Antioxidant Mini Profile

Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. They are sometimes called “free radical scavengers”.  The sources of antioxidants can be natural or artificial.

Your body has its own antioxidant defenses to keep free radicals in check.  However, antioxidants are also found in food, especially in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based whole foods.  Several vitamins, such as E and C, are effective antioxidants.  Antioxidant food preservatives also play a crucial role in food production by increasing shelf life.

Free radicals are constantly being formed in your body.  Without antioxidants, free radicals would cause serious harm very quickly, eventually resulting in death.  However free radicals also serve important functions that are essential for health.  For example, your immune cells use free radicals to fight infections.  As a result, your body needs to maintain a certain balance between free radicals and antioxidants.  When free radicals outnumber antioxidants, it can lead to a state called oxidative stress.  Prolonged oxidative stress can damage your DNA and other important molecules in your body.  Sometimes it even leads to cell death.  Damage to your DNA increases your risk of cancer and may play a pivotal role in the aging process.

Several lifestyle, stress, and environmental factors are known to promote excessive free radical formation and oxidative stress, including air pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol intake, toxins, high blood sugar levels, high intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids, radiation including excessive sunbathing, bacterial, fungal or viral infections, excessive intake of iron, magnesium, copper or zinc, too much or too little oxygen in your body, intense and prolonged exercise, excessive intake of antioxidants, such vitamins C and E, and antioxidant deficiency.

Prolonged oxidative stress leads to an increased risk of negative health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.

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Tests Included:

    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin C (Urine)
    • Vitamin C (Plasma)
    • Vitamin E

Profile specific instructions for lab draw:

    • This lab profile does not require fasting.
    • A urine specimen will also be requested at the time of the blood draw.
    • Drink plenty of water the day before and leading up to the lab draw.
    • Additional instructions may be provided upon ordering/scheduling.

 

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* All information subject to change. Please check with Bio-Center Laboratory with any questions.