Antioxidant vitamins and minerals are natural compounds that help protect the body from harmful free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that can cause damage to cells, impairing the immune system and leading to infections and various degenerative diseases such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, arthritis, cataracts, emphysema, retinopathy, etc.

The best known antioxidant vitamins and minerals are vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, the minerals Selenium, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, and Iron. The body uses these elements to make free radical enzyme scavengers; which neutralize the free radicals. The four most important enzymes that neutralize the free radicals are the superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme, methionine reductase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.

These antioxidants neutralize oxygen-derived free radicals, such as superoxide radicals, hydroxyl radicals, hypochlorite radicals, hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxides and nitric oxide. They may be formed by exposure to radiation, the sun’s rays, toxic chemicals, cigarette smoke, polluted air, industrial and household chemicals, and various metabolic processes, such as the process of breaking down stored fat molecules for use as an energy source within the body and stress.

These free radicals contain at least one unpaired electron. Electrons are negatively charged particles that usually occur in pairs, forming a chemically stable arrangement. If an electron is unpaired, another atom or molecule can easily bond with it, causing a chemical reaction. Because they join so readily with other compounds, free radicals can effect dramatic changes in the body, and they can cause a lot of oxidative damage. Each free radical may exist for only a tiny fraction of a second, but the damage it leaves behind can be irreversible, particularly damage to heart muscle cells, nerve cells, and certain immune system sensor cells.

Diet can also contribute to the formation of free radicals. A diet high in fat can increase free radical activity because oxidation occurs more readily in fat molecules than it does in carbohydrate or protein molecules. Cooking fats at high temperatures, particularly frying foods in oil, can produce large numbers of free radicals. If the diet does not contain enough antioxidant vitamins and minerals to neutralize these free radicals, they can alter the way in which the cells code genetic material. Changes in protein structure can occur as a result of errors in protein synthesis. The body’s immune system may then see this altered protein as a foreign substance and try to destroy it. The formation of mutated proteins can eventually damage the immune system and lead to leukemia, and other types of cancer, autoimmune diseases as well as many other degenerative diseases. In addition to damaging genetic material, free radicals can destroy the protective cell membranes and calcium levels can be upset.

It is important to remember that the molecular weights of enzymes are quite high. For example, the copper-zinc SOD enzyme has a molecular weight in excess of 30,000 daltons, while the manganese SOD weighs more that 60,000 daltons. Both of these structures have molecular weights that far exceed what the body and cells can absorb intact without digestion which, results in the destruction of the SOD enzyme. The maximum weight of a molecule is 1,500 daltons for cellular intact absorption. In view of this, it becomes obvious that typical SOD supplements on the market have little or no value in spite of rigorous marketing strategies. Instead, the body needs through supplementation, the antioxidant vitamins and minerals in the correct ratio, molecular weight, and combination to manufacture within the body necessary SOD enzymes to neutralize free radicals and stop their damage.

Currently 3 SOD enzymes have been identified by scientific studies that the body manufactures if the proper intake of copper, zinc, and manganese are bio-available. SOD-1 (Cytosolic, Copper/Zinc SOD) SOD-2 (Mitochondrial, Manganese SOD) SOD-3(Erythrocyte, Copper/Zinc SOD)

Life Zone’s Kela I targets the Immune System and delivers key antioxidant vitamins and minerals to the Immune System in a bio-available amino acid chelated process so that the body can manufacture SOD Enzymes. This is a patented process backed by medical and scientific research leading to over 100 patents world wide.

With antioxidant vitamins and minerals bio-available to the Immune System, the SOD enzyme enzymatically converts toxic superoxide anion radicals to hydrogen peroxide, which is then converted to water via the action of glutathione peroxidase or catalase. If the antioxidant vitamins and minerals are not bio-available to the body, then the superoxide anion becomes an unstable reactive and therefore chemically dangerous as a free radical which initiates lipid peroxidation which results in the accumulation of water soluble fluorescent compounds in the liver, lungs, spleen, kidneys, heart and brain where irreversible damage can occur.

Antioxidant vitamins and minerals are included in Life Zone’s Basic plus. A patented multiple vitamin/mineral supplement designed to provide essential nutrients to the entire body. Both Kela I and Basic plus offer powerful nutrition in a bio-available format for maximum nutritional antioxidant protection.