Tuesday, March 06, 2012

From warding off heart disease to slowing degeneration of the brain and eyes, talk of the health benefits of antioxidants is quite common. Dr. Edward Hill describes what antioxidants are and what they do in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe free radicals are a factor in the development of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Free radical production is actually a normal part of life. The bodys natural defense systems neutralize free radicals, rendering them harmless.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation, pollutants and alcohol can overpower the bodys ability to neutralize free radicals, allowing them to damage the bodys cells.

Antioxidants include vitamins, such as vitamins C and E; minerals, such as selenium; caratenoids, such as beta-carotene; and flavonoids; found in fruits, red wine and some teas. You can also buy antioxidant supplements, but the best sources of antioxidants are natural fruits and vegetables.

Consuming more antioxidants helps provide the body with tools to neutralize harmful free radicals. Antioxidants may be another reason a diet high in fruits and vegetables improves your health. Your parents were right when they told you to eat your vegetables.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.