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Discover IO ways to make your antioxidant supplements work harder, and learn how to reduce oxidative
stress By Vera Tweed

f r e e r a d i c a l s , harmful molemles that are a by-produa of nfe. Left
unattended, these molecules cause a rust-like effect in our bodies, accelerating aging and promoting disease. We do have a builtin mechanism to combat free radicals, but in today's world, our natural defenses are often insufficient, creating a state of oxidative stress within which an overabundance of free radicals causes damage. As levels of oxidative stress increase, so does the rate of aging and risk for disease. Antioxidant supplements vi/ork best when they're part of a broader Wellness strategy. "When used properly, in combination with eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and not smoking, antioxidant supplements can play an important role in maintaining and promoting overall health," says Andrew Shao, PhD, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. In many studies, researchers have tested people's levels of oxidative stress and identified these key ways to reduce the onslaught of harmftil free radicals:


your wei
In the Framingham Heart Study (which originally discovered risk factors for heart disease, such as elevated blood pressure and cholesterol), testing of 2,828 people demonstrated that oxidative stress increases in direct proportion to excess body weight.

reduce air pollution exposure
Breathing polluted air increases oxidative stress, according to numerous studies, such as one recently published in Occupational and Environmenlal Medicine. Secondhand smoke and vehicle exhaust are common sources. Avoid tbese as much as possible and don't smoke.

eat a rainbow variety and e table s
Aim for greater quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables. A study of 246 women, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that increasing plant foods from three to nine servings daily significantly lowered oxidative stress. Another study, published in the ¡oumal of Nutñtion, found that among 106 women who ate eight to 10 servings of fmits and vegetables daily, a greater variety of plant foods reduced oxidative stress more than a limited selection of these foods.

eat flsh or take flsh oil
Omega-3 fats reduce oxidative stress. Eating cold water fish daily or taking fish oil supplements work equally well, according to a study published in Redox Report: Communications in Free Radical Research. For fish oil, 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily is an effective amount.

eat healthful

Foods that quickly raise blood sugar, such as sugary and refined, starchy foods, increase levels of oxidative stress, according to a study of 292 people published in the American Joumal of Clinical Nutrition. Choose carbohydrates that are absorbed slowly, such as nonstarchy fmits and vegetables and whoie grains with lots of fiber.

exercise regularly
Although exercise temporarily increases oxidative stress, it reduces chronic levels of oxidation. In one study, published in the loiiniat of DID YOU KNOW?
Investigative Medicine, 19
A new study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology suggests Ihat vitamin E and lutein protect against

drink exotic fruit juices
Often called superfruits, mangosteen, goji berries, gâc fruit, and sea buckthorn berries are exceptionally high in antioxidants, and juices made with these fruits are a simple and delicious way to benefit. Mangosteen promotes overall good health and improves recovery from physical exertion. Goji berries are traditionally used to promote Wellness and a long life. Seeds of the gàc fruit help to alleviate dry eyes and support healthy vision. Sea buckthorn berries have a rejuvenating effect, provide strength for sports or challenging physical tasks, and improve immunity and overall health.

healthy young men reduced their levels of oxidative stress after a week of intense, daily ihree-hour exercise sessions.

et a good multivltamin
Beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and selenium are basic antioxidants our diets may well be lacking. For insurance, get these nutrients in a high-quality multivitamin.

protect your skin
In sunscreens and other skin care produrts, antioxidants work to protect from the outside. Look for moisturizers and antiaging formulas with a combination of antioxidant ingredients.



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harness antioxidant power
The following supplements are known for their strong antioxidant action, and each one offers additional benefits:

Grape seed extract: Many of the healthful properties
of grapes come from the seeds. Grape seed extract helps to lower cholesterol, protect blood vessels, prevent cancer, and relieve asthma and allergies. Take 25 to 150 mg, one to three times daily. G r e e n t e a : As an extract or beverage, green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis and cancer, raise HDL ("good") cholesterol, lower inflammation in the digestive system, and control blood sugar, reducing risk for diabetes. Drink two to three cups daily, or take 300 to 400 mg of an extraa. By protecting the eyes against sun damage, lutein may help prevent or slow development of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. Take 5 to 30 mg daily. L y C O p e n e : cooked tomato products, such as sauces, are the best source of lycopene. In studies, the natural tomato extract Lyc-O-Mato, which contains lycopene and other nutrients in tomatoes, was found to protect the heart, lungs, prostate, nervous system, eyes, and skin, and to help prevent cancer. Take 15 mg of natural lycopene daily. An extract of French maritime pine bark, Pycnogenol helps prevent and relieve heart disease, diabetes, circulatory disorders, eye conditions, PMS, ADHD, male infertility, osteoarthritis, gum disease, asthma, hay fever, sun damage to skin, and postexercise pain and cramps. It also fights inflammation. Take 25 to 150 mg, one to three times daily.

Alpha-lipoic acid: For
diabetics suffering from nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), nipha-lipoic acid can help to it'duce numbness, pain, and discomfort. For anyone, it helps to protect the brain and nervous system. Take 20 to 100 mg daily for health maintenance. For higher doses, consult with your doctor. L: The nutrient that gives salmon its pink color, astaxanthin may help increase fertility in men, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent heart disease, keep eyes healthy, and protect against ulcers. Take 2 mg a few times a week. G a r l i c : As a food or supplement, garlic helps prevent and slow progression of heart disease, improves immunity, and may protect against cancer. Follow product directions for individual garlic products.

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