Stay Cautious of Antioxidants, Informs Scientific Review

Stay Cautious of Antioxidants, Informs Scientific Review

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 20 Jul 2016 - 16:27


Several nutritional products warn of oxygen radicals or oxidative stress and suggest taking antioxidants to prevent or cure diseases. Professor Pietro Ghezzi at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School and Professor Harald Schmidt at the University of Maastricht on analyzing the evidence behind this, clearly warn against using these supplements, unless you are diagnosed of a clear deficiency by your health professional.

An antioxidant is a chemical that reduces the rate of particular oxidation reactions in a specific context. All cells contain complex systems of antioxidants to prevent chemical damage to the cells' components by oxidation.

Though studies have suggested antioxidant supplements has benefits for health, there is no demonstration of definite benefit for the formulations tested in many of the large clinical trials on the other hand excess supplementation may even be harmful.

While we depend on oxygen to produce energy, oxygen, with its potential to generate oxygen radicals may cause oxidative stress. The markers of oxidative stress have been associated with conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes etc. To prevent the risk of developing diseases, several people take antioxidants, however, none of the antioxidants tested in randomized clinical trials have demonstrated any benefit.

Although oxygen radicals are known to trigger disease they also perform important functions in the body for immune defense and hormone synthesis. Thus anti-oxidants will interfere with both healthy and disease-triggering oxygen molecules.

As per the review is published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, "Oxidative stress could be important in some conditions and only in a small proportion of patients," said Prof. Ghezzi. Prof. Schmidt adds, "It can be targeted in a totally different manner, with drugs targeted only at those sources of oxygen molecules that are triggers of disease and leave the healthy ones alone."

Reference: Wiley; British Journal of Pharmacology, 2016



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