I’m sure everyone has heard of the term “antioxidants”. We see it all around- on skincare products, supplements, health promotion posters, and in the supermarket. We’ve been told to include them in our diet because they’re supposedly good for you.
But how exactly?
Today, we’re going to break it down for you and share some shocking things about antioxidants that you never knew.
First up, what are antioxidants and why are they important? To understand antioxidants, you first need to know what are free radicals.
Free radicals are highly unstable molecules. They are produced by your body and are also found in the environment. Free radicals are not bad per se, and It’s totally normal to have a certain level of free radicals. The problem arises only when we have too many free radicals.
In a healthy state, our bodies produce antioxidants to fight the free radicals and these 2 substances are in constant equilibrium.
However, when we are exposed to stressors like cigarette smoke, chemicals, UV rays, stress, and so on, the amount of free radicals in our bodies spikes up.
When the amount of free radicals reaches a level that overpowers the our body's antioxidants, our cells get damaged.
This is a process known as oxidative stress.
In fact, many studies have shown that diseases like cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, stroke and so on, are related to oxidative stress. Aging in its simplest form, is also driven by oxidative stress.
And our skin - our body’s largest organ, is most susceptible to oxidative stress because it is in direct contact with the external environment.
Photo by Min An
This is why maintaining an adequate supply of antioxidants is so important for our health, and also for beauty. Because when your body can't handle all those free radicals, it will show up on your skin as wrinkles, dryness, and saggy skin.
Mother nature has given us many types of foods that are good sources of antioxidants.
But did you know that not all antioxidants are equally effective?
Today, I'm going to let you in on a little secret - antioxidants are ranked on a hierarchy:
Photo credit: slite.my
At the bottom of the pyramid, you have your minerals, protein, vitamins , carotenoids, and so on. These are what we call secondary antioxidants and they cannot be produced by your body so you must consume them through food. They work by scavenging free radicals one by one.
In contrast, the antioxidants at the top of the pyramid are your primary antioxidants. They are produced naturally in plants and animals, and are far more powerful in fighting free radicals. These primary antioxidants work by preventing free radicals from being formed in the first place, and they work at an ultra high speed to neutralize any molecule that has the potential of developing into a free radical.
If you compare primary vs secondary antioxidants, it's like a hand pistol vs. a machine gun.
At the top of the pyramid is SOD- superoxide dismutase. This is the most powerful of all the antioxidants and scientists call it the "enzyme of life".
SOD is our body's first line of defence and nothing even comes close. To give you an example of how powerful SOD is, it's 50x stronger than CoQ 10, 10x stronger than Glutathione, 3500x stronger than Vit C.
In fact, SOD has been used to treat brain damage, diabetes, cancer, and
rheumatoid arthritis (Younus, 2018).
Just take a moment to absorb that.
Isn't it amazing?
By now, you're probably asking "how can I get more SOD in my diet?"
The truth is, all plants contain SOD but in varying amounts. The table below shows a couple of plants which have the highest levels of SOD:
As you can see, Emerald Lemons trump them all. And that's why we've used it to create an amazing supplement called Lumina.
Lumina is a beverage that contains the Emerald Lemon extract - the plant with the highest amount of SOD. To enhance its antioxidant effect, these emerald lemons are cultivated for 5 years in very limited quantities in Ping Tung, Taiwan, then extracted using patented technology. Every part of the lemon, from its skin to its pith, is used to ensure no wastage of nutrients. All of these extracts are then fermented to reduce their molecular size. This step is crucial in order to ensure that the nutrients are tiny enough to be absorbed by our bodies.
In addition to Emerald Lemon, Lumina also contains other awesome ingredients that promote fairer and more radiant skin. If you're keen to achieve that, check out Lumina right now.
Reference: Younus H. Therapeutic potentials of superoxide dismutase. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2018 May-Jun;12(3) 88-93.