Most of us are aware of the fact that antioxidants are good for us, but not all of us are sure why and how. When you are trying to understand the concept of antioxidants and their role in keeping you healthy, you should delve a bit into their composition as well as their fundamental features. This will give you a clearer picture as to how these tiny substances work within our body.
Let’s begin with the term antioxidants. The first half, ‘anti’ obviously means something that opposes or which is altering in nature. Antioxidants work at opposing certain negative aspects of our bodily functions. Our body is like a well-oiled machine.
There is something going on in it all the time. Our breathing in of oxygen makes it the primary material needed for almost every function of the body. In the course of these processes taking place there is a certain amount of negative fallout.
This comes in the form of oxidant substances, which are formed. If they are not countered they can prove harmful to cells and can progress into chronic illnesses.
These oxidants go by a more common name of free radicals. While they can be formed as a part of the body’s processes, they can also occur due to certain external factors such as excessive exposure to the sun. People who have stressful jobs or lives as well as those with vices like drinking and smoking and equally bad eating habits will also have a lot of oxidants forming in their bodies.
If these oxidants or free radicals are left free, they tend to attack and breakdown healthy cells in the body. The cells are usually DNA as well as the good proteins and fats in your body. The way you will see the damage is with the aging of your body before it should.
It will also reduce your immunity and damage your immunological system. This automatically paves the way for several illnesses like eye trouble in the form of cataracts, the onset of cancer as well as cardiac illnesses.
Reducing Power of Government
What antioxidants do is bind themselves to the oxidants and thereby reduce its destructive power. It also has the ability to fix damage that cells have already suffered. This can be done to a certain extent. Some antioxidants are formed within the body itself in the form of enzymes. The most common of them is Superoxide Dismutase, Catalase as well as Glutathione.
Here is an idea on how they work in your body. Superoxide Dismutase works at changing the fundamental structure of oxidants and slowly breaks it down into hydrogen peroxide. Catalase takes things forward and breaks down the hydrogen peroxide into water as well as oxygen. Glutathione, detoxifying agent, binds itself with the destructive oxidants and facilitates it removal from the body.
An external source of anti-oxidants is found in various types of food we eat. Vitamins A, C, E as well as Beta Carotene and Selenium are considered extremely beneficial antioxidants. A common is for all of them are the fruits and vegetables we eat. Ideally fruits and vegetables should be eaten in as raw a form as possible.
This will give you the best of antioxidants that have not been weakened due to cooking. Science has progressed such that antioxidant supplements are also available easily over the counter for those who do not really get antioxidants from their food intake.
The work of antioxidants on the body can be understood with certain metaphors. For example, oxidants function much like rust on metal. Rust corrodes a metal, breaks it down and finally destroys it. Antioxidants on the other hand are much like keeping cut apples fresh.
A squeeze of lime or orange juice over them and the Vitamin C prevents it from degrading and spoiling. Being able to get these antioxidants naturally from your food is the best way of keeping healthy.
There is a significant difference between the two major classifications of antioxidants. In order for you to understand how they work, you need to be familiar with how they function. For the first type you have what are known as water soluble antioxidants. What they primarily do is identify the free radicals, rid the body of them along with other pollutants.
This way it helps in the process of cell cytosol – or the formation of complex liquid forms within a cell. The majority of these antioxidants are acid and the more your liver and serum contains it, the better immunity you have. The most common of this form of antioxidants are:
- Ascorbic Acid
- Uric Acid
- Lipoic acid
The other type of antioxidant is the lipid soluble variety. These are much more passive in nature and do not set out in search of oxidants to destroy. The way it works is to latch onto the rogue cell and then put into it a number of healthy nutrients.
This helps the injured cell replenish its resources and be healthy again. These types of antioxidants work together with existing cells and ensure that they remain healthy. Some examples of these lipid soluble antioxidants are Carotenes and Ubiquinol. The main source of these is fruits.
Types of Antioxidants
Of course, there are several antioxidants and they are found in numerous forms. Understanding the range of antioxidants available will give you are better idea of how best to ensure that you get your required amount. Here are the basic types of antioxidants.
