Antioxidants are special class of micronutrients that are required by the body in only miniscule amount to provide essential support for vital metabolic functions of the body. They block harmful chemical reactions that are caused by oxidation. Antioxidants are often used to provide overall support for the body and its organs. They are nature’s way of providing the cells with adequate defense against attack.
Antioxidants are selected by the body to wade off free radical and at the same time, they energise the body cells to stay healthy, function normally and live longer. The human body are constantly attacked by free radical, which are often referred to as reactive oxygen species that are linked to chronic disease and cancer. In the year 1992, there was a measurement that was developed to measure the capabilities of antioxidants against free radicals to know how much a particular food inhibits the performance of the free radicals. It is known as the Oxygen radical absorption capacity.
Healthy diets are good producer of antioxidants that effectively fight free radicals. This antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating electrons that stabilize them. They also possess a special property of being able to lose electrons without becoming free radicals themselves. When the body runs low on the necessary antioxidants, or it’s overrun by excessive free radicals, the body’s healthy cells become damaged and diseased. To keep a very healthy body, you need to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants or take antioxidant supplements.
Taking too much of antioxidant supplements is not really advisable, except it is recommended by your doctor. Adults should limit their daily antioxidant supplement intake to around 100-200IU for Vitamin E, 100-200 mcg for selenium. Vitamin C, which is soluble in water, is quite safe even if taking in overdose, but we derive maximum benefit from it when we take around 250-500mg per day.
Consumption of antioxidants at a level that is higher than the daily intake recommended allowance specifications is not recommended. Excessive intake may have pro-oxidant effects on the body. They become toxic and harm the body, which is why natural antioxidants are always advisable at times.