These days we commonly hear that it’s good to have a diet that’s “rich in antioxidants.” And beyond antioxidant rich foods, antioxidant supplements are among the most popular products in the health arena.
Antioxidants, work “anti” or “against,” oxidation. Oxidation, caused by chemicals known as free radicals, is basically the same thing as rusting. Put a piece of iron out in the weather and it rusts. That’s just what happens when free radicals attack our tissues.
And when this process gets out of control in the body, our various tissues, including our fat, proteins, and DNA, become damaged by the action of these free radicals like the piece of iron left out in the weather. Fortunately, our antioxidant defenses derived from our foods, supplements, and produced within our bodies help protect us against the effects of these free radicals.
So we’ve got to do whatever we can to increase our antioxidant defenses because, as this video describes, it is the action of free radicals that is a cornerstone of brain degeneration.
It’s also fundamental to recognize the importance of not only quenching free radicals once they appear, but reducing their formation in the first place. One of the most powerful leverage points in your physiology that can help reduce free radical production is to keep blood sugar levels low. Elevated blood sugar binds to protein in a process called glycation, and glycated proteins are associated with an increased production of free radicals by as much as 50-fold!
This is the reason that elevated average blood sugar, as measured by the A1c blood test (a marker of protein glycation) directly correlated to brain destruction as described on page 117 in Grain Brain.