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The Power of Antioxidants
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Tags: vitamin C, power of antioxidants, boosting your immune system fight off free radicals

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There are some nutrients worth adding in larger amounts that fight off infection that come from dangerous oxidising chemicals known as free radicals. Vitamins A, C and E, Zinc and Selenium disarm free radicals allowing your immune system to remain strong and healthy.


Vitamin A also strengthens and maintains the digestive tract, lungs and all cell membranes, helping to prevent foreign agents from entering the body and viruses entering cells, in addition, Vitamin A and Betacarotene are potent antioxidants.  An ideal intake of Betacarotene is between 10,000 (3300ug) to 50,000ius (16,500ug) per day.


We should also note that many foreign agents produce free oxidising radicals as part of their defense system.  Our own immune system also produces free radicals to destroy such invaders.  With this in mind, there is an advantage of receiving a high intake of antioxidant nutrients to help protect your immune cells from these unwanted free radicals.


Selenium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc, all have qualities to positively support your immune system; selenium and zinc are probably overall the most effective.  Zinc is critical for immune cell production and proper functioning of B- and T-cells. With an intake of 15-25mg each day, zinc maybe beneficial during a viral infection, however, it may not be good to use during a bacterial infection, the same could also be true for using iron.


While iron deficiency suppresses immune function, too much can reduce the ability to destroy bacteria.  The body automatically initiates a series of defense mechanisms when an infection is present and therefore could stop the invader absorbing iron, this is why it is wise not to use iron during a bacterial infection.


Vitamin C is the master immune boosting nutrient, it helps immune cells to mature and therefore improves the performance of antibodies and macrophages.  Vitamin C is very good at destroying toxins produced by bacteria, it is in itself anti-viral and anti-bacterial.  In addition Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine, it calms down inflammation and simulates the body’s defense system to produce interferon, which in turn boosts immunity.


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