Did You Know that Vitamin C Recycles Vitamin E?

old message Free Radicals and how to Combat Them! Darrell Miller 11/30/10

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Date: November 30, 2010 02:41 PM
Subject: Free Radicals and how to Combat Them!

Vitamin C and E

Chances are you have heard about antioxidants. They’re everywhere: in the news, on the internet, and, of course, in our body. The first group of antioxidants that spurred the war against free radicals are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. As early as the 15th century, seafarers knowingly consumed citrus fruits in treatment of scurvy, which today we refer to as a disease caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C. On the other hand, intake of green leafy vegetables results in healthy cells in the body, touted lately as one of the benefits of Vitamin E. Since the latter half of the 20th century the term antioxidants have come into wide use, sparking a series of studies that led scientists and health professionals to a much more well-informed understanding of how important these vitamins are to human life.

Antioxidants and Free Radicals

Two things about biochemistry that have been a part of our growing concern about eating right are antioxidants and free radicals, which you might have learned outside the classroom. The human body deploy free radicals for the purpose of killing harmful microorganisms, but somehow these chemical entities get out of control. It should be noted that most known free radicals are short-lived, explaining how we survive as they are toxic to the body. When not properly disposed of, free radicals are one of the reactive oxygen species that create a chain reaction damaging everything, including DNA. The problem arises when the body fails to detoxify these reactive oxygen species, and then the latter run amok inside the body. This is when antioxidants come into the picture.

Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Peroxyl Radicals

Vitamin C and Vitamin E are lipids that protect the interior of cells from the outside environment and play a role in storing energy for use by the human body. Different groups of lipids encompass several major chemical reactions in the body, including securing the proper functions of physiological communication lines. In a process called lipid peroxidation, peroxyl radicals go on a killing spree by depriving the lipids of electrons, which continues as they bring in more radicals. The human body make use of Vitamin C and Vitamin E to police the proliferation of lipid radicals in time to deactivate lipid radicals and avoid unwanted effects on cell membranes.

Ascorbate and Tocopherol as Co-Antioxidants

In chemical reactions, the body utilizes forms of tocopherol in Vitamin E and ascorbate ions in Vitamin C. These antioxidants work on the principle of pairing with peroxyl radicals, taking on radical forms, ascorbate and tocopherol, to stop the oxidation process initiated by free radicals. At the molecular level, ascorbate makes an ideal antioxidant as it does not react with oxygen and terminates harmful peroxyl radicals that continue to oxidize. Studies say that Vitamin C and Vitamin E are co-antioxidants in that ascorbate works with tocopherol. For example, when continuing oxidation damage lipids, tocopherol, Vitamin E, removes the harmful radicals, and ascorbate recycles Vitamin E back to its usable tocopherol form.

The Perfect Match

Alpha Lipoic Acid recycles both Vitamin C and Vitamin E because alpha lipoic acid is both water and fat soluble.

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