important antioxidants found in food:

  • Vitamin C: is one of the most important water-soluble antioxidants and an essential nutrient.
  • Vitamin E: is the primary fat-soluble antioxidant that plays a critical role in protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage.
  • Flavonoids: represent a group of antioxidants found in plant foods. Flavonoids have many beneficial effects on health (16).

Many substances belonging to the class of antioxidants may also have other important functions in the body. Prominent examples are the curcuminoids found in turmeric and the oleocanthal found in extra virgin olive oil. These substances function as antioxidants, but they also possess potent anti-inflammatory activities (17, 18). Summary: There are many different types of antioxidants in our diet, which include vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids. These substances may also serve other functions unrelated to their antioxidant activity.

Should you use antioxidant supplements?

An intake of antioxidants is essential for optimal health. However, much is not always better. Excessive intake of isolated antioxidants can have toxic effects and even promote oxidative damage instead of preventing it. In fact, some studies have even shown that extremely high doses of antioxidants can increase the risk of death (19, 20). For this reason, it may make sense not to use extremely overdosed antioxidant supplements.

A study using blood orange juice showed that it had a significantly stronger antioxidant effect than water mixed with sugar and the same amount of vitamin C (21). This is related to the fact that real food contains hundreds, if not thousands, of different nutrients that work synergistically together. Taking just one or two isolated nutrients will not bring the same beneficial effects. The best and healthiest strategy for ensuring an adequate intake of antioxidants is a diet rich in different types of fruits and vegetables (22), combined with other healthy eating habits.

However, a reasonable dosage that is not too high, such as found in some multivitamin products, can be beneficial if you are deficient in certain nutrients or find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet.

Conclusion

Adequate antioxidant intake is an essential part of a healthy diet...however, taking too many isolated antioxidants in the form of overly high doses of supplements can possibly do more harm than good.

At the end of the day, the best way to consume the right amount of antioxidants is to follow a diet consisting of real food that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

References:

  1. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/761264/
  2. http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/92/9/3007?sso-checked=true
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448694/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC209408/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9844997
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11948241
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18923182
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9357853
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159237
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21684086
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22138166
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20096093
  13. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/134/3/562/4688575
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14506489
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23501254
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23953879
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633300/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443487
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15464182
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15537682
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17349075
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159237

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained#section6