If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate you could need a boost of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances in our body that help fight the oxidative damage to our cells. This damage is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen and our body’s ability to detoxify or repair the resulting damage.
How do antioxidants work?
Antioxidants confront harmful cells in our body called free radicals. Free radicals are essentially atoms with an odd number of cells. They can be dangerous because they could attack our body’s immune system, causing our cells to die. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from starting harmful chain reactions within our body. Upon encountering a free radical, the antioxidant gives up an electron of its own which has the effect of satisfying the free radical, stopping it from causing further damage.
If your body is low in antioxidants you could suffer from memory loss, poor concentration or fatigue. You could also suffer from the early stages of sun related skin disease such as melanoma. Symptoms of melanoma could include sore spots which bleed or become crusty, red lumps that are firm, or rough and patchy skin.
Where can you find antioxidants?
Antioxidants occur naturally within the body but you could also boost levels from your diet. Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants include carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and apricots. They’re also available in supplement form.
Co-enzyme Q10, or co-Q10, is the most prominent antioxidant in our body. A chemical compound, it’s found in almost every cell and helps convert food into energy, giving it the name, ‘the energy sparkplug’. However, as we age, our natural supply of co-Q10 decreases. This could reduce our energy levels and increase the risk of free radical damage. Co-Q10 can also be found in oily fish and certain meats such as heart and liver.
Additional benefits of co-Q1o
Co-Q10 could also help our bodies in a number of other ways. The brain is particularly susceptible to free radical damage because it does not have large amounts of protective antioxidant compounds. Therefore, co-Q10 could help improve memory loss and concentration levels.
Research conducted by the Southern Medical Journal involving 83 people suggested co-Q10 could help lower blood pressure too. Studies also found patients who were prescribed daily co-Q10 supplements after a heart attack were less susceptible to further attacks, while patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease were shown to lack co-Q10 in the body.
Co-Q10 could also help prevent the premature ageing of skin. Several antioxidants, including vitamins C and E and co-Q10 are often found in topical skin care products.