Antioxidant enzymes and dietary antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals before they do more damage to your eyes, and to other parts of your body.

The enzymes include superoxide dismutase (SOD), which prevents damage caused by superoxide, a toxic oxygen molecule; catalase, which eliminates hydrogen peroxide, created by the quenching of superoxide free radicals; glutathione peroxidase; and methionine reductase.

Vitamins A, C, and E, and several minerals are some of the dietary antioxidants you receive through your food and from supplements.

Longer Lifespans?

The levels of these enzymes, produced by the cells in the body, along with the levels of the various dietary antioxidants in the body, determine the lifespans of all mammals.

Humans live longer than other mammals because we have greater quantities of these free-radical-fighting chemicals in our cells. Thus, someone with lower levels will likely age faster and become sick more easily than someone with higher levels.

It appears that these enzymes canít be increased in the body by taking oral doses (capsules or pills), but wheat sprouts are an excellent source of the four enzymes discussed above.

Sulphur-containing foods such as garlic and onions also help the production of glutathione peroxidase.

Slow and Steady Is Better Than Fast and Furious

Try to avoid taking megadoses of any one antioxidant. Use all of them.

If you think of these chemicals as firefighters, a megadose can be thought of as one giant with a big hose. He may be able to fight part of the fire, but heíll miss others, and the fire might require different methods to extinguish it (think of the dangers of using water to put out an oil-based fire). If you take all of them, they work like a bucket brigade that puts water, foam, and halogens on all areas of the fire at once.

The Dietary Antioxidants

Below is a list of the vitamins, minerals and other chemicals that fight free radicals. Click here to learn more about them.

  • Vitamin A and beta-carotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Taurine
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin
  • Lycopene
  • Bilberry and other Flavonoids
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Quercetin
  • Co-enzyme Q10
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids