Our body is made up of trillion cells and each cell is made up of many atoms. The healthy atom consists of paired electrons. When the atoms are healthy the cells replicate and keep the body healthy and young. Cell is where the energy for our body is created. As the body uses oxygen to create energy, by-products from this activity cause oxidative damage to the cells of the body.
A free radical is an oxygen molecule that has at least one unpaired electron in its outer orbit. When it is unbalanced (lacking paired electron) it literally go mad and tries to steal an electron from neighbouring cells. When your body produces more free radicals than it can handle, it creates an ‘oxidative stress’. What is the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word ‘oxidation’, you are right- it is the same process that causes a cut apple to turn brown. This is mostly the cause, for majority of the chronic diseases.
Antioxidants have “extra” electrons that they can give it to the free radicals to neutralize its effects on our body. Your body needs to have enough to neutralize the number of free radicals produced, that way we can avoid long term problems created by the free radicals. It is found in certain foods and either prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. The main antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E, and the minerals copper, zinc and selenium.
RDA is the short term for Recommended Dietary Allowance. It is the amount of minimal nutrition a person need for a day to keep the body healthy. It is actually established in early 1900s to prevent deficiencies like pellagra, scurvy and rickets. RDA can be reached by healthy diet as recommended by our doctors. But it was in early 1900 and the food they consumed compared to the current one differs in its nutritional value. But we can neither rely on diet alone at present nor the level of RDA needed for the day.
We need optimal level of nutrient to ward off the evil forces of degenerative diseases. As we all know through our trusted tv ads how many of each food item that we need to consume even to reach the level of nutrients provided by the supplements that are available in the supermarket shelf. So do the math to find out how much has to be consumed if we need to reach the optimal level of nutrient. That is practically impossible!!
We do get confused by the contradicting statements we hear from the health authorities regarding supplements. Supplements are vitamins and minerals that have been extracted from a plant or created in a laboratory and put into a form that can be ingested and used by the body.
1. It must contain all the vitamins and minerals it states in the label of the bottle
2. Properly balanced and high quality
3. It should be readily absorbed by the body to provide the benefit to consumer
4. Advance dosage
5. Safe and convenient
And above all it needs to work. The name brand products that we find in our supermarket s and pharmacy shelves do contain very elaborate labels, but they are all made to food standards and it won’t contain the high quality that we seek.
The nutritional supplement companies are not required to follow any standard quality manufacturing. Mostly they contain 20% of the listed ingredients. I always thought what is in the label is what the product contains when it comes to nutritional supplement.
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