9. Antioxidants protect body cells from
free radical damage
Another antioxidant enzyme is Glutathione Peroxidase (GPX). Two GPXs convert one Hydrogen Peroxide into two molecules of water. During this reaction the two GPXs bond together to form Glutathione Disulfide (GDS). GDS needs be recycled by another enzyme to convert back into 2 GPXs ready to take on more Hydrogen Peroxide molecules. This means that GPX is not always readily available and there’s a limit to its function as an antioxidant.
This two-step process of eliminating free radicals inside the cells is crucial for the health of cells. If there’s not enough Superoxide Dismutase and Glutathione Peroxidase available, Superoxide Anion and Hydrogen Peroxide can build-up in our cells. These free radicals themselves may not be that bad, but they react with each other to form a deadly free radical, the Hydroxyl Radical.
Depending on diet, lifestyle, and environment, cells can end up creating more free radicals than antioxidant enzymes can handle. As we age ntioxidant enzymes dwindle naturally. When excess free radicals form inside our cells, it may result in serious consequences for health.
Lack of antioxidants
If our diet does not contain enough antioxidants or if we are not processing our food properly, we may experience a deficit of
antioxidants. For example, over-cooking our foods , boiling our vegetables (unless we also consume the cooking water, like in
soups), and keeping produce for too long, can destroy a large number of antioxidants.
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