What are they?
Antioxidants are molecules that can neutralize harmful oxygen radicals. They can be minerals, vitamins, chemicals, bioflavinoids, herbs, or other substances. Oxygen radicals are molecules that have become damaged and carry an extra electrical charge because of an unpaired electron. This unpaired electron may seem too small to worry about, but anything it touches can be damaged to the point that it will not work properly. These radicals are produced during the normal processes that make your body run. When your body is functioning properly and has the basic building blocks it needs, it can remove these radicals before too much damage is done. Improper nutrition, illness, exposure to pollutants or toxins (such as smoking and vehicle emissions), and high physical stress can compromise your body's ability to effectively keep the oxygen radicals from damaging important molecules such as RNA, DNA, hormones, enzymes, or cell structures. The results of this damage are varied, with levels of damage building over time. An example is cholesterol. Cholesterol itself is a very important substance in the body. It covers every nerve cell and is the backbone for most sex hormones. It is theorized that only cholesterol damaged by oxygen radicals is harmful to the body.
In this modern society with all the things we are exposed to and the types of processed foods we eat, it is extremely important to supplement our diets with extra antioxidants. We recommend appropriate amounts of a wide variety of antioxidants as opposed to choosing just one or two such as Vitamins C and E. All of our Complete Formula™ products provide a wide array of antioxidants from several classes. If you are in a higher risk group, you may consider higher levels of specific antioxidants in your supplementation program.
Antioxidants and Cancer
Cancer occurs in the bodies of all humans and animal every day. As the different types of cells in your body wear out, they are replaced at different rates depending on what their jobs are. The cells that line your intestines are replaced every 4-7 days, while nerve cells may take years. A single cell divides into two different new cells in order to replace cells that are damaged or destroyed in the ordinary workings of daily life. The cell that is dividing has internal signals that cause that cell to collect nutrients and to make extra DNA and RNA, which are the molecules that store the information that tells a cell what it is and what it needs to do. The dividing cell also has internal signals that tell it when to stop dividing. The process of reading the genetic information and translating it correctly takes the proper functioning of many different pathways. Cancer is the result of the improper replication of normal cells. Cancer cells usually have problems with the signals that tell the cell to stop dividing. Cancer cells may or may not appear normal otherwise. The replication of cancerous cells may be slow or fast. If the cancer cells multiply and invade other tissues, it is called malignant. If the cancer stays in the tissue where it originally came from, it is called benign.
As we have stated, problems with cells dividing improperly happen thousands of times everyday. A healthy immune system that has all the essential nutrients it needs is able to find the cells that have mutated (changed from the normal cell it was supposed to be a copy of) and remove them before they get out of hand. There are many things that our bodies need that are not in the foods we eat regularly. In addition, there are many viruses, chemicals, pollutants, and other molecules that our cells are being exposed to that increase the chance of a mistake being made during cell division. These substances are called carcinogens. Oxygen radicals are produced in the body when cells have been damaged. As stated above, these radicals can seriously damage DNA as well as almost anything else they touch but can be neutralized by antioxidants.
Antioxidants and Viruses
Research has shown that nutritional deficiencies can cause some viruses to change from being harmless to a form that can cause disease. Researchers have known for a long time that a person's immune system can be less effective if it does not have the nutrients it needs, but we also now know that if key nutrients are missing from a person's diet, the virus itself can take advantage and change its own structure so that it is more harmful. The viruses studied are the types that cause cardiomyopathy. These viruses are RNA viruses, the same type as influenza, Ebola, and HIV. Twenty million people are infected with the non-harmful (benign) form of the virus that causes cardiomyopathy and are unaffected. However, people who are deficient in the essential mineral selenium or Vitamin E can develop heart muscle disease called cardiomyopathy. This disease can be halted and reversed when the person supplements their diet with selenium or Vitamin E.
These types of viruses are basically pieces of RNA, genetic material that tells cells what products to produce. The RNA of the viruses tells the person's own cells to make more viruses. The benign form of the viruses cause more viruses to be made at a slow enough rate that the person's immune system can keep them from causing noticeable damage. Viruses change form when part of the RNA is copied incorrectly. This can happen when either the original being copied or the copy itself is damaged. This new piece of RNA with only a very slight change is a completely new virus that can do things the original could not. In a cell that does not have enough antioxidants, the chances that an error will occur when a virus is being copied is greatly increased (See also Viruses and Cancer). The more chances there are for errors to occur, the more chances there are that a malignant (harmful) form will emerge. Proper nutritional health through supplementation of the essential nutrients can lower the chances of mutations as well as supporting the immune system to rid the body of the infections that are present.
Supplementation with a variety of antioxidants can help the body be better equipped to remove the harmful radicals as well as strengthening the immune system in its fight against infections. To ensure proper functioning of cell division, supplementation of all the necessary nutrients is strongly recommended. The proper functioning of the body can be thought of as a chain that needs all its links to be strong. If you choose to supplement only one or two nutrients, the chain will be missing some of its links. A proper supplementation plan includes supplementing the correct amounts and ratios of all essential nutrients. In our review of various products we have not found any better antioxidant, mineral, or trace mineral supplements than those found in the Complete Formula™ products.
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