Antioxidant benefits primarily focus on the prevention of free radical damage to the body, which can cause a variety of health problems that range from cancer and autoimmune disorders to age-related issues such as macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.
When used in conjunction with a lifestyle that contains no smoking, limited alcohol use, exercise and a balanced diet, antioxidant supplements can potentially lengthen your lifespan by as much as five to ten years while also preventing the early onset of heart disease.
Antioxidant-rich foods include:
Despite the health benefits, many individuals still prefer not to eat some of these foods due to allergies or personal taste.
Fortunately, you can still easily reap the antioxidant benefits by taking krill oil supplements.
What is an Antioxidant?
As both a nutrient and an enzyme, antioxidants increase or decrease the oxidation process occurring within cells of living organisms, thereby reducing and augmenting the amount of damage done to the organism’s system.
Krill oil contains large amounts of natural antioxidants such as vitamin E, carotene and omega 3 fatty acids, which is why krill oil is known to reduce the risk of a number of conditions including cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Antioxidants also help prevent arthritis and cataracts.
Antioxidant benefits are most apparent when combating stress damage to cells.
Atoms called free radicals, which are chemically unstable due to a lack of or excess of electrons, attack cells and strip them of electrons, which protect cell membranes and DNA from premature decay.
This definition of free radicals also includes a subtype of free radical known as reactive oxygen species or ROS considered the most harmful to the human body.
For example, when you see apple cores that are brown or pieces of iron that are rust-covered, this is exactly the same kind of corrosive oxidation which occurs to both the internal and external systems of our bodies when free radicals have no antioxidants to prevent them from wreaking havoc with normal cells.
Origin of Free Radicals
A number of environmental and lifestyle factors contribute to the production of free radicals. These outside influences that produce free radicals are:
• cigarette smoking
• excessive sunlight
We encounter a number of other toxic substances daily without realizing it.
In addition, our own bodies generate free radicals when our immune system expends energy to attack infections, parasites and bacteria.
When this occurs, an immune system, which is not functioning optimally, has no choice but to permit cells to lay unprotected and vulnerable to attack while it is busy using all of its resources in eliminating the infection.
Benefits of Krill Oil
Natural astaxanthin in krill oil contains antioxidant benefits in the form of omega-3 fatty acids not found in fish oil, an essential nutrient needed by the human body because we cannot naturally produce this type of fatty acid.
These omega-3’s– eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA)–have been shown in clinical studies to:
• reduce LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol
• increase HDL, the good kind of cholesterol
• alleviate high blood sugar levels in diabetics
• reduce the chance of developing heart disease
• eases the pain of inflammation from arthritis
• promotes immune system responses to infection
• decreases severity of premenstrual symptoms
• protects skin against UV damage
• improves cognition and mood
• creates healthy cell membranes which aids in cell functioning
In addition to these krill oil benefits, astaxanthin also contains substantial amounts of vitamins A, D and E, as well as the effective antioxidants astaxanthin and canthaxanthin.
Antioxidant Benefits of Astaxanthin in Krill Oil
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, an organic pigment that has qualities, which contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system in humans.
As a xanthophyll carotenoid found in plants, phytoplankton, fungi and marine organisms, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant containing anti-inflammatory properties caused by oxidative stress.
Krill oil is rich in this astaxanthin supplement, found to reduce lipid and protein oxidation in clinical trials involving patients who have taken krill oil supplements for several months.
Research has also shown that when an individual suffers a decrease in the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in krill oil supplements that this lack antioxidant benefits may actually encourage occurrences of latent inflammation, premature aging symptoms and oxidative stress.
Evolutionary Arms Race
Antioxidants and free radicals seem to have evolved to play out a sort of evolutionary arms race in the world of living organisms.
While antioxidants continue to fight against the harmful effects of electron-scavenging free radicals, these hyperactive little atoms continue to find new ways to emerge and proliferate.
This proliferation arises from conditions resulting from modern technology and unhealthy lifestyles chosen by individuals who probably do not realize the extent of what is happening at the subatomic level in their bodies.
Positive Effect on Aging
Researchers have recently been investigating the implications of antioxidant benefits of krill oil on slowing down the aging process.
Although the consensus among scientists is that our cells appear to be “programmed” for eventual death by our genes, antioxidants clearly have a beneficial effect on cells in that they avert free radicals from inflicting age-related impairment on cells.
Therefore, even though we do not yet know how to change genetic programming regarding longevity, the antioxidant benefits allow our cells to remain “young and healthy” way into the later years when the body literally begins shutting down due to this preprogrammed cell death.
Antioxidant benefits may also be implicated in trials performed using individuals suffering from depression or mild mood disorders.
One study done using twenty children diagnosed with depression found that of those children who took 1,000 milligrams of krill oil daily, 70 percent of them responded favorably.
By contrast, children who were given a placebo showed no response. In addition, the children did not experience any side effects from taking the krill oil supplements.
The antioxidant benefits of krill oil making establishing a regimen of taking krill oil supplements the wisest decision you can take for your health and future.
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