Antioxidants and Glutathione
Antioxidants and Glutathione
There are numerous reactions that usually take place in the body. Some of them are detrimental to health. For instance during breathing and eating, some reactive oxygen species are created in the body. They also form due to pollution or when we are under stress. These species include free oxygen radicals and peroxides. They are usually unbalanced. For this reason, they attack the body cells. They end up robbing off electrons from other essential molecules in the body. This leads to a chain of reactions that is harmful to health.
In order to prevent such damages to cellular components, anti-oxidants become important. They play a huge role in ensuring that the body cells are not damaged from the adverse effects of reactive oxygen species.
What Is a Antioxidant?
An anti-oxidant is simply defined as a molecule which inhibits the reaction or oxidation of other molecules in the body to avoid damage to the body cells. It prevents the chain of reactions from taking place.
Classification Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants can be classified into two main categories depending on their solubility in water.
Here are the categories
Antioxidants that are soluble in water usually react with oxidants in blood plasma and cell cystosol while those that are soluble in lipids help to protect the cell membrane from lipid peroxidation.
How We Obtain Antioxidants
We can get anti-oxidants directly through ingestion. For example taking foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A.
Antioxidants can also be taken as dietary supplements. They are known to prevent lifestyle diseases such as cancer and heart related complications. Beta carotene, Vitamin A and C supplements are now available.
It is however advisable to take foods rich-in antioxidants than to use the supplements. This is because antioxidant like glutathione is usually made inside the body cells or in the liver from precursor cysteine, glutamic acid and amino acid. If taken as a dietary supplement, instead of being useful, it may become toxic.
Here Are Examples of Antioxidants
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Uric Acid
Glutathione is usually referred to as the master antioxidant. Once you obtain the right information about glutathione you will understand that this antioxidant is the mother of all antioxidants. Glutathione can assist with CCSVI by fighting free radicals, it also helps to regenerate other important antioxidants to make the process more effective.
For instance, it helps to recycle vitamin C and E from their unstable state to active form so that they can be used again. This is because when the two antioxidants participate in the neutralization of free radicals, they become unstable. They can only be returned to their active form by glutathione.
Glutathione is usually made in the body. There are certain foods that people are encouraged to take. Such foods act as a precursor which facilitates the formation of glutathione. For example vegetables like kales, broccoli, cabbage, cauli flower and garlic. Others are goat milk, asparagus, raw eggs, aloe vera, water melon, avocados, red beets and many more.
It is the antioxidant with the highest concentration in human blood. It is produced by an enzyme called xanthine oxidase from xanthine in the body. It is also the intermediate product in the process of purine metabolism.
Uric acid provides 50% of the antioxidant capacity to the serum of human body. It has complex antioxidant properties because it reacts against some species of oxidants like peroxynitrite, hypochlorous acid and peroxides while others like superperoxide, it does not.
It is also called ascorbic acid. It is usually obtained from the diet. It helps to convert procollagen to collagen. This is achieved by oxidizing proline residues to hydroxyproline. In some cells, it usually remains in its reduced form through reaction with glutathione.
In fact, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is regarded as a redox catalyst. It has the ability to reduce and hence neutralize the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species such as peroxides and hydrogen peroxides.
Besides, it acts as a substrate ascorbate peroxidase which is a very important redox enzyme. This helps to resist stress especially in plants.
Melatonin is considered to be a very powerful antioxidant. It has the excellent ability to cross cell membranes and brain barrier with much ease. It doesn’t undergo redox recycling i.e. the process by which a molecule undergoes oxidation and reduction processes repeatedly. This is what makes it different from other antioxidants. Once it has undergone oxidation, it cannot be reduced to its initial state. It usually forms numerous stable end-products when it reacts with free radicals. This is why it is referred to as terminal antioxidant.
Vitamin E is a general name that is used to refer to a set of 8 related tocopherols and tocotrienols. These are fat soluble vitamins that have anti-oxidant properties.
Studies have shown that a-tacopherol is the most vital lipid-soluble anti-oxidant. It helps in the protection of membranes from oxidation by reacting with lipid radicals which are usually produced in the chain reaction of lipid peroxidation. This helps to remove the intermediates of free radicals. It also helps to stop the propagation reaction from going on. This type of reaction leads to the production of a-tacopherol radicals which can undergo reduction and be reduced to the active form
In conclusion, it is very important that we take diet containing antioxidants as well as foods which act as precursor for the synthesis of glutathione. This will help to prevent the body from damaging effects of reactive oxygen species. By so doing, diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and skin complications will be reduced substantially. This will increase our longevity. However, avoid too much intake of antioxidant supplements. It may become toxic in the body thus leading to adverse effects.
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