Smoking and vitamin loss may sound unusual
Smoking and Vitamin loss may sound unusual, but if you smoke, taking vitamins and mineral supplements may be the most important thing you can do for yourself in the fight against free radicals and cadmium, which can be toxic.
It goes without saying that smoking is very dangerous to your health and the best way to prevent free radical damage is to quit, but that is a lot easier said than done, and if you can not or do not want to quit, at least understand what you can do to at least protect yourself the best that you can.
Twenty seven percent of the population of the United States still smoke, one third of the adult male population world wide smoke, and over fifty billion cigarettes are sold daily; one million every ten minutes, so there are still millions of people who smoke.
And as a result of smoking, these millions of people will find that smoking and vitamin depletion happens much faster than people who do not smoke.
So what exactly are free radicals
To understand how important nutrients are to smoking, there must be basic understanding on what free radicals are. Our bodies are composed of several types of cells, and these cells are composed of several types of molecules. Molecules are made up of one or more atoms and elements that are joined together by chemically made bonds.
Basically, these bonds do not split unless they become weak or are not paired together properly. But when they do, they become unpaired electrons so to speak and they bust out free or unpaired, forming what is referred to as free radicals.
Free radicals arise normally in our bodies functions during metabolism, which is a good thing, as they are purposely created to fight against bacteria and viruses. However, too many free radicals become very dangerous as this now free radical will attack the closet stable molecule and steal its electron.
When the molecule is attacked and overcome, it becomes free itself, and the chain reaction has now started.
There are other causes for free radical development such as pesticides or herbicides, but far and away the biggest contributor is smoking, mainly because you are constantly exposing your cells by smoking and vitamin loss occurs due elevated levels of free radicals.
Antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E can prevent this damage, as one of their most important functions in the body is that of an antioxidant, especially important to smoking and vitamin depletion.
Smokers will break down Vitamin C much more rapidly than will non smokers, almost fifty percent faster, as well as several of the B class of vitamins that are essential for cell and organ oxidation.
Vitamin E is the most abundant fat soluble vitamin found in our bodies and also the most effective antioxidant in breaking the free radical change.
Vitamin C is the most abundantly found watersoluble antioxidant in the body and is extremely important in our cellular fluids, collagen production, as well as helping Vitamin E in retaining its active form in combating the growth of free radicals.
Collagen levels are also reduced by smoking and vitamin loss. Collagen, which is a protein constituent of bone, tendons and connective tissues, helps in preventing wrinkles and sallow skin conditions.
The oxidation processes of Vitamin E are also extremely important to smokers, as the several different toxins from cigarettes can cause scars to form on the arterial walls of the arteries that carry our blood from the heart.
Oxidation is the process that helps to stop this scarring caused by smoking.
Vitamin B6, which is instrumental in turning proteins into carbohydrates from the storage form into the energy form, is also affected by smoking.
However, one of the most overlooked, least reported, and one of the most serious damages from smoking comes from cadmium that steadily builds up in your system and can deplete it from several very important minerals.
Cadmium, a natural element in the earths crust, is a mineral element that is found in cigarette smoke. Smoking, especially heavy smoking can cause cadmium levels to build in your organs and cause a severe anemia to the point of toxicity.
Cadmium also reduces the copper levels in your body which are necessary in breaking down thyroid hormones and extracting the excess hormone out of our blood stream.
The risk of thyroid eye disease also increases as well as increased cancer growth rates because of cadmiums affect on selenium, which is drastically reduced by this element.
Other than flat out quitting smoking, which will start to reduce cadmium levels in the body immediately, the only way to safely reduce the levels are to increase selenium and copper supplements into your system.
Selenium and Vitamin E are also very effective at reducing cadmium levels when used together and combating smoking and vitamin loss. Zinc levels are also reduced by cadmium, but because of zincs effect on hypothyroidism, it is much safer to stick with selenium and Vitamin E.
We all know smoking is dangerous, but if you do smoke, you need to protect your body with vitamin and mineral supplements, and replace these critical nutrients that are being placed at risk by smoking and vitamin depletion.