Posted on: 02.10.2022 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

and Vitamins

Every time we eat, breathe or move, our body uses fuel from food
to produce energy. But just as a car using gas to produce energy
releases harmful byproducts of this process as exhaust, so, too,
does our own body’s energy-producing efforts produce a dangerous
byproduct, called free radicals. Free radicals are highly
reactive forms of oxygen that are missing an electron. When they
come into contact with normal cells, they try to steal an electron,
damaging the healthy cell and its DNA. It’s estimated every cell
in our body takes 10,000 oxidative hits to its DNA daily!

Free radical damage has long been believed to be a risk factor of
many of the degenerative processes that accompany aging, including
heart disease, memory loss, wrinkles, and cancer.

Antioxidants, however, are the catalytic converter of free radicals.
They clean up as many free radicals as they can. If damage has already
occurred, they may give the free radical an electron to stabilize
it. Or combine with it to form a different, more stable compound.
There are also antioxidant enzymes that help the free radical react
with other chemicals to produce safe, instead of toxic, substances.

If you don’t have enough antioxidants, your body will experience
oxidative stress, resulting in significant cell damage.

Ideally, we would get much of our antioxidant protection from fruits
and vegetables. But most Americans don’t even eat the recommended
5 servings per day. Also, there are many potent antioxidants that
don’t come from food. To to optimize our antioxidants, you must
go beyond food.

Click on the links below to learn more about these antioxidant vitamins.

Antioxidant Vitamins
Vitamin A
Vitamin C and bioflavonoids
Vitamin E

Vitamin A (retinal or beta-carotene)
Beta-carotene is the precursor and preferred source of vitamin A
This fat-soluble vitamin is stored in our body and is essential
for the proper formation and maintenance of cell membranes. It helps
boost your immune system, protecting against invaders that may cause
disease and fatigue. It’s also needed for the normal production
of red blood cells, helping prevent fatigue caused by anemia or
heavy menstrual bleeding. It helps improve the health of your skin,
suppressing premenstrual acne and oily skin. However, vitamin A
also should be taken for healthy skin, mucous membranes, and to
support your immune system.

Helps with: Bone
, fatigue, reproductive
function, vision, PMS, heavy
menstrual bleeding
. Beta-carotene may also help protect against
breast cancer.

Recommended daily intake: 5,000 to 25,000
IU of beta-carotene per day. If you take vitamin A, then you should
take 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day.

For heavy menstrual bleeding: 5,000 to 50,000
IU of beta-carotene; 5000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin A.

Best form: A combination of beta-carotene
and vitamin A. Do not exceed the recommended vitamin A dosage since
it can adversely affect liver function.

Good food sources: orange-colored vegetables
(sweet potatoes, papaya, carrots) and dark green, leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
with bioflavonoids

We can’t produce vitamin C or bioflavonoids on our own, so we depend
entirely on food sources and nutrients.

Bioflavonoids, while not true vitamins in the strictest sense, are
still sometimes referred to as vitamin P. Together with vitamin
C, they work to form collagen, one of the body’s main structural
proteins. Collagen is also an important component in bone. Bioflavonoids
also have mildly estrogenic activities, and so are helpful with
menopausal symptoms. Lemon bioflavonoids and rutin are commonly
combined with vitamin C.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation,
the process that can result in clogged arteries, heart attacks and
strokes. It also lowers blood pressure, increases HDL cholesterol
(the “good,” protective type of cholesterol) and helps
maintain levels of vitamin E. It also has an antihistamine effect,
which can help women whose allergies get worse just before their
periods. And, by bolstering the immune system, it helps prevent
fatigue caused by infections. Vitamin C also helps you absorb iron
— critical in preventing fatigue.

Helpful for: Immune system, heart
, fatigue, heavy
menstrual bleeding
, reducing stress, PMS
, bone health, anemia,
inflammation, allergies, hot
, vaginal dryness. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids may also
help prevent breast cancer.

