ANTIOXIDANTS have been receiving a lot of attention in the media recently for the role they play in a number of body functions, including providing protection against signs of aging. (For an in-depth definition of what an antioxidant is, read the MenScience article Antioxidants & Aging). While medical professionals have seen how antioxidants can benefit men’s bodies for many years now, a whole new generation of antioxidant substances are being studied and incorporated into a wide variety of skincare and nutritional processes; everything from cardiovascular health to anti-aging and beyond.
Below is a brief exploration of these new and cutting-edge discoveries.
A pigment (called a “carotenoid”) found in plants and some bacteria, which works to absorb free radicals and prevent damage caused by oxidation in cells and tissues. Astaxanthin is what gives lobsters, salmon, and crabs their reddish coloring. Because it can be absorbed into fatty tissue and cross the blood-brain barrier, it is considered to possibly have better antioxidant qualities than traditional ingredients such as Vitamin E.
A liquid extract from the pine tree bark found on the coast of southwest France. Pycnogenol contains a high concentration of different types of antioxidants and works to help strengthen blood vessel walls, improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
A member of the Vitamin E group, Tocotrienol works to diminish blood clotting and inflammation. It is considered to be very effective because its fat-soluble chemical structure can thoroughly penetrate tissue layers. The largest source of Tocotrienol comes from palm oil.
A yellow carotenoid found in plants, as well as in the human retina. Zeaxanthin helps protect the eye by filtering some harmful light from the sun. Present in corn, egg yolks and squash, it is a powerful antioxidant and is currently being studied for its role in improving vision disorders.
Proven by recent scientific research to be the most powerful antioxidant available today, Idebenone has been shown to be more effective in reducing the signs of aging and repairing against future damage than any other substance that has come before. Its unique properties are being considered in many new medical applications such as treatment of Alzheimer’s, liver diseases and factors caused by the aging process.