Antioxidants are key to keep various severe diseases at bay. They neutralize free radicals (compounds that can harm you if their levels become too high) present in your body and reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Antioxidants are molecules that act as defenses against harmful unstable free radicals in the body. Though they are important for certain significant body functions, when they outnumber the antioxidants, it leads to a state called oxidative stress that can further cause the death of body cells and damage to your DNA.Also Read - Natural Antioxidants Can Keep Your Heart Healthy During Winters, COVID-19

Free radicals are constantly released into your body. Their number can increase due to certain lifestyle and environmental factors including exposure to air pollution, high blood sugar level, prolonged exercise, excessive alcohol intake, or too much sunbathing, etc. Also Read - These Antioxidant-Rich Food Items Can Help You Beat Invading Pathogens

Present in various vitamin C and E containing fruits, vegetables, and other food items, antioxidants keep your immunity strong. You can either opt for natural antioxidants or go for drugs containing them. They are essential for your survival.

The latest antioxidant which is produced for the first time in India is gamma oryzanol, which is very quickly gaining popularity as a super antioxidant. It is a substance that is taken out of rice bran oil. It is also found in wheat bran and some fruits and vegetables.

According to experts gamma oryzanol is used for high cholesterol, symptoms of menopause and many other conditions.

“Gamma oryzanol is useful for controlling elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, supporting cardiovascular health along with controlling menopausal symptoms. Gamma oryzanol helps lower cholesterol because it helps decrease cholesterol absorption and increase cholesterol elimination. Along with this, it is also known to boost metabolic rate and may help with weight loss,” Swapna Chaturvedi, senior dietician, Department of Dietetics, AIIMS told IANS.

As gamma oryzanol is found to be effective in controlling high cholesterol level in the body, it is registered in Japan and the US as a natural medicine to treat hyperlipidemia/dyslipidaemia (elevated cholesterol levels/unhealthy cholesterol levels. Most research shows that taking natural antioxidants decreases total cholesterol, “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides in people with high cholesterol.

“It also helps in preventing heart attack by preventing platelet aggregation, a system where platelets blood gets stuck together and form clots that block arteries,” said Praveen Chandra, Head of Department, Interventional Cardiology, Medanta, The Medicity in Gurugram. The experts mentioned that gamma oryzanol is also used for increasing testosterone and human growth hormone levels, as well as improving strength during resistance exercise training.

Gamma oryzanol also helps to inhibit different cancers in the body and builds immunity to fight cancer cells. “Many of the antioxidants have proven beneficial in inhibiting the cancers at various stages. Gamma oryzanol has been found out to be effective antioxidant which comes from rice bran and helps in preventing cancer if taken for a long period,” said Rahul Bhargava, Director, Institute of Blood Disorder and BMT, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi. Gamma oryzanol is basically activator of NK cells which gives the cancer cells a check.

It not only works through NK cells but also inhibits angiogenesis. It means it cuts the supply for the cancer cells to grow and increases your body’s own immunity to gather the strength to kill cancers.

“Gamma oryzanol also prevents cancers and studies show it helps in regressing the prostate cancer cells,” Bhargava noted.

With Inputs From IANS