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How do I Choose the Best Antioxidant Vitamins?

Article Details
  • Written By: Constance Simmons
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are a wide variety of antioxidant vitamin options and brands available. The best vitamins for one person are not always the best for the next person. When it comes to vitamins people have different needs depending on their age, sex, health, and budget. Another important factor in choosing the best antioxidant vitamins is the quality of ingredients.

Antioxidants are important to health because they help protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are a natural byproduct of cells making oxygen. Free radicals are also produced by environmental pollutants such as pesticides. Research has shown that antioxidants can help decrease the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Individuals naturally receive antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, but some think that taking antioxidant vitamins will result in increased health benefits.

There are two types of vitamins: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble vitamins are stored in the body, while vitamins that are soluble pass through the body. It is especially dangerous to ingest high doses of insoluble antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E, because it continues to build up in the body.

There are a variety of antioxidants to choose from. These include the C, E and A vitamins. All antioxidants are not vitamins, however. Some non-vitamin phytochemicals include lycopene, lutein, and lignin. Some vitamin formulas may combine several antioxidants, but it is also possible to purchase them individually as needed.

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Each antioxidant is responsible for different bodily functions. Vitamin E is most often associated with healthy hair and nails, while vitamin C is related to an increased functioning of the immune system. The phytochemicals mentioned above can assist the body in ways similar to the vitamins. For example lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, has been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease.

An individual’s budget can play a role in choosing the right antioxidant vitamins. As vitamins are taken daily, they can quickly become an expensive habit. The price per vitamin will usually decrease if a higher volume is purchased. There are also good options available at high and lower price points. Specialty stores will usually have higher prices than chain-store retailers.

Purchasing antioxidant vitamins from a company that is trusted for producing quality products is essential. As vitamins are dietary supplements, they are not regulated by groups such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US. It may be best to look for products that have been on the market for a while and choose brands that have had independent studies published.

The origin of the supplements is also an important characteristic to consider; for example, vitamin C that is derived from corn is not thought of as the most beneficial. This is because when the vitamin is extracted from corn, it produces toxins that may be harmful.

Individuals should consult a doctor before taking any dietary supplements. A physician can guide those who want to take especially high doses of antioxidant vitamins that are thought to help improve certain conditions. It is also helpful to check on the recommended daily dosage, because going far beyond this with certain vitamins may be harmful.

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