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Monday, March 23, 2009

Want to Stay Young? Hold Your Breath... Really

Oxidation in the life cycle is essential in the process of overall survival. However, oxidation, i.e., a decreased presense of antioxidants, or the inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes, can be be injurious to the aging body from the result of oxidative stress and may damage or kill cells.

The process of oxidation causes damage to cells when they produce free radicals, which in turn start chain reactions throughout a specific area such as the liver or the skin. Such damage to cells can cause individual cell death and if enough cells are lost, the result can be tissue (cell network) and/or organ failure, ultimately leading to death of the organism. Most cell damage due to oxidation (though also to other types of toxic damage) occur in later life. However, with awareness and preventive measures oxidation levels can be significantly decreased.

The death of cells occurs by two methods, apoptosis and necrosis.

Apoptosis or 'programmed cell death' is a process of self-destruction of the cell nucleus. Apoptosis is an individual or single cell death in that dying cells are not contiguous but are scattered throughout a tissue. It is not considered to be a traumatic cell death, as is necrosis. Apoptosis can be likened to the dropping off of petals of trees during the change of seasons. It is a process that is essential to the growth and development of the embryo in the womb.

Necrosis is a progressive failure of essential metabolic and structure oriented cell components located typically within the cell's nucleous (specifically, the cytoplasm). It generally involves a group of attached cells or occurs at the tissue level. Upon 'death by necrosis', so to speak, the cell tissue tries to regenenerate the same type of cells that have died. if the type of injury is minimal the tissue may adequately replace the 'lost' cells. In the case of severely damaged organ tissues or long-term chronic conditions, the tissues may not have the capacity to regenerate the same [healthy] type of cells; so instead what you get is a flawed or in some way, impaired cell, a 'second', if you will. A serious example of this would be chronic liver damage induced by alcholism. What happens here is that the body no longer can generate replacement liver cells with more cells. Instead only connective tissue is replaced. Thus occurs the decline or organ function.

While overall aging involves the continuous generation, injury and or damage, and repair of cells individuals do have the capacity to prolong general cell heath and repair by incorporating a regime that includes fresh and natural foods that are rich in antioxidants. Nutritional supplements and vitamin therapy are effective ways to preserve cell health.

Sources of antioxidants

Thousands of antioxidants naturally occur in plant foods. The most well known are vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene, and selenium. While they all work to prevent oxidative damage, they each have their own method of getting the job done. They also work best as a team, each doing its part to provide well-rounded protection against cancer.

Among the best sources of antioxidants are brightly colored fruits and vegetables including, though not limited to:

Red grapes
Red bell peppers

Anti-oxidant Dietary Supplement Overview

The Damage Reducing Power of Antioxidants
Antioxidants have been in the news a lot in the last few years, and for good reason. Antioxidants help stop free radicals from damaging and destroying cells. AgelessXtra® provides a nutritious fruit blend containing grape, cranberry, cherry, and blueberry juices known for their rich colors, high ORAC potential, and flavonoid content. Xtra™ delivers antioxidants to your body at far greater levels than a typical diet can provide. In fact, independent scientific studies have shown that one serving of Xtra provides the antioxidant protection of up to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables!
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Here's to good health,

Content Source: National Library of Medicine (other articles)
Article Topics: Ecotoxicology and Environmental health
This article has been reviewed and approved by the following Topic Editor: Emily Monosson (other articles)
Last Updated: November 20, 2007


  1. heard about this before.. holding your breath or breath slowly can keep a person younger =) nice post :)

  2. I was practicing slow deep breaths this morning, glad to hear it's healthy!

  3. you should do pranayama(a yoga for breath control) its amazing.fine blog,wana be friends..


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