How Antioxidants Decline Due to Aging
Have you ever wondered why some age faster than others of the same age? Aging is influenced by your genes, but there are other factors too – environmental changes, stress, and the types of food we eat.
Studies suggest that chronic stress, exposure to environmental toxins, and consumption of processed food are among the primary reasons for accelerated aging. There is also evidence that premature aging is caused by free radical generation in the body (1), which can result due to stress, toxins, and low intake of antioxidants. To perceive the significance of how aging is influenced by free radicals and antioxidants, here is an overview of the aging process and the changes that follow.
Aging and changes in your body
Aging is a natural and continuous process, that starts from the moment we are born. The process of aging from the time a baby is born until the 20 years can be called progressive aging. This type of aging is necessary for the body to renew itself, grow, adapt, and form new cells. This is vital for the development of the reproductive system, the nervous system, and the endocrine system. Beyond the age of 25 years, your body starts to technically age and the changes are subtle and gradual. The effects of aging is evident over time with physical changes (appearances) and cognitive changes (thinking, memory). The process continues throughout a person’s lifetime.
Early in life, the changes due to the aging process are small, but rapidly increase with age because of the exponential nature of aging. Here are some of the changes that happen in your body as you age that consequently lower your body’s antioxidants as well:
Poor intake of food: Since the overall metabolic rate is reduced, one may tend to eat less of foods, and can especially fall short of powerful dietary antioxidants like anthocyanins, vitamins and minerals. In very aged individuals, there is significant risk for reduced appetite and loss of teeth, leading to severe malnutrition, which also complicates the issue.
Accumulated changes: Changes that are both physiological (organs like heart, skin, etc) and biochemical (rise in blood cholesterol, blood pressure) are also another reason the antioxidant levels decline. The body tries to produce enough antioxidants to fight off the damage caused due to accumulated aging effects.
Less physical activity: Studies show that maintaining moderate physical activity helps our body maintain its innate antioxidant-producing capacity, and boosts the body’s antioxidant defense. However, as aging progresses there is a significant decline in physical activities such as recreational sports, walking, etc. for most individuals resulting in impaired antioxidant defense.
Increased inflammation: An increase in inflammatory markers associated with aging also increases the demand for antioxidants to ward off the ill-effects.
Lowered efficacy of antioxidant-defense system: Studies indicate that the enzymatic antioxidant balance declines as one ages. This was evident in a 2004 study, which observed that subjects aged 62- 72 years showed lower enzymatic antioxidant markers in blood which was associated with cognitive decline (2).
Aging increases free radical generation
Enough evidence shows that aging is associated with the increased generation of free radicals, which is clearly marked by the increase in the incidence of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, stroke, neuro-degenerative diseases, etc. Marked influx in free radical generation increases the demand for antioxidants in the aging body. When the body’s own antioxidant-defense becomes inefficient and the dietary antioxidant intake is also poor, the risk for degenerative health conditions is significantly increased. This is precisely why researchers and doctors recommend supplements to increase the antioxidant levels along with enough consumption of fresh, unprocessed foods high in a variety of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help to slow aging effects
A study published in 2007 suggested that dietary antioxidants can act as a tool to delay cognitive decline among the elderly. The study examined associations between antioxidant intake and cognitive function among elderly (65+ years) in a county in Utah. The study observed participants with low intake of dietary antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and carotenoids had an accelerated cognitive decline compared to those with high antioxidant consumption. The results led to the conclusion that consuming enough dietary antioxidants may delay age-related cognitive decline.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and OPC’s are revered among the potent ones that scavenge most types of free radicals and are identified to be efficient in lowering oxidative stress. People with poor intake of antioxidant-rich food, taking medications, and suffering from chronic stress can benefit from regular antioxidant supplementation. If you are looking for an antioxidant supplement to add to your daily regiment take a look at our Isotonic Super Antioxidant Formula OPCXtra which contains 30mg of 6 different Super Antioxidants.