Antioxidants And The Fountain Of Youth

If you visit my Web site with any regularity, I suspect you're very familiar with the value of antioxidants as a natural means to protect your body from the ravages of cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Antioxidants also slow down the body's natural aging process. Researchers at the University of Washington have uncovered more evidence on how antioxidants fight aging using genetically-engineered mice that produced high levels of an antioxidant enzyme.

Mice were bred to create an abundance of catalase, an antioxidant enzyme that helps break down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Interestingly, the mice were precisely designed to produce extra catalase in certain areas of the body: The cytoplasm, nucleus and mitochondria.

Mice that made more catalase in the mitochondria (the cell's power plant) lived about 20 percent longer than normal, or about five months. Those that had more catalase levels in the nucleus and cytoplasm, however, lived only a little longer than normal mice. Mice with catalase in their mitochondria also had healthier heart muscle tissue, an indication this chemical protect them from age-related heart problems typically seen in normal mice.

On the down side, scientists believe their discovery could begin paving the way for drugs created to cure free radical damage. But there's no reason to even consider such a possibility (that would likely be tainted and harmful for you anyway) when there's plenty of healthy, natural ways to stem the tide of aging at your fingertips.

Probably, the easiest way is to incorporate more antioxidants-rich foods into your diet. One of the quickest ways is to make a vegetable juice, using vegetables tailored to your body's unique nutritional type, with some added fresh blueberries, cherries or other berries.

One caveat: Due to their sugar content, I don't recommend eating too many fresh berries at once, as this will cause your insulin levels to rise.

BBC News May 6, 2005

Yahoo News May 5, 2005

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