Organisms age as cells accumulate free radical damage over time, a free radical is a molecule that has a single unpaired electron. Most biologically-relevant free radicals are highly reactive, for most biological structures, free radical damage is closely associated with oxidative damage.
Antioxidants are reducing agents, and limit oxidative damage to biological structures by neutralizing free radicals. Redox is the term short for reduction–oxidation reaction. This is a chemical reaction where the oxidation states of atoms are changed. It involves both a reduction process and a complementary oxidation process, the key concepts involved with electron transfer. Redox includes all chemical reactions where the oxidation state changes and involves the transfer of electrons between chemical species. When the electron is stripped it is said to be oxidized by free radicals, when the electron is added is said to be reduced by antioxidants.
Oxidation is the loss of electrons or an increase in oxidation state by a molecule.
Reduction is the gain of electrons or a decrease in oxidation state by a molecule.
Oxidative Stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize them with antioxidants. It is known to contribute to skin aging and thought to be part of the development of auto-immune diseases as in Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cancers. Oxidative stress also plays a role in cardiovascular disease where oxidation triggers the cause of atherosclerosis. Antioxidants, such as glutathione, help protect DNA from oxidative stress.
Glutathione is one of the most important cellular antioxidants to prevent damage caused by free radicals. It is naturally produced in the body and made from specialized amino acids for metabolic and biochemical reactions such as DNA synthesis and repair. Glutathione binds to tyrosinase and helps prevent the production of melanin. Its antioxidant properties eliminate free radicals and inactivate tyrosinase, minimizing the potential for hyperpigmentation. It helps prevent the activation of tyrosinase by reducing free radicals that activate and cause an increase in melanin production. Choosing topical skin care products containing tyrosinase inhibitors can minimize the potential for oxidative stress to the skin and premature aging.
A vitamin is any of a group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body…
Vitamins can be antioxidants:
Vitamin A: (retinol), is fat soluble and synthesized from beta-carotene
Vitamin C: (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble compound
Vitamin E: (tocotrienol and tocopherol) is fat soluble