Recommended daily intake:

  • Vitamin C: 1 to 2 g a day. But during periods
    of high stress, you may need as much as 8 to 10 g. If you experience
    gas and diarrhea, cut back on the dosage. It’s also best to split
    your dose throughout the day, as your body will get rid of what
    it doesn’t immediately need.
  • Bioflavonoids: 750 to 2000 mg per day.
  • For heavy menstrual bleeding: 1,000 to 5,000
    mg of vitamin C (as buffered vitamin C); 700 to 2,400 mg of bioflavonoids
  • For anemia: 250-1000 mg of vitamin C

    Best food sources: Most fruits and
    vegetables, and sprouted grains, seeds and beans.

    Good to know:

  • Stress can deplete vitamin
    C. Even an unexpected confrontational phone call can quickly use
    up your supply.
  • If you’re taking large doses
    of Vitamin C buffered with calcium, make sure you increase your
    magnesium intake to balance out with your calcium in a 2:1 or 10:4
    ratio of calcium to magnesium.

    Vitamin E
    There are several types of vitamin E, including alpha and gamma
    tocopherol, and tocotrienols. It’s a powerful antioxidant, working
    to prevent cell damage throughout the body. Vitamin E also strengthens
    the immune system and its response to attack, and has antihistamine
    properties that can help women suffering from allergies. Gamma
    tocopherol may also play a major role in maintaining blood pressure
    and preventing congestive heart failure by regulating the passage
    of fluid through the kidneys and preventing blood clots from forming.
    If your diet is high in saturated fats, then blood cells can become
    sticky and clump together. Vitamin E prevents this from happening.
    There are also intriguing studies suggesting it may be effective
    as an estrogen replacement.

    Helps with: Heart
    , immune system, stress, fatigue,
    heavy menstrual bleeding
    and anemia, PMS
    and menopausal symptoms, and
    preventing some cancers, including breast, prostate, lung and
    colon. May also play a role in protecting against memory problems,
    as with Alzheimer’s disease.

    Recommended daily intake: 400 to 1,000
    For menopausal-related anxiety and mood swings: Up to 2,000 I.U.
    For heavy menstrual bleeding: 400-1,600 I.U.

    Best type to use: Natural. Your body absorbs
    and uses it better.

    Best food sources: whole grains, eggs,
    and nuts. But only very small amounts are present in most foods.

    Good to know: Open an oil-based vitamin
    E capsule and apply the oil directly to your vaginal tissues to
    treat the irritation that can occur when the vaginal tissue thins
    during menopause.

    Caution: Women with certain medical problems,
    such as high blood pressure, insulin-dependent diabetes and menstrual-bleeding
    problems, should begin taking vitamin E at lower doses, starting
    with 100 IU per day and slowly increasing the dose. Also, they
    should check with their health professional before supplementing

    Other Antioxidants
    In addition to vitamin A (beta-carotene),
    vitamin C, and vitamin E,
    and the mineral selenium,
    other antioxidants you should supplement with include:

    Alpha Lipoic Acid

    Alpha Lipoic Acid

    Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that possesses anti-inflammatory
    properties and — at doses of 600 mg per day — mitigates
    the pain of diabetic neuropathies.

    Helps with: Maintaining healthy blood
    sugar levels and promotes healthy liver detoxification.

    Recommended daily intake: 30 mg

    Good food sources: spinach, broccoli,
    beef, yeast, organ meats.

    Lycopene, a plant-based nutrient called a carotenoid, blocks
    a form of the hormone that stimulates cell growth in breast, cervical,
    and other cancers.

    Critical for: Immune system. Also may
    inhibit the growth of breast, lung and endometrial cancer cells,
    as well as prevent their formation in the first place.

    Recommended daily intake: 30 to 100 mcg

    Good food sources: Tomatoes, tomato sauce
    (in pizza or pasta dishes), watermelon, and guava. Tomato juice
    is not a good source of lycopene.

    Another member of the carotenoid family, lutein protects against
    macular degeneration.

    Helps with: Vision

    Recommended daily intake: 6 to 12 mg (take
    with food to improve absorption)

    Good food sources: Dark green leafy vegetables

    To learn more about other supplements,
    read on:

    Essential Fatty Acids
    Other Vitamins to Supplement

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