Antioxidant nutrients: The antioxidants that we get from our diet are considered the most important form of its intake. They appear to have the most control over damage caused by the formation of free radicals. Each of these antioxidant nutrients has a unique structure as well as function. Each of these functions is unique.
Vitamin E is a general terms that refers to approximately eight variations of the isomer Tocopherol. This is in terms of biological activity generated. For clarity, an isomer can be understood thus – a situation where one of two molecules has an identical chemical formula but a completely different atom structure.
Alpha-tocopherol is most common and has the most effect on the human body. This effect is scientifically referred to as biopotency. Its function is to dissolve fats. What Alpha-tocopherol does is to protect all cells with fatty acids from being destroyed by free radicals.
Vitamin C is soluble in water and also goes by the name ascorbic acid. It looks through the water-based environment in your body in search of free radicals. This means that it looks inside the cells of your body as well. Vitamin C and E work in conjunction with one another, with Vitamin C reinforcing a weaker form of Vitamin E.
Beta-carotene, another aqueous vitamin, is perhaps the most studied of all 600 carotenoids that scientists have been able to name until today. What beta-carotene is well versed in doing is being able to search for free radicals in an environment where there is a minimal level of oxygen.
Selenium is a trace element and a mineral that we need consume in only very small quantities, but without it, we could not survive. It forms the base of antioxidant enzymes, a major one being glutathione peroxidase. Just like selenium, manganese and zinc are an important part of antioxidant enzymes.
Antioxidant Enzymes: The main antioxidant enzymes that work to protect the body are Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) as well as glutathione peroxidase (GPx).
They work in a sort of a pattern where the SOD breaks down a radical to create hydrogen peroxide. Catalase and GPx then kick in, along with protein glutathione and create water. They work together and fix DNA that has been oxidized. It also works on improving the strength of oxidized lipids.
Other Types of Antioxidants
Apart from antioxidant vitamins, minerals and enzymes, there are certain compounds as well as nutrients that have exhibited antioxidant features. Some of them are:
- Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or ubiquinone): this is needed for the creation of energy. It helps shelter the body from free radicals.
- Uric acid, a metabolic by-product is also being experimented on as an antioxidant.
- Plants also contain substances called phytochemicals that are believed to produce antioxidant activity. They are also believed to boost health.
Ways Antioxidants Work
The basic premise of antioxidants is that it prevents oxidation. This it does by neutralizing free radicals and oxidizing them. However, in the process these antioxidants need to be constantly replenished. The way antioxidants works goes like this.
The process of breaking the chain
When free radicals move around the body, they tend to form a second radical. They do this by releasing or stealing an electron. This process continues and several such free radicals are formed. This creates several unstable pockets throughout the body.
The free radicals work on destroying cells unless they are neutralized by an antioxidant, which breaks the process of more radicals forming or when the process finally meets its end and the radicals degenerate into a harmless substance.
The process of prevention
Now antioxidant enzymes work in such a way to prevent the chain process from occurring so frequently. Certain antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase help in the reduction of a number of chains that are initiated.
What happens is that these enzymes go in search of those radicals that initiate the process and prevent them from beginning the chain. They also stabilize metal-based radicals like copper and iron.
How effective any form of antioxidant is in the body depends completely on the free radical that it is tackling. The various factors include the way in which these oxidants were generated and how, the damage that has been done and in what concentration.
Therefore, while in one person’s body the antioxidants might have absolutely no effect in another’s it can work wonders. There are also some cases where oxidants turn into what are known as pro-oxidants. This is a toxic oxygen variant. It has to be understood however, that these are not fundamentally bad, but an excess of them can work as bad as free radicals.
Where are Antioxidants Found
There is a plethora of research going on for the artificial production of antioxidants, especially that of Vitamin E. While most of the research has put forth some promising results, food will always be a primary source of them.
You need a balanced diet in order to maintain good health; therefore, you will need to include at least five helpings of fruits and vegetables every single day in your diet.
This is what will constitute the much sought after balanced diet. Here is a list of foods where you can find naturally occurring anti-oxidants.
Vitamin E is found abundantly in vegetable oils of all sorts. Nuts such as walnuts, peanuts and almonds are recommended. There is also a range of seeds as well as olives, avocados, wheat germ and liver that contain a healthy amount of Vitamin E.
