Antioxidants are getting much attention these days. Antioxidants-rich food. Antioxidants supplements. To the extent, healthy snacks with antioxidants. People are started to adopt antioxidants in their dietary.

Do you know that there are various types of antioxidants exist in this world? 


Antioxidant endogenous - body’s natural antioxidants

Antioxidant endogenous is the type of antioxidant produced inside the body as its natural protection mechanisms. 

Antioxidant enzymes   
Body produces antioxidant enzymes from the source of protein and minerals of what we eat every day
Antioxidant enzymes are synthesized in the body, and include superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and catalase. These form the body’s endogenous defence system against damages caused by free radicals. For these enzymes to work optimally as antioxidants in the body, they require co-factors such as copper, iron, selenium, magnesium, and zinc. 


Alpha-lipoic acid       
Alpha-lipoic acid helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy
Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant, found in all human cells. This antioxidant is made inside mitochondria (powerhouse of the cell) where it helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy. Alpha-lipoic acid helps to control the blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, slowed aging process and enhance nerve function. However, our body only produce a small amount of alpha-lipoic acid. Therefore, we need to consume certain foods (red meats, organ meats such as liver, heart, vegetables (broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes and green peas) or maybe supplements rich in this antioxidant to optimize it functions. 


Antioxidant exogenous

Our body only produced a limited number of antioxidants; thus, we need to obtain it from other sources (exogenous). 


Antioxidant Vitamins    
Vitamins are essential nutrients because they play many roles in the body. Vitamins help to shore up bones, heal wounds, boost our immune system, convert food into energy and repair damages in cellular. However, our body does not produce vitamins naturally, thus we need to obtain it from our dietary sources. Vitamin A, C, E, folic acid, and beta-carotene are the types of antioxidant vitamins.


Antioxidant Phytochemicals      

Plants are producing antioxidant phytochemicals to protect themselves against free radicals. According to studies, phytochemicals from plants also give benefit to human’s health. Carotenoids, Astaxanthin and Lutein are some of the categories of antioxidant phytochemicals. Natural food such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables are rich with phytochemicals which is good for our health. 

    • Carotenoids 
      Carotenoids are pigments in plants, algae and photosynthetic bacteria, whereby it produces the bright red, orange and yellow colours in plants, vegetables and fruits.  Carotenoids need to be obtained from the diet. Foods rich in carotenoids such as yams, kale, spinach, mangoes, oranges and carrots. Carotenoids protects our bodies from diseases and improve the immune system and body’s overall health. 
    • Astaxanthin 
      Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that can be found in trout, microalgae, yeast, shrimp and other sea living things. Astaxanthin causes the pink or red colour in this seafood. For health benefit, it is beneficial for skin, heart, joint, aging, vision loss, infertility, menopause and arthritis.
    • Lutein
      Lutein is a yellow pigment (normally appear as orange-red) that can be found in vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, corn, kiwi and grapes. Lutein also occur in egg yolk. Lutein is believed to play an important role for eye’s health such as improve our vision in low contrast situations, cataracts and AMD. 



    Understanding the benefits of antioxidants are important so that we did not making the wrong choice!




    References

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      Fiske, R. (n.d.). 5 Different Types of Antioxidants & When to Use Them. Retrieved from Blog Vitamin World: http://blog.vitaminworld.com/five-types-antioxidants-use/

      Gary Heiting, O. (2017, December ). Lutein and zeaxanthin: Eye and vision benefits. Retrieved from All about vision: https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/lutein.htm

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      Kerri-Ann Jennings, M. R. (2017, March 3). 7 Health Benefits of Resveratrol Supplements. Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/resveratrol

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      Ryan Raman, M. R. (2018, September 19). Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Weight Loss, Other Benefits and Side Effects. Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/alpha-lipoic-acid#sources-and-dosage

      Szalay, J. (2015, October 20). What Are Flavonoids? Retrieved from Live Science: https://www.livescience.com/52524-flavonoids.html