By Deidra Garcia
Antioxidants are powerful solutions that help protect your body from the damaging effects of the aging process. They have become an integral part of many skincare treatments and men’s grooming products because they have been shown to decrease signs of aging and offer better protection for cells against future damage. In order to understand how they work, you need to learn about the process of oxidation and the role free radicals play within it.
Oxidation is a naturally occurring process within your body. Your body’s cells are continuously created and destroyed through oxidation. Free radicals are molecules that appear as a byproduct of oxidation. When they react with certain chemicals within your body, free radicals can interfere with normal cell function and seriously damage cells.
While some free radicals are helpful in targeting and damaging diseased, infected or cancerous cells, they often permanently effect and destroy healthy cells and DNA. This leads to a breakdown within your cell structure, which in turn affects the way your body ages. The simplest way to understand how oxidation and free radicals can decay cells is by viewing an apple or banana once it has been cut open. Oxidation causes the fruit to turn brown within minutes of hitting the air. In men’s skin, oxidation of cells can lead to wrinkles, dry patches and a duller complexion.
Antioxidants work by binding with and destroying free radicals before they can do serious damage to cells through oxidation. By preventing damage caused by free radicals, antioxidants allow the body to maintain normal functions and thereby keep a healthier appearance for a longer period of time. Antioxidants have been scientifically proven to benefit the body in a multitude of ways, including maintaining and boosting the immune system, preventing brain and nervous system decay, decreasing cholesterol and the risk of heart attacks and strokes, lowering blood pressure, and helping to prevent cancer.
Antioxidants like Vitamins A, C, E, selenium and zinc found in fruit, leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and red wine have always been touted as beneficial to the body. But recent scientific developments have revealed new antioxidant representatives that were not so obvious in the past:
• Bioflavonoids found in many edible plants can help protect against free radical damage, as well as aid in the prevention of some forms of cancer.
• Catechin is a powerful antioxidant found in white and green teas that helps boost the immune system.
• Idebenone, one of the most highly-effective antioxidants, neutralizes harmful free radicals that diminish skin’s elasticity and firmness. It has been compared to another nutrient that defends against cell damage in the body, Coenzyme Q10, but has shown to be even more effective in reducing the signs of aging.
While no single antioxidant can protect you from disease and damage completely, antioxidants should be a steady part of your diet and daily use to maintain a healthy lifestyle and protect against the signs of aging in your skin and within your body’s system.
Deidra Garcia is a freelance writer and communications manager for MenScience Androceuticals, a men's skincare and grooming company. You can find more articles by Deidra, as well as further tips and advice, at http://www.MenScience.com