Do not forget that green and leafy vegetables are a good source. In fact the darker the color of the vegetables, the better a vitamin source they are.
Fruits & Vegetables
Make citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit as well as lemon juice a part of your diet for Vitamin C. Vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, cantaloupe, and strawberries are also ideal sources besides the green leafy vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, papayas, pumpkins, bell peppers, apricots as well as spinach, kale, squash and sweet potatoes are abundantly rich in beta-carotene.
Seafood & Meats
Seafood and meats like, beef, pork and chicken have selenium in them as do Brazil nuts, brown rice, and whole wheat bread that you use for sandwiches.
Another source of antioxidants is phytochemicals. These are relatively new entrants into the world of nutrition. While they are not considered absolutely vital for the sustenance of human life, they have been known to exhibit certain antioxidant properties.
Phytochemicals are non-nutritive based plant chemicals. They help plants shield themselves from illnesses. More than a thousand of these have been catalogued. With time, these phytochemicals have also shown a tendency to help the human body fight oxidants.
Some commonly known phytochemicals are lycopene that occur in tomatoes, isoflavones are what you will find in soy and flavanoids are found in fruits. There are several sources of phytochemicals that can easily be included in our diet. They are:
- Onions, leeks, chives as well as garlic are a source of Allyl Sulfides.
- Spinach, Kale, carrots, tomatoes and watermelon are for carotenoids such as lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin.
- Turmeric, a common ingredient in Asian cooking is full of Curcumin
- Berries of almost all kinds have flavanoids like anthocyanins, resveratrol, quercitin, catechins. Include a lot of blueberries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries and blackberries in your diet.
- The berries are also a source of phenols, polyphenols, phenolic compounds such as ellagic acid, ferulic acid as well as tannins).
- Fruits such as grapes, apples and grapefruit are also beneficial.
- Green leafy vegetables are your singular good source of Glutathione.
- Broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower are all sources of indole. Most of these are also a source of Isothiocyanates such as sulforaphane.
- Peas and soybeans are full of Isofavlones like genistein and daidzeins.
- Seeds like flax and sunflower are your source of lignans.
- Citrus peels along with nuts and cherries contain monoterpenes.
- Whole grains and legumes have phytic acids, with the latter also having saponins.
There are also some herbs that are good sources of antioxidants:
Turmeric for example is a common ingredient in Asian cooking and has long been relied on as a natural health care ingredient. It contains the antioxidant curcumin that particularly targets free radicals that occur in the liver. It also helps in the process of digestion.
Hawthorn contains antioxidants that work towards strengthening the muscle of the heart as well as the surrounding blood vessels.
Ginkgo Biloba is filled with flavonoids. This increases blood circulation to the brain as well as improves the functioning of it. Memory and self-awareness is heightened. It also helps in protecting the ears and eyes and increases the blood flow to the lower limbs.
Green Tea is known to protect the heart as well as to improve the circulatory system.
Red Clover, its extract has been found to contain four tumor-fighting compounds as well as the antioxidant tocopherol, which is a form of Vitamin E.
Bilberry and its antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanosides assist in taking care of eye ailments such as cataracts. It helps improve night vision.
Of course, it goes without saying that merely watching your diet is not enough. There needs to be ample exercise and personal healthcare involved as well for the effects to be manifold.
Antioxidants are those molecules that are a safe way of dealing with free radical or oxidants that form in the body. This it does by interacting or latching on to the free radical and inhibiting it from the chain that it is habituated to creating. There are several systems within the human body to help in this process but the most important of all is the role of anti-oxidants.
The main micronutrients or vitamins that are considered important for the functioning of the body are Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. In addition to this selenium, a trace metal that is found in the body is also necessary for the proper functioning of the enzyme systems that the body builds up.
Not all of these can be manufactured by the body alone and many a times they have to be supplemented by diet. Here is an idea of how you can get these antioxidants and what the right amount you should get it in is.
This is a d-alpha tocopherol antioxidant. What this means is that it is a vitamin that can dissolve fats in the body. This is found in nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils as well as whole grains such as wheat germ. It is also found in fortified cereals and dried fruits such as apricots. At present, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is 15 IU for men and 12 IU for women each day.
