What Exactly Are Antioxidants?

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An antioxidant is a molecule that prevents other molecules in biological systems from oxidising. Oxidation encompasses a wide range of chemical reactions and changes, such as fuel combustion and metal rusting. In biology, oxidation reactions include both necessary reactions, such as the burning of foods for fuel or the metabolism of various chemicals, as well as oxidative stress, which is a somewhat random and destructive process in which free radicals cause a chain reaction that damages the inside of a cell.

How do antioxidants function?

Antioxidants primarily work by removing free radicals, thereby ending the destructive chain reactions that cause these free radicals to damage cells. Antioxidants do this by reacting with free radicals and are thus “used up” when the reaction is terminated.

This function of antioxidants explains their extraordinary ability to protect the body from a wide range of threats. For example, lutein, a carotenoid found in many plants that are absorbed into the body when we eat those plants, is known to protect against radiation damage: when the radiation enters the body and breaks apart a molecule, producing a free radical, lutein neutralises the free radical, reducing the amount of radiation damage.

What is acetylcysteine?

What is acetylcysteine (acetylcysteine คือ, term in Thai)? Acetylcysteine is a fantastic and underutilised supplement. Anyone who is health-conscious these days has heard about the wonderful benefits of antioxidants in cancer prevention and health maintenance. The human body contains and uses a wide range of antioxidants, the list of which is nearly endless. However, one antioxidant in the body is present in almost every cell and is required for life. This anti-oxidant is known as glutathione. Glutathione is found throughout the body and serves a variety of functions. It boosts the immune system, protects cell membranes from free radical damage, prevents lipid peroxidation, and, among other things, plays an active role in the body’s DNA maintenance and repair, which is constantly under stress.

You might be wondering where acetylcysteine fits into this picture right now, but it will all make sense soon.

When people hear about glutathione, they often wonder, “How can one get more glutathione in my body?” Many people have attempted to do this by creating glutathione supplements and attempting to use them to increase glutathione levels in the body. If only it were that easy. Glutathione is a peptide, meaning it is composed of amino acids. Unfortunately, this means that taking it as a supplement is pointless because it is broken down in your digestive tract to its constituent amino acids.

The posh way of saying this is that it has almost no oral bioavailability and thus is useless as a dietary supplement. However, there is a way around this; our little-known wonder supplement acetylcysteine is capable of entering the circulation and increasing glutathione synthesis by providing the rate-limiting raw material for glutathione synthesis (the amino acid cysteine) in a form that the body can use. You’ll also be relieved to know that, unlike many other supplements, there is solid scientific evidence to back this up. For example, in a paracetamol (Tylenol) overdose, the liver is destroyed, making the overdose lethal.

This occurs because the liver depletes all of its glutathione while attempting to remove toxins from the body. Toxins can destroy liver cells once the stores are depleted. What is the treatment for a paracetamol overdose? Acetylcysteine, that’s right! As a result, if you want to increase your glutathione levels, you should take acetylcysteine.