Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Free radicals: the hidden killers of your health

Free radicals are unstable, unbalanced, and unpaired molecules. They can react quickly with nearby molecules to capture needed electron to gain stability. As they find needed electrons, it leaves behind another unstable radical and a chemically unstable chain reaction of similar events occurs. In this process, delicate biological tissues vital to life encounter a radical, the reactive radical may cause destruction in the tissue/cell, resulting in human diseases. They are very destructive and non-selective.

The typical FREE RADICALS impacting our human body are: Superoxide anion ( O-2 and O-2 rich salts), Hydroxyl radical ( OH- ), Hypochlorous acid (ClO- ),Nitric oxide ( NO- ),Singlet oxygen ( O- ), hydrogen peroxide ( H2O2),Fatty acid hydroperoxides , and oxidized Protein, etc.

Free Radicals can be generated from metabolism, ionizing radiation, smoke, inflammation, UV, air pollution etc.

Free Radical Attack Related Diseases:

Cardiovascular Diseases



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Alzheimer's Diseases

Parkinson's disease


Autoimmune diseases (Asthma, Diabetes • • •)



Antioxidants have been proven to protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals. They can neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, ending the electron-"stealing" reaction. They typical antioxidants and their electron donating capacities are:
( - vitamin E [1e-]

- vitamin C [2e-]

- flavonoids [>2e-]

- OPC [>50e-]

Effects of Antioxidants:

  • Protect us from free radical damage: a leading causes of tissue injury
  • Prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol
  • Helps cells produce energy (CoQ10)
  • Enhance synthesis & protection of collagen (Vit C)
  • Protect skin from radiation damage (Vit E, Beta Glucan)
  • Improve circulation and oxygen delivery (Ginko, OPC)
  • Reduce inflammation (OPC, Ginko, Vit E)

The best way to ensure adequate intake of the antioxidant nutrients is through a balanced diet and/or taking supplements per day.

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