This ascorbic acid is water-soluble. The vitamin is abundantly found in citrus fruits and their juices. Peppers of all colors, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi a well as strawberries are good sources of Vitamin C. The RDA is 60 mg per day irrespective of sex.
If you end up taking more that 2000 mg each day, it may have some side effects on certain individuals. This depends on the make-up of the person’s body.
Beta-Carotene & Vitamin A
Beta-carotene is a forerunner to vitamin A (retinol). This is found in liver, egg yolks, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, as well as grains. Since beta-carotene is turned into vitamin A, the amount it is ingested is of no significance. Vitamin A however has no antioxidant properties and excessive intake can prove dangerous.
Choosing the Right Supplement
Besides food, there are other ways in which to have your steady intake of antioxidants. This can be in the form of antioxidant supplements. The most important thing to remember here is that you should not stick to a supplement that offers you only one nutrient.
Instead, it should be a whole range of them. A combination of all the main antioxidants will help them work in tandem to keep you in good health. A synergy between all the nutrients is a must in order for each one of them to be effective. Supplements should be high in carotenoids as well as a host of other antioxidants such as:
- Vitamin C and E
- Grape Seed Extract
- Black Seed Oil
- Co Enzyme Q10
- Sea Buckthorn (oil form)
- Lipoic Acid
You might also want to consider liquid trans-resveratrol supplements. These antioxidants have proved extremely beneficial for health. However, it is a given that supplements of any sort are not the equivalent or substitutes for a healthy diet. They have to be used only in a complementary role.
Ideally, the following antioxidants need to be in your supplement. Here is a list of the important ones and what they are useful for:
This is one that is soluble both in water as well as in fat. It has the capability of attaching itself to those cells that initiate a chain reaction in the creation of free radicals.
Grape Seed Extract
This is an abundant source of Procyanidin Dimers a very powerful Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin (OPC) that is largely found in grapes.
These anthocyanidins as the antioxidant is known to help in the care of one’s eyes and enhance the strength of the surrounding capillaries as well as muscles. The presences of bioflavanoids go a long way towards the cascading effect this OPC has.
Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract
This particular form of tea has about a 90 percent concentration of catechins which are deadly weapons against free radicals. It prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol as well as other lipids. It prevents the body from creating unnecessary fat and helps maintain a good blood pressure. The digestive and immune systems too are given a boost.
Look for a curcuminoid content of around 90%. They go a long way in neutralizing free radicals and prevent their formation in the first place.
Rosemary Officinalis Extract
This helps boost the performance of Vitamin E thanks to its cascading effect. It also aids in these antioxidants being able to repeatedly look for free radicals to neutralize.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
This supports the converting of glucose into energy. This is one of the antioxidants, which has easy entry into brain. Without the presence of alpha lipoic acid in the body, vitamins E and C though present may become completely useless.
Helps fight against mutagens and prevents chemically initiated health problems.
Trans-resveratrol is a wonderful phytonutrient that has come to known as the healthiest part of red wine. This recently uncovered antioxidant is also known for its abilities to promote skin health at a cellular level. This has been one of the lesser known but most powerful of antioxidants.
The highest quantities of flavonoids are found in fruits. It is well known that these antioxidants are predominant scavengers and can find free radicals easily. The advantage of this is that it can lead to the regeneration of many antioxidants. Bioflavonoids by themselves also help in the development of capillary as well as connective tissue health.
A common nutrient found in yellow as well as orange colored vegetables. It works wonders alongside Selenium and Vitamin E. A good intake of these antioxidants has shown significant improvement in the quality of your cardiovascular system. What helps form the Carotenoid complex cascade is the combination of carotenoid-flavonoid-selenium-sulfate. The benefits of beta-carotene only contribute further to this the advantages of this substance.
This one works to improve the strength of the cell wall as well as surrounding membranes. This is does by giving a boost to the mitochondria of cells that are alive. A balance of weight is achieved as well an improvement of the immune system, and the cardiovascular system. The tissues, organs and oral cavity are also beneficiaries. Vitamin E works along with Co-Q10 to prevent the signs of aging.
