Call Today: 248.844.1414 | 1854 W. Auburn Rd. #400, Rochester Hills, MI 48309

Antioxidants, Free Radicals and the Harmful Effects of Aging

Antioxidants are an important part of a healthy diet, but until recent years, they didn’t get a whole lot of press. That’s because until recently, there hadn’t been a lot of research on what they were and how they worked in the body to help stave off disease and keep the aging processes in check.

Today, we know there are lots of reasons to include antioxidants in our diets, but many people still aren’t entirely sure what they do. To understand how they work, we have to take a quick trip back to chemistry class to learn about free radical atoms.

The body contains billions of cells, many of which aid in metabolism, which is essentially the conversion of food into usable energy. You may remember that cells are made up of atoms, which have a nucleus filled with protons and rings (OK, valences) containing electrons. In stable atoms and molecules, the numbers of protons and electrons are equal; when they aren’t equal, the atom or molecule is said to be unstable, and it spends a lot of time trying to either add or get rid of electrons so it can become stable.

Free radicals lack electrons, and in the process of trying to become stable, they wind up harming other molecules, causing microscopic damage that can result in significant health issues over time, including premature aging. Antioxidants help by providing “extra” electrons to free radicals, essentially stabilizing them and making them harmless.

To make sure you’re getting enough antioxidants, you may think all you have to do is bulk up on as many supplements as you can. But that’s not a healthy option to take. As it turns out, free radicals aren’t all bad – in fact, they perform some critical immune functions that help us ward off disease and infection. That means it’s essential to get the perfect balance of free radicals and antioxidants to maximize their important anti-aging benefits.

Including antioxidant rich nutrients and even supplements is often suggested as a method to reduce free radicals but it is unlikely that haphazard ingestion of antioxidants will provide the optimum levels that you need.

As a leading functional medicine physician, Dr. Waller understands the important role antioxidants play in anti-aging programs and in total body health – and she also understands how difficult it can be to figure out how to balance antioxidant-rich foods and supplements in your daily diet so you get maximum benefits without “overdoing it.” Working with men and women throughout the Rochester Hills area, Dr. Waller identifies each person’s unique health needs to develop an overall health and wellness plan that helps ensure a healthy balance of antioxidants and other critical nutrients so you can enjoy optimal health.

Suggested Reading

Age-Old Advice for Anti-Aging Success

Every culture has their own set of old wives tales about how to live a healthy life. For example, it is actually common practice in Norway to set strollers outside in the winter for a “sub-zero nap” – something that no one in Rochester Hills would dream of doing during the harsh months of the Michigan winter. The point here being that before you jump into an odd habit in the name of living a healthier lifestyle, it is a good idea to take a step back and consider the actual medical benefits that are associated with it. [Read more]

How to Maintain Strong Hair and Nails

Your nails and hair can reflect the state of your body’s overall health and nutritional makeup, whether it’s well-nourished or has biochemical imbalances. In order to achieve healthy hair and strong nails, it’s essential to get the proper nutrients to enhance their beauty from the inside out. [Read more]

Your Skin and Aging: What You Need to Know

For most of us, the first telltale signs of aging show up in our skin – and it’s no wonder: Our skin really takes a beating: exposed to sun, wind, dry air, and extreme fluctuations in temperature, not to mention nutritional and hormonal influences that contribute to aging skin. [Read more]

Maintaining Bone Density with Age

Did you know that bone density testing can help you stay on top of your risk of osteoporosis? [Read more]

10 Ways to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis

Half of all women will have osteoporosis by age 60. One in five women will have a hip fracture in her lifetime, and 50% of them will never walk again. [Read more]