Surrounding us at all times there are chemical reactions happening. One of the common types of reactions is called redox reactions, in which something reacts with oxygen. When this happens, free radicals can be created, which are substances that easily steal electrons from other molecules. Outside of our bodies, redox reactions lead to things like rust, decay, spoiling food, fire and explosions. Inside our bodies redox reactions are involved in beneficial processes like immunity, digestion, and respiration (breathing), but they can also be involved in harmful processes that lead to cell damage. Free radicals have been correlated with heart disease, atherosclerosis, cataracts, certain cancers, and skin aging.
Exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun is known to lead to oxidative damage within the connective tissue of the skin and can lead to wrinkles.[1,2] Other things known to worsen oxidative damage include smoking, outdoor pollutants, high meat intake, and chemicals used in household and agricultural products.
Antioxidants are substances that are known to neutralize free radicals within the body. They can reduce and possibly reverse the damage caused by oxidation. One study suggests that antioxidant use, both orally and topically, can improve skin elasticity, thickness, moisture content, and can possibly counteract the extrinsic process of skin aging.
Plant-sourced molecules such as carotenoids found in carrots and curcumin found in turmeric
Foods including soybeans, pomegranates, grapes, red wine, and berries
Vitamins such as A, C, and E
It is also possible that antioxidant supplementation could be harmful. Although no solid evidence exists, it has been hypothesized that antioxidants can increase the risk of atopic diseases such as asthma and allergies.[20,21] Also, a study from 2009 in the journal of Cancer found that antioxidant supplementation might reduce the effects of chemotherapy in patients with cancer.
It is ideal to get antioxidants from whole food sources, but supplementation is also possible. Always consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any supplement.
* This Website is for general skin beauty, wellness, and health information only. This Website is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. The information provided on this Website should never be used to disregard, delay, or refuse treatment or advice from a physician or a qualified health provider.
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