Antioxidants are wonderful things, the peace makers of the nutrient world. They go to work fighting free radicals, which are damaged cells that act like evildoers, ravaging the body in search of a molecule they need to be restored, causing aging and inflammation that is linked to disease in their wake. Antioxidants work not by killing the free radicals, but by donating the molecule the free radical needs to be normal again, so both antioxidant and free radical – now a healthy cell again – can live in harmony.
Vitality through antioxidants
We can get a lot of the antioxidants we need from food, especially vegetables, fruits and fish.
But what about all that talk recently about the dangers of antioxidants, and how they can do more harm than good? Confusing, right?
Well, blame some “experts” for that.
Several studies, including a 2007 study the appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at antioxidant supplements – not distinguishing them from natural and synthetic forms – and found that in some cases they could raise the risk of death. (Ref. 1)
Since synthetic antioxidants are derived from coal tar, the results are not all that surprising, but the news is confusing to those who don’t know the difference – or don’t realize that there is a difference – between natural and synthetic supplements.
We know that natural antioxidants – derived from natural sources – are beneficial to our health, while synthetics may not be.
Liquid vs. tablet – that is the question
But what about the difference between antioxidants delivered in liquid or tablet forms?
While it would seem that liquid antioxidants would be absorbed more quickly than tablets, allowing them to go to work faster fighting free radicals, there’s a few flaws to that theory.
An antioxidant can only be effective if it can be absorbed by the body, and when it comes to liquids, that use is compromised in several different ways.
First, when you open a bottle of liquid antioxidants, the contents are immediately exposed to oxygen, which can essentially deactivate the healthy antioxidant properties in the liquid, leaving you with little more than pricy juice, according to nutrition expert and pharmacist Kristy Ross. (Ref. 2)
Tablets, on the other hand, include ingredients that are encased in an outer coating – such as the enteric coating on our Total Balance formula – that controls the release of the ingredients, so they can be absorbed and used.
Liquid supplements also usually contain only one or two antioxidants, and when it comes to these superheroes, more is definitely better, because they work together far more successfully than they do when they’re apart.
“Not all antioxidants are created equal,” says Ross. Since each plays a role in a different part of your body’s cells, having many different antioxidants available offer much more complete protection.
“Antioxidants also need other antioxidants to work properly, so you don't get the full benefit if you only have a few,” she added. (Ref. 2)
That’s the process of synergy, which has been the main focus of our research at Xtend-Life. We’ve worked hard to determine not only which nutrients work best together, but also how much, a delicate science that is at the heart of our antioxidant-rich Total Balance complete nutrient system.
A high-quality antioxidant supplement in tablet form – such as our well proven Total Balance – is a smarter option, and will help ensure optimum health.
Why are we better?
While most supplement manufacturers use inexpensive forms of many antioxidants to save money, what they’re really doing is cheating you out of the benefits those antioxidants could offer.
For example, many companies include an inexpensive form of the antioxidant l-glutathione, offered in large molecule form. What they fail to mention is that at that size, the molecules are actually too large to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal walls. Since it can’t be absorbed, it passes right through, providing little benefit along the way.
To ensure a quality product that’s actually effective, we use a low molecule size version of l-glutathione, so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream where it can then be transported to our cells.
Too, in order to harness the full power of the antioxidants we include in our Total Balance formulas, we use an extraction process that protects the antioxidant properties, ensuring that you get the most benefits from them.
Our grape seed extract, for example, is extracted from the skin of non-fermented red grapes using water rather than the ethanol chosen by many other manufacturers. This ensures that the approximately 20 active compounds found in red grape skin are intact in our formula, while other brands on the market usually offer only four of them.
The bottom line is this. If you’re taking a supplement to feel your best, make sure you’re taking a high-quality version, because otherwise, you’re likely wasting your money. And nothing feels good about that.