You’ve probably heard that antioxidants are good for your health. What motivates people to consume foods rich in antioxidants? What are they in general? What good do they do for our body?
In simple words, antioxidants are substances that slow down oxidation and therefore reduce oxidative stress. This process also promotes the formation of free radicals. The body produces some antioxidants such as glutathione and coenzyme Q10, but they are not always enough to prevent free radicals. This is especially true in older age, when the risk of oxidative stress increases significantly. That’s why it’s important to get enough antioxidants from other sources.
How can oxygen be dangerous?
Oxygen is commonly associated with life, and rightly so. That’s why you can understand why we dismiss the idea that oxygen can be dangerous to our health. Unfortunately, this is sometimes exactly the case.
We will need a little chemistry lesson to understand how oxygen can threaten our health. Oxygen is considered one of the most active substances. This is largely due to its atomic structure. The oxygen atom has six electrons on its outer shell. In order to be stable, it needs 2 electrons, which explains its activity in reacting with other elements such as hydrogen, which is just as active.
What are free radicals?
Oxygen is produced as a byproduct of various chemical processes in the body. Given its highly active nature, it easily combines with other elements in the body, resulting in the formation of harmful free radicals.
The free radicals formed then destroy cells by stealing electrons from their proteins. Sometimes they can even damage DNA. But the worst part is that once free radicals steal electrons from other cells, those cells become unstable, which destabilizes other cells. Simply put, a ripple effect begins that harms the entire body.
Although the whole process begins with the formation of oxygen as a byproduct of various body processes, oxidative stress is not necessarily harmful. It is actually a process by which the body destroys damaged cells in order to protect the rest of the body. It only becomes a problem when this process is in excess, meaning free radicals move throughout the body, taking up oxygen and destroying huge numbers of cells.
How exactly do antioxidants control the situation?
Antioxidants are very stable, so they can afford to give up a molecule of oxygen while remaining further stable. They bind to out-of-control free radicals, neutralizing them and stopping the damage they cause.
You may have heard that free radicals are blamed for a huge number of diseases that are associated with old age. Diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease. and chronic inflammation are often caused by free radicals. You may be asking why this is so. As mentioned, as we age, the body begins to produce fewer antioxidants. This means that free radicals can wreak havoc on the body and nothing neutralizes them. They can attack any system in the body and do a lot of damage there.
In addition, there are also free radicals that are formed from pollution such as cigarette smoke and even from emotional stress. As you age, you are increasingly exposed to these free radicals, which subsequently build up to toxic levels, making you more vulnerable to various diseases.
CBD as an antioxidant
For a long time, vitamins C and E have been considered among the strongest antioxidants. In addition to eating foods rich in these vitamins, people are also turning to supplements to get more antioxidants. New research has shown that cannabinoids are a rich, if not the richest, source of antioxidants known to man. Interesting, isn’t it?
CBD has also shown to have neuroprotective properties that protect the body from countless neurodegenerative diseases.
Research on CBD as an antioxidant
Various studies have been conducted to show the antioxidant properties of CBD. A study that was conducted on rats showed that CBD significantly reduces hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons3. Another study showed that CBD is 30%-50% stronger than vitamins C and E in antioxidant qualities4.
Another study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found the property of CBD to reduce inflammation caused by injected amyloid, which is the protein associated with cell death that causes Alzheimer’s disease. CBD was found to reduce toxicity in rats that were exposed to high levels of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter.
Antioxidants are undoubtedly very important to the body. Without sufficient amounts of them, the body remains at the mercy of free radicals, which can cause significant damage. Antioxidants work by providing oxygen atoms to free radicals. Once free radicals get extra electrons, they stop taking oxygen from neighboring cells and the cycle of destruction ends.
There are many foods known as such that are rich in antioxidants, especially those rich in vitamins C and E. Another rich source of antioxidants is CBD. There are many studies that have shown how rich CBD is in antioxidants. CBD is actually richer in antioxidants than most other traditionally known sources of antioxidants.
The best part about this is that CBD also helps protect the nervous system. It has also shown its strong neuroprotective properties that curb neurodegenerative diseases5. With CBD you significantly reduce your risk of getting various diseases ranging from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s and even cancer. So why not give it a try today?