Esterfied Vitamin C
This particular antioxidant is believed to help strengthen the body as well as throw out any residual free radicals that it encounters. It has the power to stay for extended periods in the body with only about 5 % of it eliminated.
Esterfied Vitamin C remains in the body for around 3 days whereas the regular forms of Vitamin C are expelled a day. Vitamin C plays a vital role in working in tandem with Vitamin E in what is commonly known as the cascade effect.
works in unison with several other antioxidants such as glutathione, selenium and Vitamin C. The reason why Vitamin E is easily absorbed into the body is because it is done through a phytosome system of delivery. This makes it easier for the blood cells to receive.
Vitamin C depends on a large extent on glutathione in order to be effective. This is a vital antioxidant in Vitamin C’s cascading abilities. In the absence of glutathione, Vitamin C and E can in fact turn against you and add to the problems that the free radicals are causing. Alpha lipoic acid is what will help glutathione in its regeneration process as well as its cascading abilities.
A derivative from citrus fruits and full of bioflavonoids, Quercitin is considered a heavy weight among all the antioxidants. It has been widely acknowledged for its role in human health. More specifically it is used to ease the symptoms of hypertension, improve blood circulation as well as the performance of the cardiovascular systems.
Taurine is an antioxidant that is beneficial in keeping the nervous system healthy. It is also a major player among those antioxidants that work on a cascade basis. Taurine contains a sulfur based amino acid antioxidant. This ensures that ions released from individual cells are done under proper concentration. Taurine also helps in stabilizing the cardiovascular system and improving cellular and membrane growth.
This antioxidant is essential to stabilize membrane growth. It is a hydroxyl based radical scavenger and is needed for overall growth. Its benefits are in the areas of muscular as well as skeletal health. It prevents the thinning as well as graying of hair and sets back the signs of aging. It is also found in the body as a sugar occurring in the muscles. However, you have to keep in mind that it does not encourage the release of insulin.
Sulfur is an essential part of detoxification. It is also provides great relief from oxidative stress. It plays a key role in the cascading chemical processes along with several other formulations. This particular potassium variation of sulfate helps and stimulates development of cellular energy.
Another vital nutrient in the range of antioxidant cascades. It plays an important role in ensuring that you have well balanced cellular health. Selenium works on the carrier methionine, an amino acid and this allows it to be absorbed through the intestines easily.
There is always the need for a booster of sorts to make things work well. That is what Selenomethione is. It is a natural mineral and helps speed up as well as improve on the work of the main anti-oxidants such as Vitamins A, C as well as E. It forms a part of Glutathione. It is not that easily found in the food we eat though.
plays a vital role in maintaining the strength and suppleness of our skin, the blood vessels and the connective tissue. A copper deficiency will actually heighten the damage caused by free radicals. In fact this is an important antioxidant to look out for in supplements especially those that also contain zinc as well as Vitamin A, which is found in turn, as a part of beta-carotene.
This particular form of zinc is easily absorbed and held within the body. It is essential as a support system for around 70 varying enzyme systems. It helps strengthen the body’s natural defense systems. It works as a support for the reproductive system, formation of bones as well as the structure and metabolic action of Vitamins A and E. It aids production of energy as well as DNA and protein synthesis. And most important of all, it has major free radical scavenging properties.
Health Care & Antioxidants
Now it is an understood fact that antioxidants help in keeping the body healthy as well as working towards the anti-aging concepts. Besides this, antioxidants have also been known to help in preventing major illnesses. While research is still underway, there are several aspects that need to be understood.
Dealing with cancer and heart ailments
Observers of epidemiology have noticed a clear indication that there have been lower rates of cancer among those people whose diets are well balanced in terms of fruits and vegetables. This observation has given rise to the research theory that substances such as antioxidants may help towards prevention of the onset of cancer.
There is extensive as well as intense scientific research being conducted on this. However, as of now, there seems to be no scientifically endorsed reasons to believe that a diet that has been infused with additional antioxidants has been successful in thwarting the development or onset of cancer. There has even been one study, which showed that there could be a reversal of effects in terms of smokers.
