Supplements Versus Antioxidants

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Supplements Versus Antioxidants

Although the health food industry is fixated on antioxidants, there’s a huge difference between anti-inflammatory supplements and antioxidants.

Antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene have often been touted as the keepers of eternal health.

Yet under clinically controlled conditions, they don’t appear to offer any significant benefits, especially regarding mortality (the only statistic that really counts).

A true anti-inflammatory supplement like ultra-refined fish oil has a dramatic impact on the reduction of death from heart disease.

Does this mean antioxidants are a waste of time and money?

Not if you use them with the right diet.

We believe part of the reason antioxidant studies have failed to find any benefit may be due to the fact the people in the study ate lots of omega-6 fatty acids.

As it turns out, high levels of vitamin C can actually promote the formation of a powerful pro-inflammatory hormone made from omega-6 fatty acids.

This means the combination of high levels of vitamin C and omega-6 fatty acids may be dangerous.

On the other hand, vitamin C doesn’t have this effect with omega-3 fatty acids.

When omega-6 fatty acids are removed from your diet, the results are extraordinary, with a 70% reduction in heart disease mortality and elimination of sudden death from heart disease.

From this we know controlling inflammation is more important than controlling oxidation.

The truth is the antioxidant picture is very complex.

Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals.

The most likely target for free radical attack is the polyunsaturated fatty acids in your membranes.

This is important in the reduction of silent inflammation.

Too much AA in your cell membranes generates massive amounts of inflammation.

Adding to this complexity, antioxidants work together like a relay team.

The challenge is to neutralize and remove oxidation from your body.

This requires 3 distinct types of antioxidants:  fat-soluble, surface-active, and water-soluble.

The members of your fat-soluble team are vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and beta-carotene.

Like the game of hot potato, the goal is to keep moving the free radical into your bloodstream and eventually out into your urine.

The little-understood middle members of the team are the surface-active antioxidants.

These aren’t classic vitamins, but rather phytochemicals known as polyphenols.

Without them, your body would have no way to shuttle free radicals from fat-soluble antioxidants to the water-soluble antioxidants.

Polyphenols are crucial for this to work.

There are more than 4,000 known polyphenols, and the richest sources (not surprisingly) are fruits and vegetables.

These polyphenols are found in high concentrations in red wine, berries, and dark-colored vegetables.

In general, the more color a fruit or vegetable has, the richer the polyphenol content.

Grains and starches have relatively low levels of these polyphenols.

Just how powerful is one antioxidant-containing food compared to another?

That’s difficult to say.

Fruits and vegetables with the deepest colors are often the ones with the highest polyphenols.

The polyphenols isolated from green tea are very good, as are those from rosemary.

Perhaps the most surprising is the highest polyphenol value belongs to extra-virgin olive oil.

This explains why extra-virgin olive oil is so healthful – not only is it an anti-inflammatory agent, it also contains the most powerful antioxidant known.

Although fish oil is truly the anti-inflammatory powerhouse of all supplements, it can be oxidized in your body by free radicals.

Not only will the oxidized fatty acids in fish oil lose all of their anti-inflammatory properties, but they can actually become generators of inflammation.

In fact, research has shown those who take fish oil without taking in adequate amounts of antioxidants can develop decreased blood levels of vitamin E over time.

If you follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you’ll have all the water-soluble and surface-active antioxidants you need.

However, getting adequate levels of fat-soluble vitamins is more difficult.

Therefore, we’d recommend considering additional fat-soluble antioxidant supplementation to keep your body’s reserves if you’re taking high-dose fish oil.

Our recommendation for antioxidants:  We recommend taking a supplement containing 200 IU of vitamin E and 30 mg of coenzyme C10 every day with your fish oil.

Your other option is to increase your intake of extra-virgin olive oil.

If you aren’t following the Zone Diet but are still taking fish oil, you should take a good multivitamin containing water-soluble antioxidants.

We also recommend a good fat-soluble antioxidant like vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and beta-carotene.

Just to be on the safe side, always use extra-virgin olive oil with your meals.

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

(Based on Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Anti-Inflammation Zone”)

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.


 

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