Nutritional Supplements Information
Protect and Improve Your Health With Antioxidants
Every minute of every day the cells of our bodies are assaulted by particles called oxygen free radicals, also called oxidants. We can?t escape free radicals because our cells produce them during normal metabolism. Additionally, our every day environment contains an abundance of free radicals.
Unfortunately these radicals produce chain reactions that lead to damage of the DNA in our cells. The aging of our cells is partly the result of free radical damage, also called oxidation.
Fortunately there are some simple steps that we can take to minimize the damage and to promote and prolong the health of our cells.
Free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired electron. They are chemically active and can be thought of as scavengers. They easily bond with the molecules of our cells in a process called oxidation.
We are familiar with the normal oxidation process of metals such as iron. Iron oxide is called rust, and we know that rust can deteriorate the quality of the metal. Other metals also can exhibit oxidation which we generally call corrosion. We normally take steps to prevent the corrosion of metals.
Damage to our cells caused by oxidation is often called inflammation. And we can take steps to protect ourselves from cellular oxidation.
There are numerous chemical compounds that will neutralize the effects of oxidation. An antioxidant will bond with the free radical, creating a stable molecule, and prevent the radical from causing oxidation of the cell. This new molecule can then be removed during normal bodily processes.
The best known antioxidants are the nutrients, vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium. Numerous other vitamins, minerals, and enzymes perform important protective antioxidant functions.
Many of these substances, most notably the above mentioned vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium, cannot be produced by our cells but must be ingested through the foods we eat or the supplements we take.
The American Heart Association teaches us that atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, is caused by fatty buildups in our arteries. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol is a large factor in the buildup of these fatty deposits. According to the AHA, vitamin E is the best of the naturally occurring antioxidants for providing protection against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Vitamin C is probably the most potent general free radical fighter. Its antioxidant properties are used by nearly every cell of the body. Vitamin C is a very strong immune system booster.
Here?s an interesting item from the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. A study investigated the effects of various cooking methods on broccoli. It concluded that microwave cooking depleted 97 per cent of the broccoli?s flavonoids, a major antioxidant. By contrast, steaming the broccoli depleted only 11 per cent of the same antioxidants.
How prevalent is microwave cooking in the kitchens of our homes? Dr Cristina Garcia-Viguera, co-author of the study, concluded that it is best ?to cook vegetables in the minimum amount of water in order to retain their nutritional benefits.?
What To Do
To improve the health of our cells throughout our bodies, to protect our cells from the ravages of oxidation, it is essential to include a rich supply of important antioxidants in our daily diet. Two to four servings from the fruit group and three to five servings from the vegetable group daily are recommended.
If you find it difficult to consume an abundance of antioxidants from the recommended food groups, then taking daily supplements should solve the problem. Find easily digestible tablet or gel capsules from major companies or substitute good liquid supplements as a convenient and good-tasting alternative. As always, consult a physician before beginning a major new program.
Can You Drink Your Way To Good Health?
Many years ago I became convinced of the need to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Although I tried to eat healthy meals, mixing salads, fruits and vegetables, proteins and grains as wisely as I could, numerous studies pointed out the need to add nutritional supplements to my diet.
Glutathione - Your Brains Master Antioxidant Defense
Free radicals and oxyradicals play an important role in the development and progression of many brain disorders such as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, schizophrenia and Down syndrome.
Supplements and Drugs: A Hazardous Combination
As I have become more involved in using functional nutritional therapy in my practice, I have come to realize that many people are still confused about the safety and effectiveness of various dietary supplements. Because these products are ?natural?, many feel they are always safe to use. Although supplements and herbs can be safer than pharmaceutical drugs, they can still function as drugs in the body and should be used with caution and respect.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - L-Arginine
Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that the body cannot make naturally. It is found in nuts, seeds, chocolate and raisins.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - L-Taurine
Taurine is the second most abundant amino acid in the muscle after glutamine. It performs several useful functions and can act in a way similar to creatine in that it expands cells by helping the muscle to hold more water, thus increasing cell volume. The added benefit for bodybuilders is that these expanded muscle cells boost hydration and stimulate greater protein synthesis giving an enhanced muscle fullness.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - L-Tyrosine
L-tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that plays a role in the creation of protein. The body can make it from the amino acid phenylalanine but nutritional sources include animal meats, wheat, oatmeal and seafood.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - L-Carnitine
L-carnitine is synthesized in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine but it can also be found in nutritional sources such as red meats, dairy products and avocados. Its main role in the body is to help metabolize food into energy. L-carnitine does this by transferring long chain fatty acids into mitochondria where they are oxidised to produce energy.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - L-Lysine
Lysine is an essential amino acid therefore it must be obtained from the diet as the body cannot produce its own. It is an essential building block for all protein in the body and can be found in animal meats, fish, dairy products, legumes and brewer's yeast. It performs many useful functions in the body and has proved to be especially useful in treating herpes and cold sores. Lysine also increases the absorption of calcium so it may help to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - BCAAs
BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids and is increasingly being recognized as an important supplement in the field of sports nutrition. In short the term refers to three essential amino acids - leucine, isoleucine and valine.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - ZMA
ZMA is a scientifically designed anabolic mineral formula containing zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B-6. Studies have shown that it has a clinical effect on testosterone levels when taken in a combination containing 30 mg of zinc and 450 mg of magnesium per day. The most famous study conducted by Lorrie Brilla at Western Washington University indicated that this combination could raise testosterone levels by as much as 30%.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - Tribulus
Tribulus terrestris is a herb that comes from a plant found in Asia. It has been used in the past by many cultures for the treatment of liver, kidney and cardiovascular diseases. It has also been used as a diuretic and to treat infertility. In recent years strength athletes in eastern Europe are reputed to have used it to enhance performance.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - HMB
HMB stands for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate. It is a metabolite of leucine, one of the body's essential amino acids, with small amounts found naturally in catfish, grapefruit and alfalfa.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - NO Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is a free form gas produced by the body in order to communicate with other cells. It is created when enzymes break down the amino acid arginine. The main benefit of nitric oxide is its role in controlling the circulation of blood and regulating activities of the brain, lungs, liver, stomach and other organs. It also helps in the control of blood pressure, dilates blood vessels to cause penile erection and is used by the immune system to fight viral, bacterial and parasitic infections.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - Methoxyisoflavone
Flavones are the latest big supplement to hit the market. Methoxyisoflavone is a non-hormonal anabolic compound that has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, increase protein synthesis and improve recovery from exercise.
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