Since the human’s body is constantly bombarded by free radicals it is virtually impossible for the antioxidant defense system to be consistently at peak performance.
Oxidative stress occurs when there are more free radicals skin production than can be dealt with due to environmental insult, disease or malnutrition. Even exercise, because of an increase in oxygen demand and utilization, increases the formation of free radicals. However, regular exercise builds up body defense systems and protects against damage. An improper balance between formation and destruction of free radicals may play a role in degenerative disease and aging.
Antioxidants in the diet may prevent disease and deficiencies may be deleterious to fetal and childhood development.This essential nutrient not only increases the number of white blood cells it also enhances antibody formation. In skin disorders such as acne vulgaris, ROS generation is not only intrinsic to the disease and yet, in part it is the treatment modalities which must be accounted for. Antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide use in treatment of acne are associated with burdened skin cells with free radicals. The only logical solution is to help the ailing antioxidant defense system through the use of antioxidants, which may explains their use in treatment. Antioxidants are substances that act as shields or barriers to prevent the invading free radicals from doing harm to cells.
Antioxidants stop the free radical damage by making the outer ring of the molecule, free radicals, stable by adding or removing electrons. Sources of antioxidants are: human body enzyme system and nutrients. Within the body, if the antioxidants are abundant enough they can neutralize free radicals oxidative damage. The antioxidant enzyme system comprised of: glutathione peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase
Beta carotene, vitamin C, flavanoids, Green tea, selenium, glutatione, cysteine. Antioxidant enzyme system combine in a synergistic manner and deficiency of one cause another to be less effective. This basically means most antioxidants are specialized in function. For example vitamin E primary
function is to break lipid peroxide chains and protect against free radicals skin insult. However, there are a few antioxidants that have the ability to neutralize free radicals via different mechanisms not only in cell membrane but in interior of cells also. Melatonin and alpha lipoic acid are examples of such universal antioxidants. Alpha lipoic acid is a broad-
spectrum antioxidant capable of neutralizing free radicals in both water and oil environments.
Antioxidant micronutrients must be supplied in the diet. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are better sources of antioxidants than pill forms, but, in general, supplementation is beneficial. A balanced diet including several servings per day of fruits and vegetables is recommended.