What are antioxidants? These days you can rarely go on your routine visit to your local shopping centre or even watch television in the comfort of your own home without coming across the word antioxidants. There is however good reason for its repeated mention. The cause of all this commotion is mainly due to their highly publicised and much hated arch nemesis, otherwise known as free radicals.
Free radicals have an undisputed reputation for destroying things. They didn’t choose that path, it chose them. To understand what free radicals are you have to first understand the structure of a cell. And then grasp the idea that cells are made up of many different types of molecules. Each tiny molecule has electrons on the outside and those electrons crave balance. Now in rare cases some chemical reactions give rise to an odd unpaired electron or free radical. This lonely electron naturally seeks balance and attacks the nearest molecule it can find, causing a negative cascading effect. Can you see how this could pose a significant problem?
Back to antioxidants. What antioxidants do is they fight against oxidative stress and the formation of these unruly free radicals, thus helping you maintain cellular health. This whole defensive process never stops and is constantly occurring within our bodies.
Our bodies source two types of antioxidants for protection, dietary antioxidants and endogenous antioxidants. But what is the difference you ask? Dietary or exogenous antioxidants come from your external environment, while more powerful endogenous antioxidants are produced inside your body.
Dr. Mark Brown, USANA’s Executive Director of laboratory research, has spent years developing products and helping others better understand the roles antioxidants play in our health.
In the video below, Mark provides a succinct overview of antioxidants and why he believes certain targeted antioxidants that react with molecules inside your body to provide cellular protection are superior to “blanket protection” you might get from external sources.
“We’re trying to stimulate the production of molecules within your own cells,” Mark says. “That’s the endogenous protection we’re looking for.”
This more natural approach to antioxidant defense is an example of what USANA strives to achieve throughout all its products. Taking large quantities of exogenous antioxidants is not a good idea, so a smarter more healthy solution is required. Remember, everything in moderation!
“One of the best antioxidant molecules that comes to mind is BHT. BHT is a preservative that’s used in food a lot. A lot of people understand that consuming a lot of BHT is not good for you. But if what we really wanted to do was give you the maximum antioxidant protection, we would give you spoonfuls of BHT. I don’t think anybody thinks that’s a good idea so what we look at are botanical antioxidants.”
Ingesting certain botanical antioxidants helps allow your body to process and create antioxidants itself, rather than receive antioxidants and then apply them to free radicals. This ensures optimal cellular protection and makes sure your body is actively undertaking its natural processes to its fullest capacity.
USANA scientists are focusing on leveraging the body’s natural intelligence to create optimal health. Sounds good, right? That’s only the beginning. The rest will be revealed on August 25 when USANA unlocks a new era of nutritional science at the 2016 International Convention.