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Myths and Facts About Antioxidants

Mar 13, 2024
Myths and Facts About Antioxidants
What’s all the hype about antioxidants, and can you believe any of it? Stop taking medical advice from social media influencers and get the scientific facts from our experts.

You hear about antioxidants everywhere you turn — newspapers, magazines, health stores, and your social media feed — but what are they exactly?

Can you believe the reports about these seemingly magical substances touted as the panacea for everything from cancer to aging? 

Although there’s no denying the importance of antioxidants in maintaining good health, it’s crucial to separate fact from fiction. So, our experienced physicians at Advanced Medical Care are here to explain antioxidants and unravel the myths and facts surrounding them.

Antioxidants 101

At the most basic level, antioxidants defend your cells against free radicals — harmful molecules produced when your body breaks down food or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. 

Free radicals can not only damage cells, but they can also have a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

There is more than one type of antioxidant, and each one has its own unique benefits. Here are some of the more common antioxidants:

Vitamin C is known for boosting the immune system; get more by eating citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli.

Vitamin E protects your cells from damage. Find it in nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A in your body. Foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach contain a lot of beta-carotene. 

Glutathione deserves its own category. Often called the “master antioxidant,” glutathione is a small protein composed of three amino acids — cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine.

Your cells naturally produce glutathione, which primarily combats free radicals. But glutathione is a highly versatile molecule that also plays a vital role in regulating immune function, detoxification, and cell function.

One of the unique qualities of glutathione is its location — right inside your cells. This strategic positioning allows it to neutralize free radicals at the source, preventing cell damage before it even begins. That’s why glutathione has earned its title as the “master antioxidant.”

However, glutathione levels can diminish due to poor nutrition, environmental toxins, and stress. Lower levels of glutathione can leave your cells vulnerable to oxidative stress, leading to inflammation and disease.

You can support your body’s glutathione production by eating a diet rich in sulfur-containing foods, like garlic and onions, which boost glutathione levels. Exercise, adequate sleep, and stress reduction also help you maintain optimal glutathione levels.

Debunking antioxidant myths

Despite the hype, not all claims about antioxidants hold water. Here are a few common misconceptions:

Myth 1: More antioxidants mean better health

Fact: Though antioxidants are essential, more isn’t always better. Your body maintains a delicate balance; excessive antioxidant supplements can upset this equilibrium.

Myth 2: All antioxidants are the same

Fact: Different antioxidants provide different benefits. Try to consume a variety of antioxidant-rich foods for overall health.

Myth 3: Antioxidants can replace a healthy diet

Fact: Antioxidants are part of a healthy diet, not a substitute for it. They work best when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

Incorporating antioxidants into your routine

Our Advanced Medical Care experts always urge our patients to get their daily dose of antioxidants through a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. 

However, when your body needs a boost, we can help.

Our glutathione IV treatment delivers this powerful antioxidant directly into your bloodstream, where it helps remove toxins and fights free radicals quickly. Visit our Wellness and Longevity page for a list of conditions glutathione addresses — you might be surprised. 

Book an appointment online, or call Advanced Medical Care in Queens or Brooklyn, New York, to find out if you can benefit from antioxidant therapy.

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At Advanced Medical Care, care is not just a part of our name — it is in our hearts. Our providers strive to put our patients first and find solutions to meet their needs on every level. If you’re ready to start improving your health, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at our office in Queens or Brooklyn.