New Delhi: If you want to keep your immune system strong for fighting cardiovascular diseases or cancer, start taking natural antioxidants as health experts stressed that it helps in improving overall health by providing many other health benefits.
According to experts, antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you're exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
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.
The experts said that 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.