By: Janice Duryea
Antioxidants - a molecule found in substances such as ascorbic acid (vitaman C), grape seed extract, glutathione, and melatonin - are said to prevent a number of serious diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing down or preventing the oxidation of other molecules in the body. When molecules in the body's cells are oxidized, they cells become damaged. And if enough cells are damaged and not working properly - aging and diseases occur.
What is not widely known is that antioxidants could also possibly prevent autism. This is what researchers from the University of Arkansas claim, based on their study in 2005. According to their breakthrough and somewhat controversial study, the antioxidant levels of children suffering from autism are significantly lower compared to children without autism.
While this study's comparison of antioxidants levels may seem somewhat insignificant when judging it on face value - as the same can be said about a number of diseases - the significance of antioxidants in the body, and the implications this research suggests, is an important progress in the fight against autism.
But first, what are antioxidants? Why is this substance important in the human body?
Antioxidants can prevent or delay the oxidation process of other molecules from the substances that people take in by eating and through contact with the environment. They also reduce the amount of free radicals in the body. Oxidation (also known as the reduction oxidation reaction), causes the production of free radicals. And it is these free radicals that can damage certain cells in the body, causing a number of diseases and ailments. The reduction oxidation process is inevitable as it is a part of how our bodies function. But slowly down the oxidation makes it easier for our cells to cope. The production of free radicals Cannot be stopped completely, for that matter, a number of studies have shown that these free radicals are present even in the very air in the atmosphere. Still a reduction of the free radicals in the body, means a healthier life.
So how does this relate specifically with autism? First of all, oxidants can cause brain injuries - in fact, the brain is very vulnerable to oxidation damages. So lower level of antioxidants may allow - brain tissue damage.
Antioxidants do another very useful task in our system. They help with the elimination of toxins from the body. When too many oxidants are present, the body is unable to detoxify itself of harmful heavy metals. And heeay metals are another supposed cause of autism. Heavy metals can be found in vaccines, in the air, water and food, so children are often exposed to these harmful substances early on. While the supposed effect of vaccines is contested by many medical experts, heavy metals and in particular mercury does appear to effect autism development in children.
The lower levels of antioxidants in autistic children may indicate that they have been unable to eliminate toxins (including heavy metals) as effectively as non-autisitc children.
The researchers from the University of Arkansas still believe that autism is a genetic ailment. However, in an interview with Forbes.com, a researcher from the said university have said that while the root cause of autism maybe genetic, environmental triggers play a part in the disease’s genetic manifestation.
Still, antioxidants do prevent free radicals from harming the brain. And certain studies made by several countries have already linked brain inflammation to autism, and this inflammation can be caused by oxidants. A strengthened immune system, thanks to antioxidants, can provide protection against brain damage.
Hence, many doctors, all over the country, see antioxidants as one of the more valuable elements in the fight against autism. A number of professionals, too, such as those from the Autism Research Institute, encourage parents to give their children with autism food that are rich with antioxidants, as well as supplements that prevent oxidation in the body.
Author Resource:-> Janice Duryea is a Nutrition and Holistic Care Specialist, http://www.autism-supplements.com
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About the Publisher: Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including: Sherlock Holmes Pastiches, Great-recipe.net's Blog, Health News, Baby Showers, and Taste of the Grape - Wine.
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