The Synergistic Effects of Antioxidants For the Maximum Benefits

The Synergistic Effects of Antioxidants For the Maximum Benefits

By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants may be able to delay, or even prevent, aging in human tissues. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no one magic bullet; antioxidants must act with each other and with other nutrients for the maximum benefits to be realized.
The Synergistic Effects of Antioxidants For the Maximum Benefits
Vitamin C and Zinc
Vitamin C can give a needed boost to the immune system when an infection, like a cold, occurs. Since the 1960s doctors have recommended increased dosages of vitamin C to combat cold and flu viruses. Then it was discovered that pairing vitamin C with a second antioxidant, zinc, enhanced the protective qualities of both nutrients and resulted in a powerful tool for combating microbes after they had entered the body. While vitamin C and zinc provide support for the immune system, there is evidence that, as supplements, they may provide many other benefits.

Phytochemicals and Antioxidants
Studies suggest that phytochemicals have a synergistic effect on all antioxidants. These micronutrients are available from foods in trace amounts and they enhance the properties of antioxidants in both neutralizing free radicals and in providing other benefits in cell health and development. The synergy between phytochemicals and antioxidants has only recently been discovered and has yet to be fully explored. Good nutrition is the best way to get necessary phytochemicals and micronutrients that may not be provided in vitamin supplements.

Antioxidant Supplements and Medications
There is no evidence of drug interactions with antioxidants eaten in a balanced diet, but interactions can occur between supplements and certain over the counter and prescription medications. Drug interactions are the result of a negative synergistic effect which may increase the toxicity of certain medications or of the antioxidants themselves. It is important to inform doctors and pharmacists of all medications being taken, including multivitamins and antioxidant supplements, to avoid drug interactions.

The Antioxidant Network
Clinical research supports the premise that antioxidants have synergistic effects upon each other. While each antioxidant may act on different areas of the body, the presence of other antioxidants enhances their efficacy. These important nutrients work together to prevent disease and combat the effects of aging by supporting the growth of healthy cells and removing toxins from the body. A complete network of antioxidants insures that these nutrients are used at their maximum potential.

The Problems with Clinical Research
There is a tendency among researchers to study one antioxidant at a time to determine its specific benefits. The problem presented by this approach is that it fails to consider the synergy that occurs between antioxidants and with antioxidants and other nutrients. This is one of the reasons that research studies often contain incomplete information or are contradicted by subsequent research. The best approach to nutrition is to include a variety of antioxidants and other nutrients in the diet for optimal protection against diseases.

The human body is a chemical plant which converts food into the elements needed for performance. All chemicals interact with each other and the synergistic effects can be positive or negative. Balancing the intake of antioxidants and nutrients results in enhancing the protective qualities of these chemicals and helps in avoiding negative reactions that may be caused by nutritional imbalances.

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