It appears antioxidants may actually have the power to cause your body to revert to a younger state. Watch this video.
To the best of our current knowledge it appears that aging is caused by free radical damage to our DNA and cell membranes.
Much research has been conducted on how free radicals cause havoc with our DNA genetic blueprint. Less well known is the devastating damage these highly reactive compounds can cause to cell membranes. Free radicals attack the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that form the membranes in every cell in the body. When these fatty membranes are compromised by free radicals, cell membranes become less fluid and lose the ability to function normally. This process hastens tissue and organ damage and results in premature death.
Antioxidants are molecules that are capable of inhibiting the action of free radicals. As we age our antioxidant levels decline. This means that aging bodies become less efficient at neutralizing free radicals and combating the oxidative damage that gradually weakens and eventually destroys key organs.
Loss of memory and eyesight is a familiar sign of aging. One of the PUFAs that is critical for brain and eye function is known as DHA. It is the most abundant fat in both the brain and retina of the eye. When DHA becomes oxidized because of free radical damage, brain and eye function can deteriorate. Antioxidants can protect fats like DHA to preserve brain and eye health.
Antioxidant power can be rated on a scale known as ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). Look at the following ORAC values (taken from Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide):
- Vitamin C 100
- Vitamin E 100
- Oranges 750
- Beets 840
- Raspberries 1,220
- Strawberries 1,540
- Blueberries 2,400
- Pomegranates 3,000
- Goji berries 25,300
- Oregano oil 153,007
- Thyme oil 159,590
- Clove oil 10,786,8756
Of all the known antioxidants clove essential oil is by far the most powerful known.
- In 1993 a study conducted at Semmelweis University of Medicine in Budapest, Hungary showed that mice fed daily doses of essential oils including those of clove, thyme, nutmeg and pepper virtually restored the proportions of PUFAs to levels found in young mice. Four years later another study at the same university showed these same essential oils restored DHA in the animals to much younger levels.
- In stunning experiment in 1999 at the Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburgh researchers found that thyme essential oil dramatically slowed DHA and PUFA degeneration in the brains of rats. Analysis showed that the DHA levels in 28 month old brains were almost the same as that of 7 month olds. In human terms this was equivalent to an 80 year old having the brain chemistry of a 20 year old! Thyme oil supplementation also preserved the levels of PUFAs in the animals’ hearts, livers and kidneys while at the same time raising total antioxidant levels.
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