We are constantly bombarded with cellular-damaging substances, called free-radicals, generated by our environment, from air, water, pollutants and other substances. Sunlight, radiation, drugs, pesticides, chemicals, fried foods, alcohol and tobacco smoke are just a few more examples of free-radical generating substances. Free radicals are also produced as the natural byproducts of oxygen metabolism, or simply, breathing. Oxygen free radicals serve a purpose in the body by burning bacteria and waste. 1 
We can therefore say that free radicals are not all bad. They do have a purpose. However, when out of control they become toxic. 

How do free-radicals get out of control? 
Years ago, our foods contained enough vitamins and minerals to keep free-radicals under control. The substances responsible for doing this task are called anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are present in fruits and vegetables that have been grown in nutrient-rich soils, vine-ripened and eaten fresh from the garden. However today, our soils are depleted of minerals, and so are our foods. Fruit is picked early and artificially ripened. It is placed in storage, transported and marketed, and finally reaches the consumer devoid of antioxidants. Vegetables are no better. A carrot is no longer a carrot! 
Additionally, our bodies have far more free-radicals to deal with because of the stresses of 21st century living. All up, free-radical damage affects us all. 

What are the visible signs of free-radical damage? 
Free-radical damage contributes heavily to the two biggest killers – heart disease and cancer. 
The Lancet medical journal in 1996 reported a Cambridge University study showing antioxidants reduce the rate of death from heart attack by 77%. In the USA, “Cancer Prevention Study 2” (CPS2) involved 1 million Americans taking “combination antioxidants” over 7 years, showed a 20% reduction in all causes of mortality. Extensive scientific studies and a growing number of testimonials prove these antioxidant formulas can dramatically improve health, retard ageing, prevent and often reverse disease processes such as cancer. 2 

Traditional antioxidants, like Vitamins A (Beta-Carotene), C and E are well known for their positive effects on the body. Their limit is that they only remain effective in the body for up to three hours. Other more powerful antioxidants, called ‘oligomeric proanthocyandins’, commonly referred to as OPCs, are effective in the body for up to three days. The best sources are from Grape Seed and White Pine Bark (pinus strobus). OPCs have been found to be 50 times more potent than Vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C. 3 
OPCs also have shown to act as an anti-inflammatory, an antihistamine, strengthen blood vessels and act against bleeding gums. They act as “super-smart missiles” which, when consumed, go into your body and target any damaged cells, restoring them. 4 
Another extremely powerful category of antioxidants are Curcuminoids, found in a certain type of Turmeric. Curcuminoids have been shown to have amazing anti-mutagenic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They offer protection from the influence of environmental toxins, and appear to have the ability to combat cancer-causing agents in the system. They are 60 times more powerful than Vitamin C and 150 times more powerful than Vitamin E. 5 

There are over 70 different conditions where the use of antioxidants have significantly helped people regain and maintain optimal health. Some of these are: 
ADD/ADHD, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, eye problems, gastro-intestinal problems, joint pain, lupus and other auto-immune diseases, inflammation and skin conditions. 6 

1. Tonita d’Raye, The Great Grape and Fine Pine, p. 8
2. Be Informed, The Global Health Alert
3. Ibid
4. Mark Virkler Go Natural, p 125
5. The Global Health Alert
6. Ibid