There is a lot of buzz these days about antioxidants. We all know we need them, but how do we know if we have enough? Do some people need more antioxidants than others? Is there such a thing as getting too many antioxidants? One of the best things you can do in an effort to answer these questions and monitor your health is to have Spectracell Micronutrient testing done. This will give you insight into whether or not you’re getting enough antioxidants as well as other nutrients. Are you still confused and have more questions? Let’s see if we can help with that.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals Explained
While most people know that antioxidants support our immune system, many don’t actually know what they are. Antioxidants are substances such as vitamin C or E that remove potentially damaging oxidizing agents in the body. They help to prevent cell damage caused by these oxidants, hence the name. Oxidative stress occurs when an oxygen molecule splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons, which are called free radicals. These free radicals are found in the environment and like antioxidants, they’re also produced naturally in our bodies.
While these unstable molecules can cause DNA mutations and have been linked to serious conditions such as cancer, heart disease and Parkinson’s, free radicals aren’t always the bad guys. Just like our bodies need antioxidants, they also require a certain amount of free radicals. An important part of the body’s defenses, free radicals are essential. Your immune system will often utilize free radicals to defend against and eliminate invading bacteria.
Free radicals are also generated by pollutants, cigarette smoke, and sun overexposure. These can cause an excess of free radicals, overwhelming the antioxidant produced naturally by the body. This creates a vulnerability to cell damage, disease and can contribute to aging. It also creates the need to supplement the body’s natural antioxidants.
It’s All About Balance
Not all antioxidants are the same and each has its own function. There are also different types of free radicals and some antioxidants only excel at fighting certain types. Other antioxidants are effective only in specific parts of a cell, while some can only fight off free radicals only under the certain conditions.
This means it’s important to our health to have a good balance when it comes to antioxidants. For example, both vitamin C and E are antioxidants, yet a surplus of vitamin C doesn’t make up for a deficiency of vitamin E. It is also important to maintain a healthy balance between the free radicals and antioxidants. If excess free radicals result in insufficient antioxidants, the body’s immune system could be compromised, leaving the body open to the negative impact of bacteria and infections. Too many antioxidants can suppress your body’s own ability to turn on its antioxidant defense system
Sources of Antioxidants
There are various supplements on the market but the best way to get enough antioxidants is through food. While foods from plants such as whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds are rich in antioxidants, they aren’t the only natural source of these nutrients.
Antioxidants can also be found in meats, eggs, and dairy as the animals feed on plants. Meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals have high levels of antioxidants. Avoid relying on processed foods that have been antioxidant-fortified as many only contain one or two of those essential to a healthy balance. Stick with plant-based foods to naturally supply the necessary antioxidants and only add supplements to your diet if recommended by your physician.
Consider Spectracell Micronutrient Testing
So the question remains – how do you know if you’re getting all the antioxidants your body needs? Remember everyone’s system is different and some people may require a larger intake of antioxidant rich foods than others.
Spectracell Micronutrient testing can be a valuable tool in discovering exactly what your diet and body may be lacking. Included in this testing is a Spectrox score or total antioxidant function test, which assess your body’s ability of cells to resist damage caused by free radicals or other forms of oxidative stress.
Vive Medical Weight Loss and Aesthetics is proud to provide Spectracell Micronutrient Testing. When the results of your Spectracell Micronutrient Lab tests are completed, a full interpretation will not only give you answers but show you how to fix any deficiencies using food first, and supplements second.
You may think you are healthy but are you really? Schedule a consultation to learn more.