The Different Types Of Antioxidants
Most people have heard of the word "antioxidant," but the likelihood is that a vast majority of these people don't actually know what the term truly refers to - nor the fact that there are two different types of them. In a scientific sense, the difference between the two types of antioxidants is actually quite different.
Activity of the Water Soluble Antioxidants
Water soluble antioxidants are referred to as hydrophilic antioxidants. Basically, they are able to assist the body in the process of cell cytosol, and help out in the blood plasma. In other words, they rid the body of harmful free radicals and pollutants. Following is a list of the most common water soluble antioxidants:
• Ascorbic Acid • Gluathione
• Lipoic Acid
• Uric Acid
As you can see, most of these are acids. Their concentration in the human serum and liver vary to a large extend, and some of these antioxidants are certainly more powerful. As you would expect, any food which contains any of the above antioxidants in large quantities is definitely beneficial to helping eradicate harmful oxidants from the human body.
Activity of the Lipid Soluble Antioxidants
Unlike water soluble antioxidants, the lipid soluble version do not actively go out seeking to destroy rogue cells in the human body. These are the antioxidants which in fact have a much more passive role in keeping the human body healthy.
Basically, these antioxidants work by clinging on to damaged cells, and injecting valuable nutrients which support the replenishment and health of that particular individual cell. In this way, antioxidants are able to promote the health of cells on a cellular level, by working in sync with the cells themselves. Here are a few examples of lipid soluble antioxidants:
Just like water soluble antioxidants, these can be found in a few foods - mainly fruits.
The History Of Antioxidants
What many people don't know about antioxidants is that they were actually used for a number of different purposes before being made available for human consumption. It wasn't actually until the mid 20th century that scientists realized and understood exactly why the human consumption of antioxidants was helping to extend life expectancy and quality.
Early Use Of Antioxidants
In the 19th century, engineers discovered that a particular substance was able to prevent the expensive condition of "metal corrosion," by shutting off the oxidation process. The chemicals they recruited to do this task were called "antioxidants," and the ability to prevent metal from corroding and saved the industrial industry millions of dollars in wasted resources.
Although the reasons why antioxidants were so effective at preventing this nasty situation from developing, scientists would soon turn their focus on the industry, and attempt to apply the same logic and principals to biotechnology.
From Metal To Food To Cells
This indeed happened in the mid 20th century. It all started with the attempts by scientists to extend the life of foods. By combining antioxidants with foods high in unsaturated fat, the tests were able to prevent the onset of rancidity. As this process continued, and new information was brought to light, it was quickly discovered that a few of the key and vital vitamins - essential in the human diet - were actually able to be classified as antioxidants too. This meant that over the past 1,000 years, people had been consuming antioxidants on a daily basis. From here, further research was started which would eventually reveal that antioxidants were able to extend the human lifespan, cut down the effects of the aging process, and provide general well being to the human body.