Antioxidants - protection against free radicals and oxidative stressAntioxidants are food components such as vitamins, minerals or secondary herbal remedies that protect the organism from the so-called "free radicals".
These free radicals are intermediate products of metabolism that are formed in the body during a variety of biochemical reactions. Radicals are very unstable compounds and contain aggressive oxygen and at least one unpaired electron.
The body needs free radicals - but if too many are formed, they are responsible for premature aging and all degenerative diseases. It has also been scientifically proven that free radicals damage the genetic material and thus produce mutations. Because they also alter and attack the body's own proteins, they destroy cell membranes. Too many free radicals are then formed in the human body when it is exposed to environmental toxins, stress or radiation. Too much smoking, too much alcohol or too many chemicals and drugs can lead to an explosive release of free radicals or reactive oxidative species (ROS).
Antioxidants act against this "oxidative stress," as physicians call it. They represent a natural line of defense of the body against free radicals and, due to this positive property, many also have an anti-carcinogenic effect at the same time, i.e. they prevent cancer or help to positively influence its course.
The most important antioxidants are known to include vitamins C, E and A, as well as ß-carotene as provitamin A. However, minerals and trace elements such as copper, zinc, selenium and magnesium and the amino acids L-gluthathione, L-cysteine, methionine and taurine also either have a direct antioxidant effect or are an important component of antioxidant enzymes and protective systems. It is important that all antioxidants are present at the same time in sufficient quantities, because they regenerate each other and facilitate the workload of the other, but without being able to replace each other.