Everything You Need To Know About Antioxidants + How They Can Increase Your Longevity

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In my telehealth functional medicine clinic, I find that cellular health is often overlooked. However, almost everything about our health can be traced back to the health of our cells. 

Considered “the building blocks of life”, every one of your 37.2 trillion cells come together to make up various areas of your body including your muscles, organs, bones, and skin. They are responsible for taking in nutrients, converting nutrients into energy, keeping all systems of your body properly functioning, and skin looking youthful.

That’s why we need to do everything in our power to facilitate vibrant cellular health, including upping our antioxidant support.

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What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Their main role is to inhibit oxidation from outside triggers like toxins, poor diet, stress, excessive sun exposure, When excessive oxidation occurs, your body produces free radicals that end up damaging your cells.

Since your body doesn’t naturally produce antioxidants on its own, getting enough through diet and supplementation is necessary to fight off the onslaught of oxidative stressors that we face in our modern world.

There are actually many well-known nutrients that are considered to be antioxidants, including:

  • Vitamins: E, C, A (also known as Beta-Carotene)
  • Enzymes: Glutathione, Superoxide dismutase, Catalases
  • Phytochemicals: Carotenoids, Flavonoids, Polyphenols

Thankfully, a lot of these nutrients - specifically polyphenols and vitamins - can be found in abundance in a variety of vegetables and fruits. Some of the most extensively studied fruits include:

     1. Blueberries + Cranberries

These popular berries have been shown to be highly effective at ridding the body of free radical damage and can increase the body's overall antioxidant levels. (1) 

     2. Bilberry + Chokeberry

Has been shown to significantly increase the concentration of health-supporting polyphenols in plasma. (2)

     3. Goji berries 

Consumed for over 2000 years for their health-promoting benefits, research shows that goji juice supplementation can increase antioxidant markers. (3)

     4. Mangosteen

This "berry-type" fruit has long been used in traditional medicine and has recently been studied for its role in antioxidant and immune support. (4)

     5. Pomegranate + Grapes

Pomegranate and grape juice has been found to support optimal cardiovascular health and function. (5)

     6. Apples 

You might be familiar with the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Research supports this age-old wisdom showing that apple polyphenols play a protective role in lowering oxidative stress.

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How can this tie into longevity?

While it’s important to support cellular health in the short-term, it also makes an incredible difference long-term as it also plays a role in your overall longevity by preserving telomere length.

Telomeres are little cap-like structures on the ends of your chromosomes that are responsible for healthy cell function. As time passes, telomeres become shorter, which leads to aging and chronic disease. In fact, science has discovered that telomere length is directly related to longevity with free radical damage being one of the main contributors to telomere shortening.

The takeaway

Needless to say, if you want to live a long, thriving life, you’ll want to prioritize your cellular health with antioxidant support.

But since the standard American diet contains very little fruits and vegetables, most people don't get the amount of antioxidants needed to support radiant health.

For this reason, I curated The Antioxidant with some of the most antioxidant-rich sources of berries to fight oxidative stress head-on.

To take advantage of nature’s next-level anti-aging sources I’ve included concentrated whole-fruit extracts from all 6 of these extensively studied fruits - blueberry, grape, pomegranate, cranberry, chokeberry, mangosteen, goji berry, bilberry, and apple.

Plus, every bottle goes through a multiple-stage quality assurance program to ensure the highest level of potency, safety, integrity, and purity in each batch of fruit extracts from field to finished product. 

To help you look and feel your best, I am offering an exclusive 15% off The Antioxidant from now until Sunday July 24! Just use the code "DWC" at checkout!

As one of the first functional medicine telehealth clinics in the world, we provide webcam health consultations for people around the globe.

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References:

  1. Zheng, Wei, and Shiow Y Wang. “Oxygen radical absorbing capacity of phenolics in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry vol. 51,2 (2003): 502-9. doi:10.1021/jf020728u
  2. Erlund, Iris et al. “Favorable effects of berry consumption on platelet function, blood pressure, and HDL cholesterol.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 87,2 (2008): 323-31. doi:10.1093/ajcn/87.2.323
  3. Amagase, Harunobu et al. “Lycium barbarum (goji) juice improves in vivo antioxidant biomarkers in serum of healthy adults.” Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.) vol. 29,1 (2009): 19-25. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2008.11.005
  4. Sukatta, Udomlak et al. “Distribution of major xanthones in the pericarp, aril, and yellow gum of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana linn.) fruit and their contribution to antioxidative activity.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry vol. 77,5 (2013): 984-7. doi:10.1271/bbb.120931
  5. Barona, Jacqueline et al. “Grape polyphenols reduce blood pressure and increase flow-mediated vasodilation in men with metabolic syndrome.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 142,9 (2012): 1626-32. doi:10.3945/jn.112.162743

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BY DR. WILL COLE

Evidence-based reviewed article

Dr. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC, leading functional medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. He received his doctorate from Southern California University of Health Sciences and post doctorate education and training in functional medicine and clinical nutrition. He specializes in clinically researching underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is the best selling author of Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum.