Antioxidant supplements are formulated with an aim to provide the body with useful antioxidant molecules, which help to prevent the damaging effects of free radicals. However, there is no clinical data that proves the effectiveness of antioxidant supplements.
Antioxidant is a collective term used for representing molecules that have the ability to combat oxidation reactions in the body. It can be antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and E; while antioxidant enzymes are peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase. Also, beta carotene, glutathione and mineral selenium have antioxidant properties. As we all know, oxidation is a crucial part of the bodily processes. However, the main issue is production of free radicals. These radicals are capable of triggering chain reactions and damaging cells.
The action of antioxidant is that it itself gets oxidized, while stopping oxidation of other molecules. In brief, an antioxidant is effective for terminating the chain reactions, initiated by free radicals. The body receives useful antioxidants from the foods we consume. Nevertheless, presence of antioxidants in low amounts in the body lead to oxidative stress, which is the main reason behind several ailments. In order to avoid such incidences, antioxidant supplements and/or nutritional supplements containing antioxidants are developed for use as therapeutic interventions.
Antioxidant Supplement Benefits
It is a fact that fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants in very high amounts. Indeed, incorporating them in the diet is an easy way to stay fit and healthy. With this observation, antioxidants from various food sources are added in specific concentrations for formulation of dietary supplements. So, what are the roles of antioxidant supplements in the body? According to proponents, they help in slowing down oxidation of molecules, thus reducing the production of harmful radicals.
In some studies, antioxidant supplements are beneficial for combating heart disease, cancer symptoms and other chronic diseases. However, health experts are of the opinion that there is no point in prescribing these supplements for athletes, especially for those who rely on healthy foods, loaded with nutrients. Although proponents claim that supplements are safe and beneficial, others are concerned about the adverse effects caused after consuming them. The debate concerning benefits and dangers of antioxidant supplements is still ongoing.
Antioxidant Supplement Side Effects
Contrary to previous studies that claim the positive effects of antioxidant supplements, later researches have found no proof of the claimed benefits. Clinical trials have shown that there is no improvement sign in cancer and heart disease patients, even after advocating these supplements in the recommended dosage. In some people symptoms have worsened after taking these supplements. Similar to any other nutritional supplements, heavy dosage of antioxidant products can lead to unusual side effects.
To be more precise, it is difficult to decide whether antioxidant supplements are really beneficial or harmful to the body. On the brighter side, enriching your diet plan with healthy foods is the safest way to reap natural antioxidants. Consuming lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is a sure way to maintain optimal levels of antioxidants in the body. It is now concluded that there is something more than antioxidants that are present in fruits and vegetables, which altogether helps in maintaining good health.
If at all, antioxidant products are required, one should gather information about reliable and harmful antioxidant supplements. That way, a prospective buyer can review the antioxidant products and select the best one. At any point of time, one should administer these supplements under the supervision of a qualified physician. Also, do not forget to discuss the pros and cons of these supplements with your doctor before taking them.