Antioxidants- Great Hope or Overpriced Hype

antioxidantsYou  see antioxidants advertised  in practically everything from baby cereal to low-carb beer.  Some experts believe that  antioxidants can prevent cancer,  heart disease and aging.  Other scientists are  rather dubious about the health benefits of antioxidants.  As with  most things in life– the truth  lies somewhere in between.

Antioxidants    have the ability to subdue unstable molecules known as free- radicals.  These bad boys  are molecules that have lost an electron. Free radicals crash around cells interferring with routinue functions such as growth, repair and immunity. Things calm down when  antioxidants  provide the missing electron.

There is no shortage  of antioxidants in  our environment. The short list  of antioxidant- rich items  include   vitamins A, C and E, olive oil, salmon, green tea, red wine tumeric and sunflower seeds. We have lots of  laboratory studies that show anti0xidants can protect cells from free- radicals.  In real life  the results are not so clear.  While  we can  see that people whose diets are high in antioxidant rich food have a lower risk of cancer and heart disease, when we take  antioxidant supplements, the benefits are just not there.

But, and this is a very big but, one area where  antioxidants perform well is on the skin.  Antioxidants from green tea, soy oats  and tumeric  can protect the skin  from sun damage.  Antioxidants in skin care products have  products  have been shown to reduce  sunburn and DNA damage from sun exposure.  Antioxidant  rich sunscreens not only reduce  risk of skin cancer, it may protect against  sun-related aging.  Since about 90% of skin aging under age 60 is due to sun exposure, this is huge!   Moisturizers, sunscreens, and make-up  can all benefit from antioxidants.

On Friday I will be posting my Summer Beauty Tool Kit and not surprisingly, antioxidants will have a starring role.

3 thoughts on “Antioxidants- Great Hope or Overpriced Hype

  1. I’ve been curious about antioxidant’s in skincare.

    I’ve been getting these ads /coupons for a new skincare line from Kiehl’s made with Acai. sounds great but could be a lot of hooey?

  2. Hi ,
    Acai is a berry that is reported to contain a ton of antioxidant activity. Kiehl’s a very reputable name but I would ignore all claims except its ability to protect against sun damage. I also like to buy products where they return your money if you dont like the results. Check their return policy with Kiehl’s before investing in a new skin skin item. Thank so much for your question.

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