Hi dear Reader, here in the Algarve the summer has arrived with beautiful sunshine and immaculate blue skies.

The best tips to go healthy through the summer with optimal antioxidant levels are following here

Antioxidants, fountain of good health and youth

Dear Reader,

 

You must have come across the term ANTIOXIDANTS. One reads a lot about them and the word is used often without explaining what exactly they are. I will in this article try to shed light on this important medical topic for you.

The scale of the problem:

One main cause for  infections, cancer , heart disease, Alzheimer´s and premature aging are free radicals. A group of instable molecules that are readily reacting with other molecules. In that process these chemical structures are being damaged or even destroyed.

Free radicals are a heterogeneous group, that contains reactive oxygen and nitrous groups.

The damaging reactions are mostly oxidations. You can watch this chemical process very impressively on a slice of apple, that turns brown, when exposed to oxygen. The brownish colouration is caused by free radicals. Rust on metal is another example for oxidative processes. In your workshop you may have used antioxidants already with great success in removing rusty spots from your bike or car.

Free radicals cause damage in our organism all the time when metabolic processes take place.

Conditions that increase the number of free radicals are smoking, pollution, too much food and sun, stress, excess exercise, unhealthy nutrition and chronic inflammation.

Our body has several mechanisms  to counteract the damaging effect of free radicals. The better these mechanisms are developed the healthier and fitter we are.

The molecules and substances that are protecting us from the effect of free radicals are called ANTIOXIDANTS. These molecules are found in vitamins, minerals and trace elements like Zinc and Copper. These substances can partly be produced in our bodies self sufficiently but in other cases we rely on supply from food and drinks.

How much antioxidants a human body needs has been a debate for decades and great scientists like Linus Pauling, who received the Nobel Price twice in his carrier have advocated the usage of very high dosages of Vitamins. Pauling was known to take up to 30 g Vitamin C daily (30 high dose tablets).

Other experts doubt the use of high dose Vitamin and Mineral supplementation. The scientific data show though, that providing that you use good quality supplements, the benefits far outweigh the dangers. The possible risks are toxic reactions from high doses of Vitamins E,D,K and A.

How can you find out, how much antioxidants you have?

Antioxidant levels can be measured in blood samples. These measurements are rarely done because the values fluctuate from one moment to the other and have been shown to not be very reliable. A new method seems to have overcome this difficulty.  The BioPhotonic Scanner measures the quantity of Carotenoids in the skin, which correlates well with the total antioxidants capacity of the person tested

 The method is quick, blood and painless. Results are available within 5 minutes.

In that way the doctor or nutritionist can assess if the patient´s immune system is running at its best or if it could do better.

At the moment there are only 3 scanner available in Portugal. Two of them are in the Medical Centres in Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago. In the US and Europe several million patients have already been tested successfully 

What can you do if you are not scoring well?

General measures to improve your antioxidant levels are: Healthy food, regular moderate exercise, enough sleep, a good amount of positive stresses, and less pollution in your environment.

More specific measures include the prescription of vitamin and mineral supplements.

We know, that a lot of patients are already taking supplements but measuring the scores of millions of people with the BioPhotonic  scanner has shown, that the only a minority of users achieve optimal results with their medication. Your doctor can help you improving your antioxidant levels with recommending a comprehensive regime of lifestyle changes  prescribing the right combination and amount of vitamins and minerals for you.

For more information call the Vale do Lobo or Family Medical Centre, 289398009/289398411.

 

Finally I have unfortunately some bad news for you. If you should be taking Ginkgo Biloba to improve your memory you can stop. It does not work. In patients with existing cardio-vascular disease it does even increase the risks. A large study which followed patients over 7 years showed these disappointing results. You can read the details in JAMA´s latest issue.

 

 

 

Your Dr. Thomas Kaiser

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