Antioxidant Overload


anitoxidentsThe body is all about balance.  Too much of anything is bad.  We hear all the time about how important antioxidants are but did you know that it is important for us to have oxidants also.  Oxidants play a role in our health; in fact they are required for good health.  If you are a person that exercises, then this information is even more important for you.

There were three studies done showing the benefits of some oxidants.  In one study they found that exercise increased an oxidant known as the reactive oxygen species (ROS), so believing it was an oxidant, science thought a person that exercised would need more antioxidants to combat this oxidant.  A study done at the Cardiorespiratory Exercise Laboratory at Kansas State University (Manhattan) showed that these oxidants act as vasodilators that increase delivery of oxygen to muscles.  By using antioxidants this process is disrupted.  The studies also showed that at high levels of antioxidants actually interfere with the natural regulatory systems that help muscles to function properly.

Another study that was done in Australia showed that oxidants help hold back type 2 diabetes in mice.  Certain oxidants help prevent insulin resistance by helping the body to respond better to insulin signals.  Two groups of mice were fed the same high fat diet and the one group that was given antioxidants developed diabetes much quicker.

Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, in a third study found that high use of antioxidants may increase the chance of cancer.  They have not identified the levels that would create this; more research needs to be done.

Oxidants do three important things for you health.

1. Help fight cancer.  They cause the self destruction of weakened cells and pre-cancerous tissue.

2. They are very important to heart health.  In order for blood cells to function properly they need oxidants.  These oxidants help the blood vessels to expand; this is why people are given nitroglycerin for angina.

3. They are important for sexual gratification.  The reason why erectile dysfunction drugs work, is when we are sexually aroused, oxidants expand certain blood vessels to allow for engorgement.

Balance is the key.  Because of all the toxins in our environment, most people tend to have more oxidants.  There are many juice companies out there saying that they have 30,000 orac units and there are people that are drinking a whole bottle in one day.  I believe we are seeing an imbalance in the other direction because people believe more is better.  Many people are not aware the body can only process 4,000 orac units a day on average.  If you are doing 3-4 times that you are putting stress on organs and systems and creating an imbalance system.

I am a person that believes in getting as much of the nutrients that you need from food.  By eating a whole food diet, rich in antioxidants, combined with enzymes and other co factors that are needed for the proper absorption of foods, you should need little to minimal supplementation.

So how do you tell if you are getting enough or you are low?  Well if you get sick and it takes you a while to get over things you may be low.  On the flip side, if you are working out and you are not seeing the results you think you should, and you know you are training hard, it could be because you are taking to many antioxidants and it is hindering your efforts.

Remember, balance in all things!!

Source: Unique Health and Wellness