Do You Need Antioxidant Supplements?

It may be possible for you to get all the nutrients you need for good health, including antioxidants, from a well-diversified diet of whole foods. That's the goal, anyway.

Unfortunately, it can be a difficult thing to do — and that's why you might want to consider the benefits of antioxidant supplements. Some of the best anti-aging lotion and skincare products are formulated with antioxidants for this very reason.

There's so many environmental stress factors working against your health that antioxidants have become more important than ever. I've devoted an entire page listing the 25 reasons why you need antioxidants.

"There is now overwhelming
scientific evidence demonstrating that
people who eat a diet rich in antioxidants
and take antioxidant supplements
live longer, healthier lives."

Dr. Lester Packer, PhD.

The Benefits of Antioxidant Supplements

One of the things that has been discovered through antiaging research is that to achieve optimal health and live longer, we need high levels of antioxidants in our bodies.

Unless you were blessed with superior genes, you won't have these higher levels without an antioxidant-rich diet and antioxidant supplements. These are the key components for a longer and healthier life.

"It's no longer a question
should our patients be taking
antioxidant supplements,
but rather which ones, and why."

Julian Whitaker, M.D.
Whitaker Wellness Institute

Some of the immediate, specific benefits of antioxidants supplements that people have reported include:

  • weight loss
  • increased energy
  • younger-looking skin
  • lower cholesterol
  • stronger immune system
  • relief from inflammation
  • back and joint pain relief
  • relief from arthritis
  • better sex life
  • improved sleep
  • improved memory and concentration

In addition, antioxidant supplements have been shown to be effective against a wide variety of health problems including:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • alzheimer's
  • arthritis
  • cataracts
  • diabetes
  • glaucoma
  • macular degeneration
  • gum disease
  • diseases of the immune system
  • strokes

See The Benefits of Antioxidants

Why Antioxidant Supplements
Are Sometimes Necessary

Many of the benefits of antioxidants can be obtained by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. However, there are many reasons why antioxidant supplements make sense.

1. When you're trying to improve a health problem, you're going to need significantly larger amounts of specific antioxidants if you want to see significant improvement. Sometimes, these amounts are impossible to obtain from food sources.

2. There are some incredibly valuable antioxidants that are difficult, if not impossible, to obtain from food alone. Vitamin E comes to mind.

3. Some antioxidants, such as lycopene, have only one reliable food source (in this case, cooked tomatoes). That would mean having to include that one food quite often in your meal plans if you wanted the benefit of that particular antioxidant, not necessarily an inviting prospect.

4. Other antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q-10 and lipoic acid, are normally manufactured in our bodies. However, production of these antioxidants tails off in adulthood until it's only a fraction of what it was when you were a teen. Unfortunately, you need these even more as you age. Antioxidant supplements are the only reliable ways to boost your levels of these types of antioxidants.

5. Still other antioxidants, such as ginkgo biloba and pycnogenol are only available as supplements. These specialized antioxidant supplements sometimes provide benefits that are unique and aren't available from ordinary foods.

6. Your cells are continually under attack from oxidative stress from your environment. Oxidative stress is what initiates the production of free radicals in your body, and is a major contributor to degenerative diseases and aging. It's the job of the antioxidants to fight oxidative stress.

See my pages on oxidative stress and free radicals to learn more about the free radical theory of aging.

Also see 25 Reasons Why You Need More Antioxidants

The Most Common Antioxidant Supplements

What follows is a list of the most common antioxidants available as supplements. Each of them has specific and unique properties and benefits.

Click on any link to navigate to that page for more information.

The Network Antioxidants and Their Partners

Vitamin C - bridges gap between fat- and water-soluble antioxidants

Vitamin E - most important nutrient for a healthy heart

CoQ-10 - heart and cardiovascular protection and energy booster

Glutathione - your body's most abundant antioxidant

N-Acetyl Cysteine - best supplement for boosting glutathione

Alpha-Lipoic Acid  - unique in that it works in every part of your cells

Selenium - powerful support for the network antioxidants

The Carotenoids

Beta Carotene - antiaging and anti-cancer antioxidant

Astaxanthin  - by some standards, nature's most powerful antioxidant

Lycopene - powerful protection against a wide variety of cancers

Lutein - prevention of age-related vision problems

The Bioflavonoids

Quercetin - a powerful anti-inflammatory and antihistamine

Resveratrol  - the secret to extended lifespan?

Curcumin - powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer supplement

Garlic Extract - for improved circulation and heart attack prevention

Green Tea Extract - weight-loss and prevent degenerative diseases

Bilberry  - key supplement for eye health and strong arteries

Pycnogenol - a natural blend of antioxidants extracted from pine bark

Ginkgo Biloba - improved circulation, brain and eye health

Milk Thistle/Silymarin - strengthens and detoxifies the liver

Antioxidants Home Page from Antioxidant Supplements


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