In Chapter 8, nutrients important as antioxidants are explored, starting with an explanation of what oxidation and antioxidants are, then looking at vitamins E, C, and A, selenium, and phytochemicals.
- 8.1: Prelude to Nutrients Important As Antioxidants
- In this chapter, you will learn there is no miracle food or supplement. The debate over the nutmeg’s effectiveness as an antioxidant—and over the effects of antioxidants in general—is proof of this. You will also learn that plant chemicals can affect the body in many different ways, depending on the type of chemical and the dosage. Different antioxidants are believed to have different functions, and those functions are sometimes interdependent or dependent on the amount of nutrient-rich foods yo
- 8.2: Generation of Free Radicals in the Body
- Free radicals, unstable molecules with unpaired electrons, are an unavoidable byproduct of cellular metabolism. Free radicals can steal electrons from lipids, proteins, RNA, and DNA, causing them damage. The body has defenses against free radicals—free radical detoxifying enzymes and antioxidant chemicals. The body can synthesize some antioxidant molecules, but many are obtained from the diet.
- 8.3: Antioxidant Micronutrients
- While scientists have found evidence supporting the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods as a method of reducing the risk of chronic disease, there is no “miracle cure;” no pill or supplement alone can provide the same benefits as a healthy diet. Remember, it is the combination of antioxidants and other nutrients in healthy foods that is beneficial. In this section, we will review how particular antioxidants function in the body, learn how they work together to protect the body against free ra
- 8.4: The Whole Nutrient Package versus Disease
- In the last section we reviewed the health benefits of particular antioxidants and phytochemicals obtained from fruits and vegetables and discovered that naturally incorporating them in the diet rather than taking supplements is best. Here we will consider the scientific evidence that diets rich in antioxidants actually lower chronic disease risk.