Sunday, January 28, 2007

Anti Aging

The ads sounds too good to be true: All you have to do is take a pill, and you'll suddenly find yourself muscle-bound and full of youthful energy. What those ads don't tell you is you'll also empty out your wallet and possibly harm your body using an unproven therapy.skin_care

The aging process isn't fully understood and scientists have yet to find a "magic bullet" that can reverse the effects of aging. To help you sort out the science from the hype, find out what evidence — if any — there is backing these anti-aging therapies.

As you process food for energy, your body produces substances called free radicals. Free radicals are believed to contribute to aging and certain diseases.

To neutralize free radicals, your body uses antioxidants — certain vitamins, minerals and enzymes — that come from the food you eat. Proponents believe that antioxidants can prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Some antioxidants you may have heard of include:

* Vitamin A
* Vitamin B-6
* Vitamin B-12
* Vitamin C
* Vitamin E
* Beta carotene
* Folic acid
* Selenium

The best way to give your body the antioxidants it needs is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. If you can't obtain all the nutrients you need from food, your doctor may recommend using supplements to make up for any deficiencies. Also, if you have certain medical conditions, such as macular degeneration, your doctor may recommend that you supplement your diet with antioxidants.

There's no proof that antioxidants in pill form can improve your general health or extend your life. In fact, they can have the opposite effect. For instance, smokers who take beta carotene supplements might actually increase their risk of lung cancer. If you're interested in increasing the amount of antioxidants in your diet, talk to your doctor before you start taking supplements. And remember, there's nothing harmful about adding a few servings of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet.

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