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What Is a Polyphenol Antioxidant?

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  • Written By: Karize Uy
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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Polyphenol antioxidant is a popular substance that is naturally present in many plants and is said to contain many benefits for a person’s health. It is also known as the “lifespan essential” for its ability to possibly also prolong life. In plants, an indication of a presence of polyphenol antioxidants is their rich color, ranging from reds to blues and purples.

Just like all kinds of antioxidants, the polyphenol antioxidant prevents cells from breaking down, or “oxidizing.” Oxygen, though a vital source of life, is also ironically the reason why cells eventually become damaged every time they metabolize, or release energy. What polyphenol antoxidants do is assist the body in removing the excess oxygen to promote healthy cell growth and aging. This type of antioxidant also has the ability to hunt down free radicals, which are believed to increase a person’s risk of having cancer and other diseases.

Evolutionists believe that the abundant presence of the polyphenol antioxidant — along with other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E — was not inherent, but rather developed among plants. During the Cambrian Period, which was more than 500 million years ago, it was believed that plants did not have as much of a vibrant color, an indication of polyphenol presence. It was supposedly around the Jurassic Period, around 200 million years ago, that the plants “evolved” into having more polyphenol antioxidants and resembled the plants that are existing today.

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The advantages of the polyphenol antioxidant also include a decreased risk of and overall improvement in cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidant also has an inflammatory function that can improve artery-related illnesses. It was also observed to possibly lower cholesterol levels. Risk of bone diseases can also be reduced, as the regular intake of the antioxidant can increase bone density.

The health benefits of the polyphenol antioxidant have also been taken advantage of in beauty products. The antioxidant supposedly helps the skin maintain its youthful appearance and prevent premature wrinkles and age spots, since the skin is always exposed to oxygen sources, such as sunlight. The more popular and common method, however, of using the antioxidant is through ingesting.

Plants and foods that are rich in polyphenol antioxidants are teas, which might explain why Asians, who drink large amounts of tea, are said to age better than Caucasians. Wine and grapes have also recently been found to contain the antioxidant, particularly the type called resveratrol. Apples, asparagus, broccoli, and pears also contain the polyphenol antioxidant. Berries such as strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries also have the antioxidant, as well as spices such as thyme, rosemary, turmeric, and mint.

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