Friday, October 26, 2018

Free Radicals and How They Affect the Body Functioning

Free radicals refer to unstable atoms that have the potential to damage body cells causing premature aging and illness. Oxygen molecules in the body system split as part of their transformation into single atoms with unpaired electrons.

The imbalance in electronic pairing results into free radicals. These are always reacting, looking for other atoms to bond to for stability. The frantic movement and chemical reactions of the free radicals set in motion a process known as oxidative stress. This is dangerous to the body cells and causes a wide range of diseases symptomized by wrinkles and other conditions.

How Free Radicals Damage the Body

In 1956, the free radical theory of aging was first outlined, and it suggested that free radicals break cells down gradually. As the body system ages, its ability to fight the effects of free radicals is lost and this causes more radicals to accumulate hence oxidative stress. The degenerative process this causes is known as aging.

A number of studies and theories have been put forward connecting the impact of free radicals and oxidative stress to conditions such as:

  • Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the central nervous system
  • Cardiovascular diseases caused by clogged arteries
  • Cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune disorders
  • Wrinkles, skin elasticity loss, hair loss, and hair texture changes among other age-related signs
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease among other genetic degenerative diseases
Though the free radical theory of aging is somewhat recent, there are numerous studies that support its theoretical framework and postulation. Several studies done on rats show increases in the concentration of free radicals as they age. The findings then tie up with declines in health as a result of age.

Causes of Free Radicals

The body naturally produces free radicals. However, lifestyle factors can accelerate the process of free radical production and this includes:

•    Exposure to pesticides, polluted air, and toxic chemicals
•    Alcohol
•    Smoking
•    Fried foods

These and other lifestyle factors have also been linked to diseases affecting the heart and cancer. The underlying denominator to all these conditions is oxidative stress which is directly connected to free radicals.

Supplements and Antioxidant Foods

Any foods containing vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, glutathione, oligomeric proanthocyanidin, and phytoestrogens, are considered antioxidants. In short, they cancel out any effects imposed by free radicals on the body. Examples of such foods include citrus fruits, berries, and carrots. Soybeans are particularly rich in phytoestrogens and they can substitute meat.

Since the body doesn’t get enough antioxidants from foods taken, health supplements are necessary.

Most of them are available in local chemist and drug stores. You can get other supplements such as anthogenol online. Research studies support the use of supplements to enable the body to reach the recommended daily allowance for each of the nutrients it is deficient in.

The best approach to fighting free radicals is, therefore, a combined strategy involving a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, prescription-based supplementation, and avoiding the lifestyle factors that can cause accumulation of free radicals.

This is a guest blog entry.

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