Vitamins

Antioxidants and the Myths Surrounding It

Antioxidants are not substances in reality. It is a chemical property or ability to donate electrons. Our body produces free radicals after breaking down food particles in the process of digestion. These free radicals are in search of electrons and if left on their own can create havoc in our body. Some of the causes attributed to chronic diseases are the free radicals.

In their quest for electrons these free radicals are such a nuisance that they can steal electrons at every opportunity and change the function of a DNA or a membrane in the body. But the body has its own battalion to keep these poachers in check. The food that we consume releases bundles of molecules which has electron to set free without causing any drastic change in the bodily functions.

These bundles of molecules are called antioxidants. Vitamin C and Vitamin E are few of the sources of the antioxidants. Foods rich in Vitamin C and E are green vegetables, citrus fruits, etc.

Since dietary habits vary with training, exposure and mood many people do not have a balanced diet and in the 1990s the researchers declared the importance of antioxidants. The media, food and medicine companies began spreading the information about antioxidants.

The role of antioxidants in curtailing the cancer risks, artery-clogging atherosclerosis, vision loss etc. has not been confirmed yet. In certain cases it was found that people who consumed lots of fruits and vegetables faced fewer health risks but consumption of beta carotene among heavy smokers have proved to be dangerous.

The concern for health is always there and to live better has always been an issue that people bothered with because health and happiness are co-related factors. So businesspersons have tapped on to this issue of human fear and have been successful in selling magical solutions to live healthier lives.

All of a sudden green tea became very popular as one of the best anti-oxidants available. Moreover anything naturally produced is believed to be good for health. Tea drinking became a desirable habit for communities, which never drank tea earlier.

Research says that tea contains caffeine which though acts as a stimulant is harmful for health. It is suggested that in limited quantity, if tea is consumed, it is good for health, specially for the heart. The vitamin supplements that are sold in the market also come along with the warning that it should be procured as per prescription.

Though antioxidants are touted as harmless but in reality if the dosage ingested is higher than the normal intake cancer risks surfaced. Besides, the application of supplements varied from patient to patient. Certain patients with beta-carotene intake showed no cancer risks while the smokers betrayed the development of lung cancer.

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