There was an increased chance of smokers who supplement with antioxidants developing cancer than those who did not. This was among male smokers. It was not really established whether the result was from the antioxidants or from other possible conditions.
Antioxidants are believed to be able to slow down the aging process that we all go through. This in turn should have a hand in preventing heart disease and consequently strokes. However, this information as well as the related research has remained inconclusive.
It is therefore not really possible for scientists to recommend to the public that antioxidant supplements prevent such illnesses or processes from running their natural course. Until the results of ongoing research are made public in a few years, it would be better to stick to a healthy and balanced diet of the recommended five helpings of fruits or vegetables every day.
The role of exercise
Those who are professional athletes undergo a lot of endurance exercises. This increases the intake of oxygen by almost 20 times. Free radicals are rapidly produced during this time as the lack of oxygen makes it a conducive environment. The problem that then comes up is what athletes can do to prevent this from happening. Will they require supplementation in terms of antioxidants?
Since it is not possible for one to measure the amount of free radicals that develop in the body, scientists have worked out another method where by the by-products of these free radicals are measured in terms of reactions. If it is found that the generation of free radicals is more than the line of defense that antioxidants can provide, it is obvious that the by-products will be more. Athletes have been tested under varying conditions.
The resultant findings have indeed proved interesting. It has been seen that regular and constant exercise has actually increased the chances of antioxidants working well on the body. This is an important deduction since it shows that the body has its own mechanism by which it determines how much it should adapt to the need of exercise. These mutually compatible needs are a result of constant exercise over a long period of time.
Exercising and its Benefits
On the other end of the spectrum however, is the intense exercise that one indulges in. For those who do it on a regular basis for a long period of time, it should not have too many adverse effects. However, for those who are untrained and inconsistent, the results may not be too good.
In fact, for those who exercise on whim or only on weekends, the chances of free radicals playing havoc on the system increases. There are several factors that you as an exercising individual will have to take into consideration such as the extent of your physical conditioning, the intensity of your exercise regimen as well as your diet.
Many of you may also wonder whether it is possible for antioxidants to reduce the sometimes damaging effects of exercise or whether it is possible to reverse such damage? The studies in this regard are still in the inconclusive stage. However, based on research data a hypothesis has been developed where Vitamin E can be considered as an important means of preventing the ill effects of exercising. However, how much Vitamin E is required remains unknown. There may be cases where supplementing may be required.
In terms of performance enhancement, antioxidant supplements have really proven their mettle for athletes. The only exception has been Vitamin E. It has been proved to be extremely useful for those athletes who must train at high altitudes.
Once again, a generalization is difficult to arrive at and very generally, one can say that triathletes can benefit from Vitamin E. Ingesting a range of these antioxidants without really understanding or evaluating their effect on your body may not be such a good idea. What would ideally be recommended are the following:
Make sure that you have a well-balanced exercise-training program. The emphasis should be on regular exercise as well as the balanced diet that includes five servings of fruit or vegetables per day. This way you ensure that your body gets exactly what it needs as well as exercise in a way that is beneficial.
For those people who only exercise on occasion, be warned, you need to follow a more balanced means of exercising. Only if you are enable to do this should you think of supplementation and that to under expert advice.
If you are training for a really trying race then try and take a Vitamin E supplement. In terms of dosage, 100 to 200 IU for training athletes. This is approximately 10 times the RDA mentioned) per day. This should be for several weeks prior to the race as part of the run up.
Keep yourself abreast of all upcoming FDA recommendations. Do not succumb to advertising or in your face media hype.
No matter what the situation do no randomly pop supplements. Over supplementing can be a very dangerous thing.
It is by now a given that the antioxidants that we get from food are good for us. That stands undisputed. However, when it comes to supplements, there is no real basis for the exact dosage that we need to take. Though they were once thought of as essential and perhaps even helpful, today there are concerns on the possibility of its reactions with some other nutrients as well as the potential toxicity.
When found in normal concentrations within the human body, vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants. However, if they occur in higher doses, they automatically become pro-oxidants or something that actually promotes the occurring of free radicals. Thus, it is understood that supplements could in fact work negatively. The long-term consequences of antioxidant supplements are yet to be ascertained.