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> ANTIOXIDANTS: DISCOVERING THE WHOLE FOOD DIFFERENCE
> Antioxidants are one of the hottest topics in the
> health field today. Most people read one or a few
> articles on the topic of antioxidants and think they
> know how antioxidants work and why they are
> important. Think again! What you are going to
> learn about antioxidants in this article is probably
> going to surprise and delight you.
> Most of us use antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin
> A, C and/or E. And, in so doing, we think that
> weíve got the problem of oxidative damage in our
> body under control! Not so, as you are about to
> It starts with chemists who have attempted to
> isolate and identify some of the components of food
> complexes, labeling the seemingly ďactiveĒ elements
> as vitamins or other essential nutrients. Yet,
> there is no possible way that the sum of the parts
> is equal to the naturally occurring whole. It is
> only the whole food, intact and unaltered, that
> works as a nutritional antioxidant source. The
> isolated parts are not recognized by the body as
> foods. In large amounts, isolated chemicals
> function more like drugs, which stimulate or
> suppress biochemical functions, not provide
> nourishment or protection for the cells to carry on
> their vital activities. Vitamins are intricate,
> interrelated, integrated, united organic nutritive
> groups. Nature made them as an indistinguishable
> part of foods for the benefit of human health.
> Vitamins are inseparable as working nutrients from
> trace elements, minerals, proteins, and other
> Letís look at the antioxidant Vitamin E.
> Vitamin E complex found naturally in foods is
> micro-blended naturally with Vitamin E co-factors or
> components, such as Vitamins A, C & K, Vitamins B6
> and B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid, zinc, iron
> and essential fatty acids. The problem is that the
> body cannot use Vitamin E in any internal chemical
> reaction without the other co-factors. Vitamin E is
> a complex of nutritional factors, not
> alpha-tocopherol or mixed tocopherols alone which is
> what you find in store bought supplements. Once
> separated from the whole, tocopherols cease to
> function as vitamins. Natural forms of the Vitamin
> E complex lose up to 99% of their potency once
> separated from their normal synergists (DeCava,
> 1996, p. 119).
> To summarize: Besides the antioxidant nutrients
> (Vitamin A, C and E) found in foods, antioxidant
> enzymes (SOD and catalase) are equally as important
> in protecting the body from oxidative damage.
> The antioxidant nutrients (A, C and E) are derived
> from foods and have their primary effect while
> circulating in the blood ouside of the cells, while
> the antioxidant enzyme system (SOD and catalase)
> produced by the body and also found in foods, have
> their primary effects inside and outside the cells.
> DeCava, Judith A. (1996). The Real Truth About
> Vitamins and Antioxidants. Columbus, Georgia:
> Brentwood Academic Press.