What Happens when you Miss Oxidant foods – 2
Part 2 of 2
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant and is one of the most important antioxidants. Vitamin E is used to break the chain reaction free radical damage that happens in cell membranes. This is important, as cell membranes are thought to regulate what goes in and out of the cell.
Vitamin E is also protective for the fats, specifically LDL that float around in our blood. If LDL has free radical damage to it, it can lead to arteriosclerosis. Other Tocotrienols have been discovered and many offer other protection. It is important to take natural vitamin E since it is two to three times more effective than man-made or synthetic vitamin E.
Glutathione Peroxides are enzymes that fight several free radicals, including some in the cell membrane. These enzymes use selenium, so selenium is also considered an antioxidant. This enzyme also has functions in the liver to detoxify the body. It also helps other antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E do their jobs.
Superoxide Dismutase is an enzyme throughout the body used to neutralize many different and damaging free radicals. SOO needs other nutrients to be effective, including copper, zinc and magnesium.
Carotenoids – There are currently over 600 different Carotenoids and growing. They are found in bright red orange and yellow plant pigments. Beta carotene is probably the most recognized representative. One quarter to one third of all Carotenoids are found in the blood. It appears that certain carotenoids work at specific sites. Beta Carotenoids may be found in the liver, adrenals, kidney, ovaries, and testes. Lycopene is one of the Carotenoids found in tomatoes that are shown to decrease prostate cancer risks. Luton and zeaxanthin are found in the eye and macula. These Carotenoids, along with being powerful antioxidants, also support the immune system. Some studies show benefits against cardiovascular risks and lung cancer. Again, the natural forms seem to be more beneficial than the man-made, synthetic types. Since they seem to function at different sites, mixed Carotenoids probably offer the best protection.
N-acetylsistine is an antioxidant that can raise levels of glutathione. Co-enzyme Q is another potent fat soluble antioxidant capable of recycling Vitamin E. It also functions in energy production. Co-enzyme Q supports the immune system and is found to improve function in cardiac patients. For the body to make co-enzyme Q, it needs an adequate supply of vitamin B2, B6, B12 and folate. It appears that supplementation may offer more benefits than relying on what the body can produce.
Flavonoids compose a list of antioxidants over 6,000 long. They work with Vitamin C and increase its effects. Flavonoids are found in fruits and teas. Some of the more common ones you hear about are ruten, quercetin, isoflavones, and lignans. Some of the flavonoids have shown benefits in cardiovascular disease and reducing risk of some cancers. Some studies show intake of these flavonoids in our diet as well. Herbs also can act as antioxidants and detoxifying agents. Silybum Marianum is found in milk thistle and helps promote liver detoxification, which helps the body in auto-antioxidation.
Ginko Baloba is an antioxidant used to support cerebral function and vascular integrity. Studies support the use for short-term memory and possibly for dementia.
Some foods are with increased antioxidant activity, including strawberries, grapes, kiwi, plums, oranges, apples, carrots, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. This is not a complete list of antioxidants, just a short list to give an idea that we require many different antioxidants to support our bodies and functions. Certain antioxidants will be used to focus on areas of concern. The use of too much antioxidant supplementation can be just as deadly as not enough. The proper amounts and types should be discussed with your physician.
Overall, an increase in fiber in the American diet is recommended. Studies with fiber showed it mildly effective in the prevention of certain types of cancer. The average American male consumes around 17 grams of fiber a day, while the female consumes around 13 grams a day. Recommendations and health benefits appear to come at higher dosage, around 20 to 30 grams a day. There are many who recommend 12 to 15 grams of fiber per thousand kilograms of calories consumed. Many different types and names of fibers include guar gum, gumkaraya, cellulose, and pectins, to name a few.
Fibers are classified as either soluble or insoluble. This is important because they can have different effects on the body. Nature has a rate of about three times soluble fiber to one part insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers are mostly fruits and vegetables and some grains, like oats. Pectins and gums are types of soluble fibers. Soluble fibers have been shown to decrease cholesterol and decrease the glycemic response for the stimulation of insulin. Oat bran is a grain that is soluble and studies have shown it to decrease cholesterol in those with high cholesterol.
Soluble fiber also slows the absorption of carbohydrates. This is important because processed carbohydrates and simple sugars like glucose and sucrose, or table sugar, and honey are absorbed rapidly into the body. The body responds with a surge of insulin which moves the glucose out of the blood and into the liver and muscle cells. If the body over secretes insulin the response is too great and not enough blood sugars or glucose remains in the blood. This response can trigger an attack of Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Symptoms are headache, nausea, sweating, confusion and fatigue. Symptoms can be severe to very mild. Fiber protects against this happening by buffering absorption.
Insoluble fiber is mostly grains. Lingnin and cellulose is an example. Wheat bran and rice have high amounts of insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber absorbs water and other toxins. Insoluble fiber may, by absorbing water, increase the stool size. This increase in stool size stimulates the intestine to move the fecal content on quicker. Insoluble fiber also binds toxins and bile secreted in our intestines by the liver. All these functions enhance health and contribute to fiber’s health benefits.
Soluble fiber also is fermented by natural bacterial action in the large intestine. This causes the number of bacteria to increase, causing the stool to literally grow in volume. The increase in volume stimulates the bowel to contract, moving the stool out quicker. Toxins then have less time to interact with the bowel wall, hence the health benefit. Keep in mind around 30% of the mass of the stool is composed of living or dead normal fecal bacteria.
Fiber has shown mild benefits in preventing colon cancer and breast cancer. Higher amounts may yield better results. Many studies point out that 150 grams or about a third of stool movement a day have greater preventative value. Pancreatic cancer shows preventative benefits at 26 grams per day. Breast cancer shows some benefits at 20 grams per day. One interesting note, on the limited population studies, pasta, rice and cereals showed a slight increase or no effect in cancer. Fruits and vegetables again appeared to have more anti-tumor benefits.
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