Friday, February 27, 2009

Green Tea's antioxidant

By Collin James

I am sure by now you have heard all about the antioxidants found in green tea. But, do you know what antioxidants are or how they work. The quality of a antioxidant can help prevent harmful diseases such as cancer and heart disease. I suppose your wandering why anything that is anti-oxygen can be good for your body.

Antioxidants themselves don't do anything to oxygen. What they do, do is fight a chemical reaction in your body called oxidation. I am sure your saying right now, wait a second - that's what causes metal to rust - I am not made of metal! Your right to say that but oxidation is the interaction between oxygen molecules and the substances they come in contact with. If this just so happens to be living tissue, then that's when disease occurs.

Free Radicals with in your body are highly unstable molecules that travel around your body causing nothing but major problems. Free radicals are generated by exposure to UV rays, toxins,smoking and other sources. The major source of the free radicals is from the oxygen molecule its self.

Oxygen usually travels through your body paired up with another oxygen molecule. In some cases this pairing splits into two individual oxygen molecules called singlet oxygen. When this occurs, electrons fall in short demand as there are now to many oxygen molecules. This destabilizes the molecule and in a way, throwing it off balance. In the attempt to try and fix itself it races through the body trying to find an other electron.

But singlet oxygen doesn't just wait for a spare electron to float on by. Instead, it boldly steals one from some other molecule. This destabilizes the "new" molecule which, in turn, careens off to steal an electron from yet another molecule. The process of serial "electron stealing" damages cells, tissues, organs and even entire body systems, and is believed to be a major cause of cancer, heart disease, aging and many other conditions.

What antioxidants do is fight against this constant stealing of electrons. Your inner body police, is the best way to look at it. How they work is they donate electrons to the free radicals so the urge to steel is gone. You body does produce a certain amount of antioxidants, but not nearly enough!

Among others, these include beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, the mineral selenium, and various phytochemicals such as lycopene and quercetin. But the catechins, especially EGCg, are among the most powerful and effective antioxidants of all. - 16651

About the Author: