Antioxidant treatment helps reduce oxidative stress in the body’s cells. This type of treatment is especially helpful in treating patients with heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and malaria. It is also useful in helping prevent diseases, such as cancer. Antioxidant therapy is further useful in slowing down the normal aging process of the skin and other organs.
Oxidative stress occurs when the amount of molecules containing oxygen become imbalanced and the body loses the ability to neutralize these molecules or reverse the damaging effects they have on individual cells. These rogue molecules are commonly referred to as free radicals. The result of this damage is a breakdown of the body’s DNA. Antioxidant treatment helps reduce the oxidative stress occurring in the organs of patients fighting serious disease and works to reverse the damage sustained at the cellular level.
As enzymes, antioxidants are naturally found in certain foods, such as strawberries, blueberries, acai berry, green tea and green peppers. In general, foods naturally high in vitamin C and vitamin E are also high in antioxidants. Two of the main types of antioxidant treatment used to combat oxidative stress involve consuming large quantities of these foods or taking antioxidants in supplemental form.
The effects of antioxidants are not only used to reverse damage done to organs by disease, but antioxidant treatment is also useful in reversing the physical signs of aging. Antioxidant products, such as lotions, skin creams and ointments are mass marketed to individuals interested in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and slowing the aging process. Many also use antioxidant foods and antioxidant products in the hopes of preventing diseases, such as cancer.
When antioxidant treatment is used correctly, it helps restore healthy cellular activity and regenerate tissue damaged by oxidation. When used incorrectly, however, some do encounter brief, but negative side effects of antioxidants. One example of this is vitamin C toxicity, which is rare, but occurs when too much of the vitamin is consumed and triggers side effects such as diarrhea or upset stomach.
Individuals battling illness and disease may undergo antioxidant treatment using food and supplements under a physician’s care. For some, more aggressive medical antioxidant treatment strategies may be prescribed. In this way, the effects of antioxidants can be monitored to verify whether or not the therapy is working, as well as how antioxidants are coordinating with other drugs prescribed to treat illness.
Individuals who are not ill, but who want the positive effects of antioxidants, also partake of antioxidant treatment using food and supplements. These treatments are not administered under a doctor’s care, but are self-monitored, instead. Antioxidant foods, supplements and products are readily available at most food and health stores, and safe to use at home.