Benefits of Antioxidants

by Andrew Wells | LAc


Each cell in the body is enclosed by a membrane. The vitality of this membrane determines the course of aging of the cell and hence, the body. Too little or too much oxygen (or in the wrong forms) creates toxic agents called ‘free radicals.’ These highly reactive substances can damage cell membranes so badly that cell age is accelerated, with immunity impaired and DNA codes altered. Results are degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, HIV or chronic fatigue. Antioxidants unite with oxygen, protecting the cells from being altered by oxidation, without interfering with necessary body biochemistry. A poor diet, inadequate exercise, illness and emotional stress all will diminish the body’s natural antioxidants. Also, one should consider the chemical and radiation pollutants we all come in contact with daily.

The following is a list of some antioxidants that can be beneficial for protective health care and healing:

Vitamin C

A primary preventative of free radical damage and immune strength. It protects against infection, radiation, environmental pollutants and heavy metal toxicity and is essential for formation of new collagen (connective tissue).

Vitamin E

A fat-soluble antioxidant and immune stimulant whose activity is enhanced by selenium. It is an effective anti-coagulant and vasodilator against blood clots and heart disease.


As mentioned works with vitamin E and is also protective for heavy metal toxicity.


This is a vitamin A precursor and is what makes carrots orange. It is a strong anti-infective and antioxidant for immune health, environmental pollutants and allergy control.

CoQ 10

An essential catalyst and co-factor for cellular energy in the body. Used in situations involving cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure) owing to its high concentration in heart muscle.


An antioxidant mineral that detoxifies and enhances immunity through increasing natural killer cells and stimulating interferon.


A Traditional Chinese Medicine Pharmacopia herb (called Huang Qi) that is a Qi tonic which enhances adrenal function and is an immune stimulant. It improves lung function, and as a vasodilator, lowers blood pressure and improves circulation as well as increasing metabolism.

Wheat Germ Oil

From the embryo of the wheat berry, it is rich in B vitamins, proteins, vitamin E and iron.

Shitake Mushrooms

Produces a virus, which stimulates immune function. It is used in Oriental Medicine to treat high blood pressure and heart disease and to lower cholesterol.

Reishi Mushrooms (Ganoderma)

Called Ling Shi in Chinese Medicine, it is a Qi tonic that increases vitality and enhances immunity and is frequently used to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

Ginkgo Biloba

Currently used to combat the effects of aging, especially circulation problems affecting the brain and cardiovascular systems as it reduces blood cell clumping.


A highly active bioflavonoid (strengthens blood vessels) extract from pine bark with far greater potency than vitamins E or C. Similar compounds are seen in grapeseed extract. They readily cross the blood-brain barrier to protect brain cells.

GLA, Gamma Linoleic Acid

An omega-3 oil obtained from evening primrose oil, black currant oil and borage seed oil. It is an energy source for cells and electrically insulates nerve fibers and a precursor for prostaglandins that regulate metabolism and inflammatory response.

As published in Wellness on Wheels Newsletter — March, 2016