Every minute of every day, our body breaks down, absorbs and distributes nutrients around the body; this is the way in which we survive. However this process, albeit natural, also causes some damage; most commonly known as 'free radical damage' or 'oxidative stress'. Antioxidants swoop around the body soaking up and destroying any free radical molecules before they can cause any damage. Although your body has this sophisticated method of keeping this oxidation in check, it is important that these vital nutrients are kept in abundance through a nutritious diet and where necessary through the use of a good quality supplement.
Here are 5 key reasons antioxidants are crucial for men's health
1. Exercise and physical activity
Exercise and physical movement is really good for us, but because of various biochemical changes that take place when we work the body harder – it also means that we increase our state of oxidative stress. Simply, oxidative stress produces more free radicals. We can counteract this by increasing antioxidants. Doing so supports the immune system and helping to limit potential damage to joints, tissue and muscle. Antioxidants also protect our internal energy powerhouse - the mitochondria – without which we would find it harder to intensively exercise. Therefore, antioxidants play a part in supporting performance.
When it comes to healthy sperm it's not just about ‘quantity, the ‘quality’ of the sperm is just as important. This includes the shape of the sperm and how it's able to move. These factors will impact how successful it is at reaching and then penetrating an egg. Research shows oxidative stress is damaging. For ‘immature’ sperm it can affect their development hindering their capacity to meet their full potential. For mature sperm, they may be subject to harm that affects their movement and shape. Overall, oxidative stress negatively impacts function.
Our internal energy powerhouse - the mitochondria – is responsible for supplying energy for specific cells called the Leydig cells. These cells are located around the testicles in men. Leydig cells are involved in the control and secretion of the hormone testosterone. Research has shown that when oxidative stress is reduced, the mitochondria are better able to supply energy to the Leydig cells and increase testosterone secretion. Testosterone is essential for men to support their bones, physical development, sexual drive, strength, fertility, muscle mass, healthy mood and more.
4. Liver support
A plethora of antioxidants are required on a daily basis to support the smooth running of our major organ of detoxification - the liver. Our liver also processes all our hormones once we no longer have a use for them. This includes hormones made inside the body and those that come from our environment and diet – called exogenous hormones. The hormone oestrogen is especially unhelpful to men if it becomes excessive – affecting fertility, mood, and libido. It is essential that men protect themselves from oestrogen's building up in their system, instead of taking measures to encourage that they are processed and removed by the liver.
Henrietta's latest 'Food-Grown® Antioxidant Plus' formula has been formulated for all using ingredients with exceptional antioxidant properties to maximize your protection against free radical damage and oxidative stress. An excess of free radical damage (or oxidative stress) from nutrient-low diets, environmental pollutants, stress or illness can result in damage to cellular DNA and speed up the ageing process. This can influence the health of your skin, bones, hormonal equilibrium and immune defences. Increasing your intake of antioxidants plays an important role in protection against premature ageing and the development of degenerative diseases.
For more on the importance of antioxidants see 'Understanding antioxidants'