Antioxidant Level Dynamics

Antioxidant Level Dynamics
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Using an argon laser to measure human antioxidant levels in real time, researchers uncover how fast stress can deplete the body, and how slowly it takes to restore antioxidant levels.

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Okay, here’s another fascinating study. Published last year in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, and comes straight out of science fiction. They used an argon laser to measure, in real time, the levels of antioxidants in people’s bodies. Antioxidant substances in living human skin.

We know that eating fruits and vegetables boosts our antioxidant levels, while stress, on the other hand, eats at our stores of antioxidants—causing our levels to drop. But how fast does this all happen? What are the dynamics of it? We didn’t know, until this study.

And while they were taking measurements, they had people take diaries—when they were sick, tired, eating tomato sauce, or up partying all night. And so they came up with graphs like this—tracking antioxidant levels, and linking them to life events. So here, for example, things are going fine; then stress at work. Eats more fruits and veggies; but then starts not getting enough sleep. More fruit and veggie consumption again; then gets a bad cold—drops him way down before slowly starting to recover.

Their most important finding was that antioxidant levels can plummet within two hours of a stressful event. You get stuck in traffic, agitated, breathing in car exhaust, and your body starts using up antioxidant stores left and right.

Takes two hours to lose, and can take up to three days to get our levels back up again. So the take-home message is that especially when we’re sick, stressed, tired, we need to be soaking our bodies in antioxidants—which means fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack, and sipping green tea all day long.

They’ve actually used this same laser technology to tightly correlate the development of wrinkles with low antioxidant levels in the skin. So, even if you don’t care what’s going on inside your body, you should eat healthy for the outside too.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Okay, here’s another fascinating study. Published last year in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, and comes straight out of science fiction. They used an argon laser to measure, in real time, the levels of antioxidants in people’s bodies. Antioxidant substances in living human skin.

We know that eating fruits and vegetables boosts our antioxidant levels, while stress, on the other hand, eats at our stores of antioxidants—causing our levels to drop. But how fast does this all happen? What are the dynamics of it? We didn’t know, until this study.

And while they were taking measurements, they had people take diaries—when they were sick, tired, eating tomato sauce, or up partying all night. And so they came up with graphs like this—tracking antioxidant levels, and linking them to life events. So here, for example, things are going fine; then stress at work. Eats more fruits and veggies; but then starts not getting enough sleep. More fruit and veggie consumption again; then gets a bad cold—drops him way down before slowly starting to recover.

Their most important finding was that antioxidant levels can plummet within two hours of a stressful event. You get stuck in traffic, agitated, breathing in car exhaust, and your body starts using up antioxidant stores left and right.

Takes two hours to lose, and can take up to three days to get our levels back up again. So the take-home message is that especially when we’re sick, stressed, tired, we need to be soaking our bodies in antioxidants—which means fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack, and sipping green tea all day long.

They’ve actually used this same laser technology to tightly correlate the development of wrinkles with low antioxidant levels in the skin. So, even if you don’t care what’s going on inside your body, you should eat healthy for the outside too.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

8 responses to “Antioxidant Level Dynamics

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  1. Wow, fantastic info. It seems stress and emotional turmoil can cause so much damage. This reminds me of how we know things intuitively, or perhaps even literally seeing the consequences of things such as this, yet are told there is no “evidence.” Glad to see the evidence coming through! Thanks for providing it — and in realtime!

  2. Dr Greger, is this same type of instrumentation similar to Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner? The device uses Raman spectroscopy to measure levels on the palm of our hand.

  3. Great video. When you think about DHEA levels, antioxidant depletion, etc., it really puts into perspective how much our choices have an impact on us and how connected things all are, our own mentality for example, and it makes you think twice about how to react in stressful situations… it also makes you think twice about stressing others’ out.

    I assume those being studied were on a more typical diet, possibly not reaching the measly RDA of antioxidants or just reaching it. I try to keep myself flooded with antioxidants, I aspire to be as much like a plant as I can lol.

  4. Is there such a thing as getting too many antioxidants? I searched in Google and according to some sites, you can get ill if you take in too much.

    1. Hi KT! Yes, there is such a thing as getting too many antioxidants, but this is only a concern when they are in a supplement form. You don’t have to worry about getting too many antioxidants from whole plant foods!

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