Can Antioxidants Slow Down The Aging Process?
Whether you know it or not, your body is being constantly attacked by very harmful substances known as free radicals. You can not see them, smell them or touch them, but they are always there, trying to destroy your cells, tissues and organs.
Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are generated mainly during the process of oxidation; the very process that produces the energy necessary to stay alive. They also come from outside sources, such as environmental pollution, smoking and various synthetic chemicals that are added to our water and food.
Free radicals are chemically unstable because they lack one electron. In order to stabilize themselves, they attack any other substance within their reach and grab an electron from them. This, of course, creates a new free radical, which proceeds to repeat the process, producing a "domino effect." When this reaction is uncontrolled, it can generate millions of free radicals within seconds.
These chemicals damage key enzymes, cell membranes and even the chromosomes that store our genetic material (DNA). Free radicals have been implicated in most known diseases of mankind, but especially in the chronic, degenerative diseases associated with the aging process. According to The New York Times, free radicals can be linked to over 60 diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. They can cause severe reduction in cell function and even the death of a cell. In some cases, when the DNA has been damaged beyond repair, it can even lead to cancer.
Can this Process be Stopped?
Fortunately, we have a "built-in" free radical fighting mechanism also known as the antioxidant defense system. It consists of specialized enzymes that have a "spare" electron that they can give away without turning into free radicals. In order to protect us, however, the enzymes need help from certain substances known as antioxidants.
Antioxidants are natural free radical fighters. They also have a spare electron which they can give away to make free radicals harmless. They work by protecting the components of our antioxidant system. Common antioxidants include vitamins C, E, beta carotene, bioflavonoids, zinc, selenium and alpha lipoic acid.
OPC: Powerful Antioxidant Protection
Studies show that oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC), a bioflavonoid found in some plants, is one of the most powerful free radical fighters known to man. According to medical studies, OPC is 50 times more effective than vitamin E and 20 times more effective than vitamin C in protecting the body from free radicals.
One of the best sources of OPC is grape seed extract, documented use of which goes back almost 450 years. As a supplement, OPC has been used in Europe and around the world since 1951. Many people have reported incredible results with OPC:
Decreased risk of Cardiovascular Disease - Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart attack and stroke risk have been known to decrease with the addition of OPC. OPC inhibits histamine production, which reduces inflammation and helps the arteries to resist attack by mutagens, which contribute to cardiovascular disease. The proper functioning of the heart and a complete unhindered blood flow are the most essential physiological functions of the body.
Improvement in Allergies and Arthritis - Inflammatory improvements are not only limited to vascular disease; they also help conditions such as allergies, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis and stress ulcers. Today, allergies are very common because our bodies are overloaded with chemicals and pollutants from food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. The release of inflammatory chemicals in the body (called histamines) initiate symptoms in the conditions mentioned above. OPC inhibits the enzyme necessary for histamine production and prevents formation, which further reduce inflammation. OPC is the only known inhibitor of histamines that doesn't also inhibit other enzymes. As a result, allergy symptoms and joint inflammation can be relieved without interrupting the body's natural, healthy processes.
Reduction of Wrinkles - The skin is mainly made up of collagen and elastin. OPC protects the skin by reducing the damage done from overly aggressive enzymes and free radicals. It also protects vitamin C, which plays a major role in the synthesis of new collagen and elastin. OPC has such a positive effect on the skin that some experts have called it "a skin cosmetic in a capsule."
Improved Brain Function - OPC may help improve memory, reduce senility and the risk of stroke. In fact, studies indicate that OPC may help improve memory and brain function even after strokes! It is one of the few antioxidant nutrients that readily cross the blood/brain barrier. This barrier normally protects the brain from free radicals circulating in the blood, because the brain cells are so sensitive. Many people report increased energy and greater clarity in thinking after taking OPC.
Other reported benefits from OPC supplementation include but are not limited to:
* Improved vision and prevention of cataracts
* Inflammation relief from sports injuries
* Improvement in Diabetes
* Reduced risk of cancer
* Protection from the adverse effects of stress
* Relief from PMS symptoms
* Improvement of Multiple Sclerosis
Other Protective Nutrients
One of the ways OPC protects the body from free radicals is by protecting vitamin C, making it more effective and longer lasting.
A sufficient, constant supply of vitamin C in the body can help prevent most viral and bacterial infections by super-charging the immune system; offering protection against cancer-producing agents (like tobacco - 1 cigarette destroys between 25-100 mg of vitamin C); improving the cholesterol profile; healing wounds, burns and bleeding gums; lessening the effects of allergens; protecting against scurvy and extending life by enabling protein cells to hold firmly together.
Vitamin C, in turn, protects vitamin E, making it more available for antioxidant defense. Vitamin E is particularly important, because it is one of the few fat-soluble antioxidants.
The bodys supply of vitamin E gets used up fighting free radicals, thus requiring replenishment. Vitamin E can help your body retain a more youthful appearance by retarding the normal cellular aging due to oxidation. It can also help lower your risk for developing heart disease. Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D., proved this from the results of his study of 17,894 adults, aged 50-98. He found that those who took supplements of vitamin E over a long period of time showed a significant decrease in heart disease. A study of 87,245 nurses, performed at Harvard University, found that those who took 100 IU's of vitamin E daily for more than two years had a 41% lower risk of heart disease. In addition, 39,910 male health care professionals produced similar results, by producing a 37% lower risk of heart disease. Vitamin E has also been known to lower blood pressure and help to alleviate fatigue.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is unique, because it is both water- and fat- soluble, which means that it can protect cells throughout the body. It also plays a primary role in the metabolic process, aids in sustaining normal blood sugar levels, helps support the nervous system and provides nutritional support for normal liver fuction. It is extremely versatile and is absolutely essential for normal function of the antioxidant system.
Bioperine®, an alkaloid from black peppers, is so special and so beneficial that it was awarded a US patent (#5536506)! Bioperine® makes nutrients more bioavailable, which means that they can be easily utilized by every cell of the body. In cinical studies, Bioperine® increased blood levels of beta carotene by 60% after 14 days and vitamin B6 by 250% after only two hours.
The Key to Better Health
Dr. Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D., states that 30 years of research have convinced him that the best protection against premature aging is a combination of natural antioxidant nutrients. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to get all the nutrients you need from food sources alone.
Premature harvesting, depleted soil, pesticides and preservatives - all this results in food that is nutrient-poor; especially when it comes to antioxidants. This makes supplementation crucial; otherwise your defenses will be severely compromised, making you more susceptible to a host of degenerative diseases.
Stop Aging Now!; Jean Carper
Phytonutrients - Medicinal Nutrients Found in Foods;
Beth M. Ley
OPC in practice; Bert Schwitters
The New Superantioxidant; Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.
All About Grape Seed Extract; Dallas Clouatre, Ph.D.
Food - Your Miracle Medicine; Jean Carper
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.