Superoxide Dismutase – A Primary Antioxidant
Antioxidants are the body’s first line of defense against free radical damage – a key factor in maintaining youthfulness and good health.
Free radicals are atoms and molecules that contain a single unpaired electron, making them highly reactive and destructive, causing oxidative damage.
This oxidative damage is what causes wrinkles in the skin, as well as other problems such as cancer, damage to blood vessels and lung tissue, and joint damage.
What Do Antioxidants Do?
Each one works differently. Together they form a team that fights free radicals. These chemicals cause the oxidation process that damages your cells and the genetic material inside them. Your body makes free radicals as it processes food, sunlight, and toxins like smoke, pollution, and alcohol.
Antioxidants either stop free radicals before they form or break them down so they’re harmless.
The ORAC Score
The ORAC unit (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), ORAC value, or ORAC score is a method developed by scientists at the National Institute of Health and Aging (NIH) to measures the antioxidant capacity of different foods. Whilst the exact relationship between the ORAC value of food and its health benefit has not been fully established, it is generally believed that foods with higher ORAC scores have a greater antioxidant capacity, and more effectively neutralize harmful free radicals.
According to the free-radical theory of aging and disease, a high antioxidant intake will slow the oxidative processes and free radical damage that contributes to
age-related degeneration and disease.
Antioxidant enzyme vs classical Antioxidant
Antioxidant enzyme (also called “primary antioxidants”) have high catalytic properties and are involved in the elimination of millions of free radicals.
On the contrary, classical antioxidants (also called “secondary antioxidants”) quench only one free radical and are quickly exhausted with no possibility of renewal.
How can an Antioxidant help?
Free radicals can remain relatively controlled thanks to a constant supply of antioxidants. These antioxidants travel throughout the body, donating electrons where needed. This effort stabilizes free radicals and prevents free radical attacks to cells. In addition, antioxidants provide nutrients to help damaged cells repair themselves. This keeps the body free of mutated cells that may cause further harm and even lead to sickness.