Antioxidant Supplements

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Our immune systems, most would agree, need all the help they can get, and antioxidant supplements are one way to do this. Studies demonstrate that antioxidants--nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, and naturally within our bodies--are one way to help. We can and are well advised to boost our natural supply with antioxidant supplements.

Health and Antioxidant Supplements

Exactly what, though, are antioxidants? They are enzymes, named for what they do. As cells burn oxygen, they produce free radicals--that is, atoms or molecules with an unpaired electron. Think of a free radical as the single man about town. These travel through the body, disrupting the functioning of other cells and causing cell damage. This cell damage is associated with aging and a weakened immune system. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals. The effect is to boost the immune system and counteract some of the effects of natural aging. Antioxidants are especially effective in groups.

Good nutrition means not only feeding our system, but fortifying it as well. A high-quality diet, especially for young animals, will include antioxidant supplements if only for one additional reason. Puppies' and kittens' immune systems are fragile, still developing and being challenged by vaccinations and exposure to a disease-tainted environment. Antioxidant supplements help in developing that immune system to protect against parasites, viruses, and bacteria.

Age takes its own toll, a mirror image of the one growth takes. The effect is the same, however. Veterinary studies have led to the formulation of a variety of pet antioxidants known to be missing from most processed pet foods and proven effective in enhancing the immune system.

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