What are these creatures and how do they affect us? Good question. These little creatures affect everything from skin aging to overall health. Free radicals are also contributors or responsible for a number of diseases.
Free radicals are basically unstable molecules in search of electrons to stabilize themselves. Free radicals are missing a dance partner, so to speak, so they just steal your partner. You become the unstable molecule and search to steal an electron, or a new dance partner. This process goes on and on and causes something called oxidative damage. Simply put, cells cannot get their nutrients or signals from other cells to perform vital and important functions. Free radical damage accumulates with age.
Just by breathing and breaking down food, we are exposed to free radicals. Even that workout designed to keep you fit causes free radicals to enter your body. It’s a part of life.
Environmental factors such as sun and air pollution also cause exposure to free radicals. Our own lifestyle choices are also a major contributor, whether from poor nutrition choices, stress, alcohol or cigarettes. However, not all free radicals are bad. Some free radicals are produced naturally by the immune system to attack viruses and bacteria.
The fight against free radicals is fought primarily with the use of antioxidants. These phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients found in food and supplemental products work as scavengers to break up the chain reaction of damage caused by free radicals. Avoiding poor lifestyle choices and protection from environmental factors are also important to fight the effects of free radicals.
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