Antioxidants and the Free Radical Related Health Problems

Initial research of antioxidant supplements suggested that they could promote health but later large clinical observations did not detect any usefulness, and proclaimed instead that too much supplements could be harmful. Antioxidants are commonly used as ingredients in dietary supplements and have also been determined to prevent diseases such as cancer, atheroscelerosis and coronary heart disease.

Antioxidant supplements

Antioxidant supplements are made up of vitamins and minerals that are commonly found in antioxidant rich foods, like vitamin A, E, C, 2 and carotenoids. Other carotenoids include lutein and lycopene. Antidioxidants also include certain enzymes such as cysteine and coenzyme Q10.


These supplements have a protective duty in your general health and well being such as our hair. Antioxidants are substances that may prevent your cells from harm due to unstable molecules also referred to as free radicals. They also fight against the free radical theory of ageing.

The free radical theory

Totally free radicals under regular physiological conditions grow in body tissue and can enhance damage to the rest of your body. These totally free radicals are caused by everyday activities that are stress inducing and also as the natural ageing method. They are formed when oxygen is metabolized or if there is burning of oxygen. They then use the cells to travel, causing cellular damage by disrupting molecular structure.

Sources of free radical

Free radicals are also found in the environment and their sources include exposure to ionizing radiation from sun exposure, medical x-rays or from industry. Other sources are ozone and nitrous oxide, usually from automobile exhaust, heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead, cigarette smoke either active or passive, unsaturated fat, alcohol and other chemicals and compounds from food, water and air.

Uses of antioxidants

Antioxidants are becoming more common these days than they were a few years before. They not only can assist with anti aging, but they are very multidimensional which means they can be used for more than one purpose. Other uses of antioxidants include industrial uses such as food preservatives and cosmetics and prevention of rubber degradation.

Should I take antioxidants?

Though if you haven’t started taking antioxidant supplements and your doctor does not see any serious health issues then it is advisable not to start taking them. A well balanced diet might be all you need. But for other people who develop dietary deficiencies, reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing the intake of antioxidant nutrients has the potential to reduce your risk of free radical related health complications.