Degenerative conditions are literally the way of life. Aging is fundamentally a decrease in our ability to replace cells faster than they are damaged or impaired. This process continues 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It affects every tissue in our bodies, skin, nerve, bone, brain, muscle, eyes and hair. At best it is a decrease in ability such as impaired visual acuity from cataracts or loss of concentration and memory in the brain. At worst it is life threatening as cellular damage proceeds to cancer or complete metabolic failure.
In the last twenty years science has identified free radicals as the primary source of cellular damage. They are introduced through our diet, through environmental exposure and as byproducts and metabolites of normal body functions. There is no way to avoid them. It is necessary that sufficient amounts of free radical scavengers or protectors are constantly present to insure that damaging free radicals are neutralized.
This is the role of antioxidants. Just as there are many different free radicals which damage us in different ways, so too are there numerous antioxidants to protect us. It is essential to remember that the role of antioxidants is a protective one. They are necessary before the damage occurs.