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Antioxidants and Age-related Macular Degeneration





The function of antioxidants is to destroy harmful free radicals, counteracting the damaging of tissues and in effect, treating aging or causing its retardation. Antioxidants are commonplace in nature. In fact, antioxidants are abundant in more common vitamins such as retinol or Vitamin A, ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, tocopherol or Vitamin E, and selenium. 

For one, they may reduce the energy of the free radical or give up some of their electrons for its use, thereby causing it to become stable. Antioxidant enzymes may also stop the free radical from forming in the first place. In addition, they may also interrupt an oxidizing chain reaction to minimize the damage caused by free radicals. 

Because it is the nature of free radicals, which is basically an atom with an unpaired electron, to achieve stability, they will try to do so by capturing the needed electron from other molecules. When the free radicals steel electrons from a stable molecule, that molecule will become a free radical itself, beginning a chain reaction. 

These days, when we talk about antioxidants, the first thing that comes to people's minds is "supplements." However, studies on antioxidant supplements are for the most part inconclusive and so far, no one study has come up with the same results during antioxidant supplements tests. No problem though because you can always find antioxidant foods almost anywhere. 

Human beings are one of the few organisms that cannot produce their own herbal antioxidants for the body's use. That is why we have to depend on our diet in order to get our dose of herbal antioxidants. Herbal antioxidants are of course found in fresh produce, fruits, and vegetables. A large number of members of the berry family are excellent sources of herbal antioxidants. 

Catechins are the natural antioxidants found in the Camellia sinensis plant where we get our green tea, oolong tea, and black tea. In the carotenoid group, beta-carotene is the most common natural antioxidant. Another name for beta-carotene is vitamin A, that essential vitamin that helps prevent eye damage.