Free radicals are very reactive molecules that reproduce a response to the environmental toxins and cellular actions in your body. This is typically a result of energy production in your mitochondria that happens when you burn your food as fuel.
But what are mitochondria? Well, in short, mitochondria are the vital engines in nearly every one of your cells that produce over 90% of the energy currents in your body. These energy currents are known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is your body’s biochemical way to store and use energy.
In the past, many thought it was wise to indiscriminately suppress those productions of free radicals with antioxidants, but newer research shows that isn’t such a wise strategy.
Hormesis and Polyphenols: Why Are They Important for Your Mitochondria?
There are special types of non-typical antioxidants that produce their effects through a process called hormesis, a term we use to describe health benefits from taking low doses of something that is otherwise toxic, or even lethal at higher doses.
For example, many of the fruits and veggies you eat are loaded with natural compounds called polyphenols. The plant produces these polyphenols to ward off pests and predators.
The polyphenols are toxic to the predators, but since we are much larger, and we take them in far smaller doses, they actually cause our body to develop a protective response that makes us stronger.¬† You can improve mitochondrial dysfunction by taking advantage of these beneficial polyphenols.
And one very special type of polyphenol is called resveratrol, which is extracted from Japanese Knotweed Root.
Resveratrol Works as a Potent Antioxidant
Resveratrol may help promote a normal immune response in your body. Plus, resveratrol potentially benefits you by how it:-
- Protects your cellular DNA from free radical damage
- Supports blood pressure levels already within the normal range
- Helps support your heart health
Resveratrol reduces oxidative stress damage to your cardiovascular system by neutralising free radicals. And it helps support your body’s inherent defence system, too.
This potent antioxidant is somewhat different than other antioxidants. It not only helps you neutralise harmful free radicals, but it can cross the blood-brain barrier to help protect your brain and nervous system as well.
All This From a Glass of Red Wine?
Many folks believe that a good way to promote health is to drink a glass of red wine on a regular basis. There may be some truth here. Red wine does contain resveratrol. However, there’s one catch; you would need several bottles of wine per day to experience any of the benefits scientists have uncovered with resveratrol.
And drinking large amounts of wine or other alcoholic beverages not only places stress on your liver, but also increases your insulin levels, which can negatively impact on your health. Further, many experts are now questioning the value of drinking wine for health reasons at all. Its dangers may easily outweigh any potential benefits resveratrol can provide.
Let’s discuss some simple ways you can take control of unhealthy free radical levels.
Neutralising the Free Radical Threat
Every day of your life, you face exposure to dangerous free radicals. No matter how healthy a lifestyle you lead or how nutritious and clean a diet you eat, this is simply a fact of life. Fortunately, it’s not all bad, as your normal bodily functions such as breathing, metabolism, and physical activity generate free radicals. Your immune system also generates free radicals to help neutralise viruses and bacteria.
But some free radicals are the result of environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, pesticides, and cigarette smoking. As part of normal functioning, your body is capable of keeping free radicals in check and neutralising them, unless you:-
- Eat a diet consisting mostly of processed junk food
- Cut corners on getting enough sleep on a daily basis
- Ignore your need for regular exercise
- Find yourself under a great deal of stress
- Expose yourself to a high number of environmental free radicals
Exposing your body to these types of conditions may overwhelm it with free radicals and cause damage. Plus, free radical damage accumulates over time. So, the longer your lifestyle and environment expose you to this damage, the greater your consequences, and the greater potential impacts to your overall health.
First of all, address the unhealthy habits listed above. Then consider going the next step and find ways to fortify your healthy diet with antioxidant-rich food. Antioxidants provide your body with built-in protection against free radicals and help you neutralise and keep them under control.
Two Different Types of Antioxidants You Need to Fight Pesky Free Radicals
Antioxidants provide your body with built-in protection against free radicals and help you neutralise and keep them under control. Your body needs both types of antioxidants because each one targets different types of cells and tissues for free radical scavenging…
- Lipid-soluble antioxidants: These are localised to cellular membranes and lipoproteins. They protect cell membranes from lipid peroxidation. Examples of lipid-soluble antioxidants include… vitamins E, A, beta-carotene and astaxanthin
- Water-soluble antioxidants: These are present in aqueous fluids, such as blood and intracellular and extracellular fluids. They react with oxidants in the cell cytosol (fluid portion of cytoplasm) and the blood plasma. Examples of water-soluble antioxidants include… vitamin C, glutathione, and catechins
The bottom line; to fight and help neutralise pesky free radicals, you need both types of antioxidants from as many sources as possible. When taken together, the efficacy of lipid- and water-soluble antioxidants is enhanced even more.
When it comes to a lipid-soluble antioxidant, Dr Mercola believes they’ve identified a super-nutrient like no other in astaxanthin. Dr. Mercola believes resveratrol is one of your best sources for a water-soluble antioxidant. However, as with just about every nutrient, if you can get it from the food you eat, that’s their top recommendation.
Why Eating Grapes May Not Be the Best Way to Get Resveratrol
With an overall 3,500 ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value per capsule, Purple Defense capsules provide a powerful antioxidant blend.
The ORAC value for Purple Defense is achieved by using the most sophisticated and accurate equipment possible. The machine is a fluorescence microplate reader (Fluoroskan Ascent FL).
ORAC values can easily be inflated with any machine though. Using an ethanol solvent will artificially inflate the ORAC value. That’s why each batch is tested using an acetone/water solvent. So you can rest assured that you’re actually getting 3,500 in each dose.
Now that Dr. Mercola has clearly identified resveratrol as one of your best water-soluble antioxidant sources, what is the best way to make sure you consume enough of this antioxidant?
Just like there are issues with other fruits, vegetables, and red wine, such is the case with grapes. You see, the skin and seeds of the grapes provide you with the most potent supplies of antioxidants… not the fruit itself.
The meat of the fruit contains sugary fructose that can raise your insulin levels. And of course you can’t really ingest the skins without eating the fruit inside, too!
As for grape seeds, most people don’t like to eat them as they tend to be tough and have a somewhat bitter taste. And some grape processing actually removes the seeds prior to distribution at your local store.