Antioxidants May Increase Your Life Expectancy
A study conducted on mice suggests that antioxidants (as found in fruits, vegetables and legumes) are not only crucial in increasing a mouses life expectancy, but also adding years to a human’s life.
According to the study mice that had many antioxidants in their bodies lived approximately five months longer, which is an 18.5% increase in life span for a mouse, declares the study.
Heart disease, cataract development, and other signs of age-related damage were delayed or reduced, the researchers report in Science Express, the advanced online edition of Science.
What Makes Us Age?
Everyone gets older. But why do health problems often increase along with the number of candles on your birthday cake?
One hypothesis is the "free radical" theory of aging. That’s what Rabinovitch and colleagues tested.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells by interfering with their normal functioning. Some experts believe that the free-radical damage results in age-related diseases, such as cataracts and heart disease.
These unstable molecules lack a key component. When free radicals try to obtain that component, they kill other cells and damage their DNA, which can lead to abnormalities. If there are not enough antioxidants to stop those wildly aggressive free radicals, it will take its toll on the body and can ultimately lead to death, according to the theory.
Antioxidants are easy to find. People can get antioxidants from a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and black, green and white tea. Isolated antioxidants in form of vitamins, minerals or as isolated phyto-chemicals, such as for instance beta carotene or lycopene have been shown to be worth little. In certain cases, the use of those isolated forms may even be harmful.
Have you ever seen a tree that produces a vitamin C or a bush that grows a lutein? Of cause you haven’t. The reason why nature does not produce isolated nutrients is that nutrients need other nutrients to become effectively utilized by the body.
"These results support the free radical theory of aging," write the researchers.
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