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Antioxidants: Nature's Best Defense Against Free Radicals

Potent substances called antioxidants afford us the best prospect for disease prevention, toxin protection and sustained longevity and vigor. In light of this fact, making sure we arm our cellular systems with adequate supplies of antioxidants should become one of our first health priorities. It has now been established that more than 60 human diseases involve free-radical damage, including cancer and heart disease. Several natural protectants against free radicals, which are also called free radical scavengers, have the chemical ability to donate electrons to free radical molecules, thereby making them more stable and less dangerous. Some of the most common of these free radical scavengers or antioxidants include vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A and beta carotene, coenzyme Q10, selenium, proanthocyanidins, glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, superoxide dismutase, bioflavonoids, melatonin, bilberry (herb), and Ginkgo biloba (herb).

Each of the antioxidant compounds listed are discussed in more detail in the appropriate reference sections of this book. At this point, we will discuss the role of bioflavonoids.

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