Antioxidants, Vitamins, and Supplements

Antioxidants, Vitamins, and Supplements

Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to function. Although you may obtain many of these essential nutrients through your diet, you still need supplementation for anti-aging purposes.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect your body from reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the form of peroxides or free radicals. ROS can slowly and progressively damage your body's tissues on the microscopic scale, which causes aging.  As Makoto Kuro-o says,

"Increased longevity is always associated with increased resistance to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes the accumulation of oxidative damage to important biological macromolecules such as DNA, lipids, and proteins that would result in functional deterioration of the cell, which eventually causes aging."

Vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin A are all important antioxidants. To prevent oxidative stress caused by ROS and an accelerated aging process, you need supplemental antioxidants.

Vitamin C

  • Helps prevent cardiovascular disease
  • Helps regulate insulin release
  • Aids in healing process and promotes collagen growth

Beta-carotene

  • Is a precursor to vitamin A
  • Helps prevent cancer and heart disease through its antioxidant ability

Vitamin E

  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Boosts immune function
  • Alleviates respiratory problems
  • Fights heart disease
  • Reduces cellular aging
  • Prevents abnormal blood clotting
  • Protects the retina
  • Protects the nervous system
  • Reduces the risk for Alzheimer's disease
  • Improves brain function

Vitamin A

  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps prevent infection
  • Helps slow the aging process
  • Aids in protein metabolism

Other Vitamins

In addition to the aforementioned vitamins A, C, and E, your body also needs the following vitamins for proper functioning and well-being.

B vitamins

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) - helps convert carbohydrates into energy to maintain a healthy metabolism.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - helps synthesis of neurotransmitters for proper brain function as well as assisting with protein metabolism.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) - helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides, reduces blood pressure, increases circulation, and has anti-allergy effects.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) - helps digestion and assists synthesis of acetylcholine (neurotransmitter) and antibodies for immune function
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - maintains proper metabolism and helps synthesize many important metabolic molecules.

Biotin

  • Processes fat and protein
  • Lowers blood glucose

Vitamin D

  • Needed for bone growth
  • Enhances immune system
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Is essential for healthy bones

Vitamin K

  • Helps blood clotting
  • Helps store glucose as glycogen in the liver

Folic acid

  • Necessary for normal neurological growth
  • Helps form red and white blood cells
  • Aids in DNA synthesis

Minerals

Minerals are needed for good health and well-being and play a role in healthy metabolism.

Calcium

  • Builds strong bones
  • Maintains a normal heart rhythm
  • Aids proper nerve and muscle functioning

Chromium

  • Needed for insulin utilization - keeps blood sugar low
  • Can help with weight loss

Copper

  • Helps iron metabolism
  • Forms collagen for healthy bones, skin, and connective tissue
  • Acts as an antioxidant

Boron

  • Acts to prevent osteoporosis
  • Activates hormones
  • Increases mental acuity

Iodine

  • Needed for synthesis of thyroid hormone, which regulates body temperature, metabolism, and breathing.

Magnesium

  • Decreases the risk of heart attack
  • Prevents high blood pressure
  • Prevents abnormal heart rhythms
  • Assists in energy production

Manganese

  • Helps form strong bones
  • Forms collagen
  • Aids in proper brain function

Molybdenum

  • Helps detoxification
  • Helps produce DNA and protein

Potassium

  • Helps maintain fluid balance
  • Maintains good blood pressure
  • Aids in muscle and nerve function

Selenium

  • Is a very important antioxidant
  • Helps produce glutathione peroxidase, an endogenous antioxidant
  • Helps prevent cancers

Vanadium

  • Needed for cellular metabolism
  • Helps bone and teeth formation

Zinc

  • Helps form superoxide dismutase, an endogenous antioxidant
  • Maintains immune function
  • Assists with reproduction and development
  • Promotes healing
  • Helps protein metabolism
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