There are several types of free radicals, but the most common ones involve oxygen. Free radicals can be the result of many forms of pollution. Some researchers believe that the pain or inflammation experienced following a significant or particularly sustained effort tells of the damages caused to the tissues by an accumulation of free radicals.
Free Radicals and Intense Physical Exercise
Some studies have shown that athletes who are obliged to perform exercises requiring a lot of endurance are more often subject to colds or influenza following such efforts. In its publication entitled Antioxidant Revolution, Doctor Cooper, who is also of the opinion that free radicals can considerably reduce the efficiency of the immune system, advise anyone who is training for more than five hours weekly to take large doses of antioxidants. Indeed, several studies show that intense physical exercise increases the production of free radicals that can damage the cells, at least for a short period of time after the effort.
Such a phenomenon is logical, as the respiratory exchanges, and consequently the consumption of oxygen, increase considerably during a vigorous physical exercise. The individual inhales more nitrous oxide, ozone and other pollutants that are in the air.
Various problems caused by the destructive action of free radicals clearly show the necessity for providing your system daily with antioxidants in abundance. They offer an additional protection to your system in its nonstop fight against free radicals. They strengthen the immune system, allowing it to perform more efficiently.
Antioxidants and Cancer
It has now been proven that antioxidants (notably Vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium) can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of several types of cancer. A major study on the subject has been conducted in China, over a period of five years, by the American and Chinese research team.
Thirty thousand people ranging from 40 to 69 years old, all living in the province of Linsian (north-central China) were selected. At first, the researchers’’ intention was to study a form of stomach cancer frequently found in this region where the rate of stomach cancer is one of the highest in the world (one hundred times higher than in the United States).
This study led to the discovery that the risk of dying of cancer was 13% lower in people who were receiving vitamin E, selenium, and beta-carotene. Particularly in the case of stomach cancer, the risk was 21% lower.
Since these three supplements have the common property of neutralizing free radicals, one could think that cancer would be the result of their harmful action.
Antioxidants During Weight Loss or Detoxification
During a weight loss or while undergoing a detoxification in depth, the detoxification of the liver, for example, it is essential to include taking antioxidant if we want to make the most of our efforts. Indeed, the elimination of toxic substances engenders an overproduction of free radicals that can only be balanced by taking vitamins and antioxidant supplements.
Antioxidants in Foods
The antioxidant can be found in their natural form in many vegetables and fruits. For instance, sweet potatoes, carrot, spinach, cantaloupe, and broccoli contain Vitamin A. Vitamin C can be found in orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, green pepper, broccoli, papaya, orange. Vitamin B in raw molasses, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, almonds, pecans. Selenium, for its part, is a trace element that can be found in meat, eggs, milk, seafood, whole grain cereals, garlic, tuna, onion, broccoli.