Enzymes are compounds that help reactions in your body proceed. Coenzymes assist in enzymatic reactions. Both enzymes and coenzymes have antioxidant properties. Superoxide dismutase, or SOD, glutathione reductase, coenzyme Q 10, catalase, and carnitine are among the antioxidant enzymes that your body produces. Glutathione peroxidase, thioreductase, and alpha lipoic acid are antioxidant amino acids.
- Glutathione: Glutathione, is made up of 3 amino acids: glycine, glutamine and cysteine, and it is called “master antioxidant” because it is intracellular and has the unique ability of recycling antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, CoQ10, alpha-lipoic acid. Dealing with free radicals is like handing off a hot potato. They get passed around from vitamin C to vitamin E to lipoic acid and then finally to glutathione which cools off the free radicals and recycles other antioxidants. After this happens, the body can “reduce” or regenerate another protective glutathione molecule and we are back in business. However, problems occur when we are overwhelmed with too much oxidative stress or too many toxins. Then the glutathione becomes depleted and we can no longer protect ourselves against free radicals, infections, and we can’t get rid of toxins. This leads to further sickness and soon we are in the downward spiral of chronic illness. Glutathione is also critical in helping your immune system do its job of fighting infections. Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system. All the toxins stick onto glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the stool — and out of your body. And lastly, it also helps us reach peak mental and physical function. Keeping yourself healthy, boosting your performance, preventing disease and aging well depends on keeping your glutathione levels high. Raised glutathione levels decrease muscle damage, reduce recovery time, increase strength and endurance and shift metabolism from fat production to muscle development.
- Co-enzyme Q10: Co-enzyme Q10, or CoQ10 is used by every cell in your body, its benefits are maximized once your body converts it to its reduced form, called ubiquinol, however this process becomes difficult after the age of 25. Aside from naturally protecting you from free radicals, it also: helps produce more energy for your cells, provides support for your heart health, immune system, and nervous system, helps reduce the signs of normal aging, and helps maintain blood pressure levels within the normal range.
- Carnitine: Carnitine, or L-carnitine is also a potent antioxidant and protects tissues from oxidative damage. Carnitine plays a vital role in the production of energy. It helps turn body fat into energy, and gets rid of toxic compounds from the mitochondria to prevent build up. Carnitine is produced by the liver and kidneys, and stored in skeletal, brain, and heart tissue that use fatty acids as energy.
- Alpha-lipoic acid: Alpha-lipoic acid, also called lipoic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that helps cells convert glucose to energy, detoxifies the body, fights inflammation in the skin, and helps stabilize blood sugar. Alpha-lipoic acid has been called a “universal antioxidant” because it is both water- and fat-soluble, and thus can penetrate tissues composed mainly of fat, such as the nervous system, as well as those made mainly of water, such as the heart. Alpha-lipoic acid also helps the body use other antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and glutathione, more efficiently. Alpha-lipoic acid also helps B vitamins convert proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy more efficiently.