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Anti-oxidants in Ageing

What are Oxidants?
Oxidant chemicals, also called free radicals, are produced during normal aerobic cell respiration. They also occur when phagocytes, the cells that fight infections, destroy cells infected with bacteria or viruses, with bursts of nitric oxide, superoxide, and hypochlorite; when fatty acids are digested; and when certain enzymes are activated to fight toxins.
These free radicals damage the DNA that makes up our genes, those parts of the cell that control its reproduction. Lesions in DNA give rise to mutations when the cell divides, and these mutations can lead to tumors. (Other causes of DNA lesions and cell mutations are radiation, sun exposure, occupational exposure to chemicals, and — by far the worst of these — tobacco smoke).
What role do oxidants play in the Ageing Process?
"Ageing appears to be in good part due to the oxidants produced as byproducts of normal metabolism," according to Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California at Berkeley, and director of Berkeley's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center.
What are Anti-Oxidants? Where are they available?
Anti-Oxidants are those substances that act against oxidants to minimise the damage made by them. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables play a big role in minimizing cell damage by combining with and neutralizing free radicals. The most important antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene, all present in a well-balanced diet.
If Anti-Oxidants are taken in sufficient quantity, will they delay or stop the ageing process?
No, Anti-Oxidants will not delay ageing in healthy older people. But it does help to minimise the damage made by several diseases especially those associated with old age. Eg., Cancer, Neurological diseases, Complications of diabetes etc. But a lot of research is being done to find out the role of anti-oxidants in preventing the ageing process.
It is not sufficient to just take anti-oxidants. Physical exercise and a health lifestyle play a great role in dealing with ageing. Though exercise  increases aerobic respiration and the production of free radicals, it  reinforces the body's antioxidant defenses. It is also important to limit the  consumption of red meat and saturated fat.  It would also be ideal if we could prevent infectious diseases.
How does the body react against oxidants?
Our bodies have numerous ways of defending against damage caused by oxidation and repairing the lesions.These mechanisms are not perfect, however; some DNA inevitably remains damaged. As we get older, lesions accumulate until we might have a few million lesions per cell.
What is the best natural source of anti-oxidants available to us?
Fresh fruits, leafy green vegetables, carrots, citrus fruits, melons, oils from soyabean and sunflower, germs of wholegrains, nuts, papaya, mangoes and pumpkin are particularly good sources of antioxidant vitamins.
How much of fruits and vegetables should the elderly eat?
In India, undernutrition is a very major problem and it is the responsiblity of the entire family to see that the elders eat at least two fruits and three vegetables a day. This will provide sufficient quantity of anti-oxidants that they need.
Vitamin E 100 - 3200 IU / day
Vitamin C 500 -1000 mgm / day
Carotenoids 10 - 50 mgm / day
Selenium 100 - 300 mgm / day
Zinc 15 - 25 mgm / day

Amount of anti-oxidant rich food

600 gms / day
See also: Ageing






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Take plenty of fruits and vegetables. They are rich in anti-oxidatns

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A Positive Attitude is a Vital Factor in Ageing

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Guide to a Nutritious diet



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