The Problem with free radicals?

Tranquilpen By Tranquilpen, 11th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

Although our bodies are quite capable of handling some amount of free radicals they need a whole lot more antioxidants to cope with the continuous bombardment that our 21st Century lifestyle throws at them.

The best sources of antioxidants are fruit and vegetables.

Not a disgruntled and very aged freedom chanting hippie from Woodstock, but the one, you may recall from a past science lesson.Atoms consist of a nucleus, protons, neutrons and electrons. Looking at free radicals and antioxidants, it is the electrons that concern us most.

When atoms have sufficient electrons, they are considered to be chemically stable, regardless of how they are arranged, one thing is vital - electrons need to be in pairs. Sometimes however, atoms split in a way that results in an unpaired electron, when this happens, it's not good. When an atom has an unpaired electron it is regarded as chemically unstable and is called a free radical.

Free radicals then embark on a desperate quest to seize an electron from another atom - usually a neighboring "free radical". Unfortunately this creates what is called, a domino effect. The atom that has been robbed of an electron, becomes a free radical itself and immediately starts attacking it's neighboring atom, and that's the problem with free radicals. It's not that they damage one cell, but that they set up a whole disastrous chain reaction.

Scientists believe, that this chain reaction, is one of the main reasons why we age and develop various other degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular damage, cancer, diabetes and various cerebrovascular deseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Bad News
Science can't stop free radicals from forming, even if we were living in an airtight bubble, and manage to eliminate air pollution including smoking- (both passive and active) and exhaust fumes, and we avoid exposure to the UV radiation from the sun and even if we remove all preservatives from our food - all of which are cause free radicals to form. We would still have a problem. The countless free radicals produced by our own bodies every day through breathing and digestion would not be eliminated.

Good News
Fortunately, our bodies have a defense system against these rogue compounds: antioxidants (free radical scavengers).
These scavengers seek out free radicals and lend them an electron that stabilizes the molecule and prevents further cell damage.
Antioxidants are the "soldiers" of the cells and can safely interact with free radicals, (the enemy) by terminating the chain reaction or domino effect.

The best sources of antioxidants are fruit and vegetables.
These include: Vitamin E (15mg RDA),Vitamin C (75mg. RDA for women and 90mg. RDA for men), Beta-carotene (No RDA), Selenium (55mg. RDA)

So what is enough fruit and vegetables?

Try to include at least two fruit servings (300g) and about two to three cups of vegetables a day (400g)

By the way, the leaves of the antioxidant-rich plant Camellia sinesis, "Tea", green or black, is an excellent way to boost your antioxidant quota.

Tags

Antioccident, Antioxidant, Antioxidant Rich Food, Antioxidant Rich Foods, Antioxidants, Free Radicals, Mineral, Mineral Powder, Minerals, Vitamin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin C Source, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamins, Vitamins And Minerals, Vitamins C

Meet the author

author avatar Tranquilpen
As Andre' Hartslief, I strongly believe, that In life, there are no justified resentments.”We the old legends will become relics and fade away, while new giants emerge in our world of sobering truths.

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
11th Feb 2011 (#)

Very informative.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
11th Feb 2011 (#)

Thank you, and thanks again for your photography article

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
11th Feb 2011 (#)

great information for our modern times.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
11th Feb 2011 (#)

Thanks Mark for pointing out that summary glitch, I laughed out loud when I re edited. Best wishes

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author avatar Denise O
11th Feb 2011 (#)

Well written and very informative article. Hmmmm I wonder what that glitch was.LOL
As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Tranquilpen
12th Feb 2011 (#)

Thanks for your positive comment,as always. If you are familiar with the term "shooting yourself in the foot" well the glitch was a classic example of one of those, which our splendid moderator, very tastefully pointed out to me. Mmm, I think might write a whole article on that one if you need a good laugh. Love
:-()

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author avatar Retired
12th Feb 2011 (#)

Interesting...thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
12th Feb 2011 (#)

Thank you Devoted, for you comment which is most welcome.

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author avatar Uma Shankari
13th Feb 2011 (#)

Science topics should be made entertaining, and that's what you have done. Good job.

http://health.wikinut.com/Why-Negative-Ions-are-Positive-Health-Promoters/229j4pd8/

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author avatar Tranquilpen
13th Feb 2011 (#)

Thank you Uma :-)

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author avatar muthusamy
21st Feb 2011 (#)

Unique article on the effects of free radicals and benefits of anti-oxidants.

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author avatar Alexandra Heep
21st Feb 2011 (#)

This is fascinating. I knew about free radicals and that we need anti oxidants, but was not quite sure as to the how and why. This explains it very well, thanks.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
21st Feb 2011 (#)

Than you Alexandra, your comment is most welcome

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author avatar Retired
8th Mar 2011 (#)

Like Alexandra, I knew we had them, but not exactly what they were. Now I do, and I was able to follow it as it was not too technical.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
8th Mar 2011 (#)

Hello Jill, I so pleased that it was informative and not too techy... Thank you

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