Antioxidants are molecules that can prevent or slow down the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can damage cells and DNA. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidation. Antioxidants can help to protect cells from damage by free radicals.
There are many different types of antioxidants, and they work in different ways. Some antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, can directly scavenge free radicals. This means that they can donate an electron to a free radical, which stabilizes the free radical and prevents it from damaging other molecules. Other antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q10 and glutathione, can help to repair damage that has already been caused by free radicals.
Antioxidants can be found in many different foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. They can also be taken as supplements. There is some evidence that taking antioxidants can help to protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Here are some of the ways that antioxidants protect cells from stress:
Scavenging free radicals: Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells. Antioxidants can help to protect cells by scavenging free radicals before they can cause damage.
Reducing inflammation: Inflammation is a natural immune response, but it can become chronic and harmful. Antioxidants can help to reduce inflammation by preventing the production of inflammatory molecules.
Promoting cell repair: Antioxidants can help to repair damage that has already been caused by free radicals. This can help to protect cells from further damage and improve their function.
Boosting the immune system: The immune system is responsible for fighting off infection. Antioxidants can help to boost the immune system by protecting cells from damage and helping them to function properly.
Overall, antioxidants play an important role in protecting cells from stress. They can help to scavenge free radicals, reduce inflammation, promote cell repair, and boost the immune system. By consuming a diet rich in antioxidants or taking antioxidant supplements, you can help to protect your cells from damage and improve your overall health.
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