Antioxidants were introduced in the early 1990s when scientists discovered the role of free radicals in the early stage of atherosclerosis. They explored the beneficial effects of antioxidants in other diseases like cancer, vision loss, and other chronic conditions.
Normal cellular functions result in the production of free radicals. Antioxidants detoxify endogenous and exogenous free radicals. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and detoxify them by promoting their decomposition.
This article reviews the role of antioxidants in tissue damage caused by free radicals, the antioxidant defense system, the biochemical functions of Antioxidants, and their clinical role.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are a group of substances in a low concentration that inhibit the oxidation of oxidizable substances. Antioxidants prevent cellular damage from free radicals (including reactive oxygen species ROS and reactive nitrogen species RNS) by deactivating and destabilizing them to maintain optimal health. Oxygen is a highly reactive atom that forms potentially threatening free radicals.
Production of free radicals increases from exposure to smoke, pollution, cigarette, stress, and exercise, contributing to oxidative stress. Antioxidants neutralize oxidative stress to maintain a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle and homeostasis. They have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants provide a wide range of protection against chronic diseases, including aging, anemia, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, heart diseases, and inflammation.
There are hundreds of Antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, selenium, manganese, glutathione, lipoic acid, phenols, phytoestrogen, flavonoids, polyphenols, and coenzyme Q10.
Sources of Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are classified as endogenous and exogenous antioxidants, natural and synthetic antioxidants, water-soluble or lipid-soluble, and enzymatic or non-enzymatic antioxidants.
Natural antioxidants are present in plant-derived foods, animals, and microorganisms. Orange, red, and purple-colored fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. These include lemons, blueberries, red beans, plums, Broccoli, prunes, and oranges.
Vitamins C and E are natural antioxidants. Vitamin C contains ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid. These vitamins are present in fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids are present in carrot juice and carrot sauce.
Role of Antioxidants in the maintenance of Health:
Ascorbic acid in vitamin C has the ability to neutralize superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. It can also regenerate α tocopherol, collagen, neurotransmitters, and carnitine. Vitamin E is a lipid-soluble vitamin that prevents lipid peroxidation and neutralizes ROS. Vitamin E contains tocopherols, mainly α tocopherol, that removes peroxyl radicals.
Carotenoids, especially lycopene, quench singlet oxygen and peroxy radicals. It protects against prostate cancer.
Phenolic compounds possess anticarcinogenic properties. Flavonoids play a critical role in cell signaling pathways. They have high redox potential. They protect against UV light, oxidative stress damage, pathogens, fungal parasites, and herbivores. Flavonoids prevent cancer and heart diseases and decrease their incidence.
Therapeutic potential of Antioxidants
Antioxidants have several significant therapeutic benefits. A few of them are as follows:
Cardiovascular Health Benefits:
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are responsible for atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, ischemia, heart failure, and ventricular remodeling. Antioxidants play a critical role in “redox homeostasis.” Several antioxidants, such as CoQ10, vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E, lycopene, resveratrol, and quercetin, possess numerous preventive and therapeutic benefits. They decrease the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.
Antioxidants and Cancer:
During radiotherapy and chemotherapy for cancer treatment, free radicals and reactive oxygen species are produced. Radiotherapy leads to lesions and DNA damage. Antioxidants reduce the adverse effects and toxicity of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This improves the efficacy of cancer treatment.
Several chemotherapeutic agents target cell signaling pathways and generate reactive oxygen species. Several antioxidants like glutathione, melatonin, vitamins, selenium, and carotenes increase the efficacy of anticancer drugs like cisplatin and oxaliplatin.
Antioxidants and Neurodegenerative diseases:
Antioxidants like polyphenols decrease oxidative stress in neural cells. Oxidative stress is responsible for development of neurodegenerative disease. These neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson’s disease.
Role of Antioxidants in Endometriosis:
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) affect normal physiological functions and lead to problems like endometriosis and infertility. Oxidative stress promotes the development of endometriosis. Antioxidants detoxify reactive oxygen species and other free radicals to reduce the severity of endometriosis.
How Do ANF Antioxidant Devices Help Patients?
ANF Antioxidant devices include a Glutathione device, a carnosine device, and a melatonin device. Glutathione device keeps the liver healthy and functional. Applying AGL to our liver in holistic or orthopedic practices is necessary. Its effect on the liver is similar to its effect on the bronchi and respiratory systems. Combining the glutathione device with the melatonin device doubles its effect. Melatonin is the mother of glutathione. Melatonin deficiency leads to low levels of glutathione. The highest glutathione production occurs until 20 years of age, so that you can help your patients with glutathione devices.
Carnosine is a component of the immune system. It is the only oxidant that repairs nerves, increases cell division, and repairs muscles and tissues after the resolution of inflammation. Carnosine device prevents premature aging and shortens healing time. Low carnosine can cause stomach problems. Carnosine device breaks down arthrosis, prevents skeletal problems, and renews skeletal cells. It helps grow muscles and tissues and removes lactic acid from muscles.
How to Get Started with ANF As a Healthcare Professional?
ANF therapy®️ does not use any drugs, machines, or instruments. You can regulate your patient’s nervous system by applying ANF devices directly on the skin and initiating a self-healing and automated process.
ANF therapy®️ is a holistic approach integrated with the knowledge of the human body’s anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and neuroscience.
ANF Academy offers access to the FREE Pain Mastery Webinar to all healthcare professionals eager to grow their knowledge and practice!
Take this quiz to find out if you are qualified to join: