Antioxidants

antioxidantfoods

Antioxidant Help Reduce Inflammation

Antioxidants – everybody has probably heard of this term. But what does it mean? You may have heard awhile ago about the health benefits of antioxidants, but do you know what an antioxidant is – and how they actually work? Can they help to slow down not only the process of aging, but of psoriasis for example?

One of the most exciting fields of present-day research concerns antioxidants and the important role they play in combating the effects of so- called “free radicals”. Not only has this research produced evidence that well-known nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, and B complex, can prevent aging, but new compounds found in foods which we were not aware of a few decades ago, are constantly being added to the anti-aging arsenal. In the past few years many new antioxidant nutrients, such as bioflavonoids, catechins, and ubiquinones have been identified in common foods and beverages.

Antioxidants are dietary substances including some nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamins C and E and selenium, that can prevent damage to your body cells or repair damage that has been done. Antioxidants work by significantly slowing or preventing the oxidative – or damage from oxygen – process caused by substances called free radicals that can lead to cell dysfunction and the onset of problems like heart disease and diabetes, but also of the inflammation underpinning psoriasis. Antioxidants may also improve immune function and perhaps lower your risk for infection and cancer.

Antioxidants Counteract Oxidative Stress

To counteract oxidative stress, the body produces an armory of antioxidants to defend itself. It is the job of antioxidants to neutralize or ‘mop up’ free radicals that can harm our cells. Antioxidants are important for those with psoriasis, because they reduce the body’s ability to create unnecessary inflammation. Your body’s ability to produce antioxidants (its metabolic process) is controlled by your genetic makeup and influenced by your exposure to environmental factors such as diet, stress, and various other factors. Changes in our lifestyles, which include more environmental pollution and less quality in our diets, mean that we are exposed to more free radicals than ever before.

How Much Antioxidants Do I Need?

Your body’s internal production of antioxidants is not enough to neutralize all the free radicals. You can help your body to defend itself by increasing your dietary intake of antioxidants. By eating a minimum of three to five serves of vegetables daily and two servings of fruit, you are on your way to getting plenty of antioxidants, and by taking an antioxidant dietary supplement along with your Psoriasis Diet, you will be ensuring you have no deficit in antioxidants.

Psoriasis is classified as an auto-immune illness and is characterized by inflammation affecting the skin, it includes redness, pain, sometimes localized heat, as well as dry and cracked patches of skin. Injury to the sin layers due to scratching are a major catalyst for inflammation. Not only does injury to the skin occur with psoriasis, for those with psoriatic arthritis there is also the pain and inflammation of joints to deal with. It is therefore very important to keep any excessive and inappropriate inflammatory response to a minimum. An antioxidant supplement helps normalize capillary permeability to prevent the leakage of fluid into the layers of skin that causes swelling. It also helps by neutralizing free radicals that promote swelling and inflammation. A powerful antioxidant possess multiple anti-inflammatory activities, making it an excellent choice as a natural product in the treatment of psoriasis.

Inflammation Is One Of The Main Drivers Of Psoriasis

In the acute inflammatory response the production of this entire battery of free radicals is an important mechanism that is necessary to fight of invading pathogens. However, the problems begin when the inflammatory process persists and becomes chronic, because the inherently high level of oxidative stress turns against the healthy body tissues. In diseases, such as in autoimmune disorders like psoriasis where inflammation manifests chronically, free radicals are permanently produced and have the capacity to cause tissue destruction. It is in particular important in psoriasis that managing oxidative stress levels should be considered as part of the general therapy.

Why Use Antioxidants In Support Of Inflammatory Disorders?

Evidence for the role of antioxidants in disorders of chronic inflammation comes from many studies on the consequences of the elevated oxidant levels. We can measure the response of inflammation by way of biomarkers of cellular damage, which are indicative of oxidative stress. Flavonoids are uniquely suited as a support or single therapy in the treatment of inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis due to their combination of super powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Reasons To Use Antioxidants

The reasons to use antioxidants in the management of inflammatory skin disorders like psoriasis include:

  • In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, the flavonoids found in antioxidant formulations may also have beneficial effects in psoriatic arthritic diseases by positively influencing the balance between synthesis and degradation of extra-cellular cartilage constituents. This basically means that evidence for this action comes from inhibition of type II collagen breakdown.
  • The radical scavenging capacity of antioxidants, and particularly proanthocyanidins, is many times higher than that of the vitamin antioxidants for a wide range of radicals.
  • Because of the potency of antioxidants and the chemical diversity of multi-compound flavonoid extracts, I strongly recommend a top quality antioxidant supplement in therapeutic efforts to lower oxidative stress levels.
  • Flavonoids have been shown to inhibit the production of ROS (reactive oxygen species), the activity of the ROS generating enzymes MPO and NADPH oxidase, and several signal transducing enzymes involved in the cell activation in neutrophils.
  • Antioxidants have been shown to reduce bio-markers of oxidative cell damage in cell culture systems, as well as in many animal models and human studies.
  • Antioxidants inhibit lipid peroxidation, this can be by direct radical scavenging or by chelation properties of transition metals.
  • Antioxidants have direct anti-inflammatory properties that have been documented in many studies. The anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids include cyclooxygenase.

Conclusion

Antioxidants that contain ample levels of flavonoids are very promising agents for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as well as in other inflammatory diseases. Antioxidants therefore possess multiple anti-inflammatory activities, making it an excellent choice as a support agent in the treatment of psoriasis.