Antioxidants: How Are Antioxidants Absorbed By The Human Body?

Many people who have heard of antioxidants may be curious as to how antioxidants are absorbed by the human body. First of all it is important to understand that even without additional antioxidant supplementation, the human body already has both oxidants and antioxidants. The human body uses both to defend itself against foreign pathogens and diseases. Free radicals, which are caused by oxidants, can sometimes thrive through the process of oxidation. This can cause them to go somewhat haywire by not only fighting bacteria and unwanted invaders, but also attacking healthy cells themselves. Free radicals can end up damaging cellular DNA, and cells that contain damaged DNA are not able to continue functioning properly. They end up causing the cells to become mutated, which can lead to the onset of cancer. Furthermore, additional external and other lifestyle factors such as pollution, smoking, consumption of charred food, and other various factors can further encourage these free radicals to multiply and spread through the body. Thus creating the need for antioxidants.

When it comes to the consumption of supplements or even regular food, the question of how are antioxidants absorbed by the human body is often raised. This is also known as bioavailability. In simple terms, bioavailability refers to the amount of a substance that is absorbed by the body. In medical terms, when something is introduced to the body intravenously or through a vein (ie, injections), the rate of bioavailability is 100%. However, when a drug, supplement, or other food item is consumed orally or applied topically, the percentage of bioavailability is significantly reduced because it is not directly injected into the bloodstream itself. There are actually several factors that affect bioavailability in a person.

When asking how are antioxidants absorbed by the human body, the answer is simple: just like anything else that is consumed orally. The process of digestion enables the body's digestive organs to separate and absorb the useful substances and nutrients from the rest, eventually releasing them into the blood stream. However, the more important question is, just how much of the actual antioxidants themselves are absorbed by the body? As I mentioned earlier, there are a number of factors to consider when examining bioavailability. This includes the property of the food (or supplement) itself, the gastric emptying rate of the person ingesting the food (or supplement), and the interactions of that particular food (or supplement) with other substances, which that person is currently consuming. For instance, if we have a person taking antioxidant supplements that is also smoking frequently, drinking large amounts of alcohol consistently, and also consuming other harmful substances on a regular basis, his or her body will likely be very ineffective in absorbing antioxidants. This is why a reasonably healthy diet is imperative.

Considering that most antioxidant supplements are not 100% absorbed by the body, it usually pays to go with liquid supplement. Scientific studies have proven that the human body is able to absorb up to 90% of product's nutrients when it is ingested in liquid form. Consequently only around 30-40% of a product's nutrients are absorbed when it is ingested in pill form.

Source by Edward L Rosenberg