Antioxidants are a household word now, the free radical fighters of the body. It’s pretty safe to say they are essential for health and wellbeing.
With so much publicised research about the benefits of antioxidants and the volume of people constantly searching for the ultimate healthy lifestyle, the popularity of antioxidant supplements is now overwhelming.
But with so many options available on the market, it seems like a battle to know which one to go for.
So I thought it would be a good idea to take a look into the finer details and find out what are the best antioxidant supplements to take in 2023.
How Do Antioxidants Work?
To understand the primary role of antioxidants, you need to understand the bigger picture involving free radicals.
Antioxidants and free radicals form a kind of love hate relationship in the body to keep the correct balance so you can function properly and lead a healthy life.
Free radicals are produced in the body when you exercise or when your body processes food for energy. (source)
There are also other external factors to make the “bad guys”, such as too much sun, smoking and pollution can all take their toll on the body.
When you get too many free radicals in the body it can cause oxidative stress, which is what could lead to cell damage and serious illnesses, like Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Antioxidants keep the free radicals in check by neutralizing the chain and preventing them from growing further. (source)
Antioxidants You Should Know About
When you say antioxidant, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the benefits of things like green tea, resveratrol or acai and goji berries.
What about the antioxidants that don’t seem to be so well known?
They are just as equally important just don’t seem to be in the limelight as much. Ultimately their goals are to keep you healthy and they all have their special functions too:
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant. It’s safe to say that it’s also one of the most important. It plays a vital role to your health and fighting against serious diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s, and fatty liver disease. (source)
Reduces Potential Oxidative Stress
You can say goodbye to those free radicals. Glutathione is particularly effective as it fends of free radicals from the inside of cells neutralizing their damaging effects of oxidation damage. (source)
Enhances Performance of Other Antioxidants
Glutathione can also maximise effects of other antioxidants in the body, increasing their performance or even regenerating them as they decrease, in particular vitamins A and C. (source)
With chemotherapy, the more treatments you are subjected to the more resistant your body becomes, therefore it is necessary to administer more frequent and stronger doses to fight cancer.
Research suggests glutathione improves the effects of drug resistance within the body making the chemotherapy treatment more effective. (source)
Research states the immune system works best if the lymphoid cells have a delicately balanced intermediate level of glutathione, which means if you have adequate levels of glutathione it should prevent the body getting infections and keeping you well. (source)
Vitamin C may be famous as a vital nutrient, but may not be so well known for its antioxidant properties.
Boosts Immune System
Vitamin C is very beneficial for boosting the immune system. If you ever get a cold or flu, someone will tell you “you haven’t been getting your vitamin C”.
And there is good reason to suggest this, a clinical trial carried out found cold and flu symptoms reduce by 85% when vitamin C was administered to the group. (source)
Good For the Skin
Vitamin C is also very good at improving skin factors.
Free radicals cause damage to skin through ultraviolet (UV) rays created by sunlight, this is an important factor in the process of aging and skin cancer.
Vitamin C combined with vitamin E is a particular effective combination for inhibiting UV skin damage as they are powerful depigmenting agents.
They help fight the UV free radicals which in turn delay the effects of aging and diseases associated with sun damage. (source)
Selenium is an essential mineral which has very important antioxidant qualities:
Selenium increases production of active thyroid hormones which is beneficial for healthy metabolism. (source)
Selenium could have benefits for those that suffer with chronic asthma.
It has been suggested that asthma sufferers have lower than normal levels of selenium in their body.
One trial looked into the effects of supplementing selenium on a group of volunteers with chronic asthma. The study reported significant clinical improvement on the group that took the supplement against the placebo group. (source)
Who Could Benefit from Antioxidant Supplements?
The usual rule of thumb is that if you eat a well balanced diet, in theory you should get all the nutrients – including antioxidants – through the food in your diet, in things like fruits and vegetables.
With all those superfoods out there, you really are spoilt for choice.
But studies suggest that most of the population are not getting the recommended levels of nutritious foods required, in actual fact:
Of the US adult population only approximately 22.1% of men and 32.2% of women are eating vegetables 3 or more times per day.(source)
That’s when a supplement could be beneficial as you could fill in the gaps in your nutrition with a supplement and get fighting those free radicals.
Adults in General
As you get older your ability to generate antioxidants in your body decreases and your body finds it harder to deal with the free radicals in, so a supplement could be beneficial to boost your levels and recreate that balance. (source)
The Fitness Community
Everyone who works out could be exposed to exercise induced oxidative stress. Clinical research however does show conflicting reports, on the effects of antioxidant supplements.
According to some studies it has been reported that supplementation with vitamins C and E, other antioxidants, or antioxidant mixtures can reduce symptoms or indicators of oxidative stress as a result of exercise. (source)
Also another study suggests antioxidant supplementation may be warranted in particular conditions, when athletes are exposed to high oxidative stress or fail to meet dietary antioxidant requirements. (source)
But many studies return findings as inconclusive due to insufficient data to support the effectiveness. (source)
What are the Best Antioxidant Supplements to Take in 2023?
There are a number of products to choose from and it can often be hard to tell which manufacturer offers the best quality supplement. So I have looked at the options available and chosen five top antioxidant supplements I think will suit almost everyone.