Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Are Antioxidants and Its Impacts on Free Radicals?

In today's market, we see many commercialized products come with a word on the label, called antioxidants. In fact, we can see many researchers or health magazines discuss about it. But many of us simply do not know what antioxidants are. In this article, we will explore what antioxidants are and whether they can offer benefits in preventing cellular damage. Here we go.

Prior developing our knowledge regarding the relation between antioxidants and prevention of cellular damage, we should focus our attention on exploring what antioxidants are and how they benefit our overall health system. In simple terms, antioxidants refer to the specific substances which have the capacity to prevent cellular damage resulting from free radicals.

Role of Free Radicals

Free radicals are kind of cells that develop naturally within the body. These particular cells lack one electron as a result of weaker atomic bond between two molecules in given cells. This is how free radicals are formed. Quite obviously, these types of cells are unstable in nature since they do have atomic instability as a result of inadequate electron.

These unstable free radicals then react with normal cells in order to collect electron from them for the purpose of stabilizing themselves. This, in turn, results in new free radical formation. Typically, a free radical put its effort in taking electron from the nearest cell, hence converting that targeted cell a free radical itself and the process continues.

Usually our bodies are capable of handling this free radical formation if and only if antioxidant supply remains constant and the production of free radicals does not become too excessive. Excessive free radicals production or inadequate supply of antioxidants may lead to permanent DNA damage, eventually increasing the risk of cancer.

The Reaction between Antioxidants and Free Radicals

When you supply antioxidants to your body, these antioxidants look for free radicals in your body and provide them one electron in order to neutralize their action. This eventually prevents further damages of the cells concerned. This is how electron stealing mechanism ends with the help of antioxidants. Antioxidants also have the capacity to repair previously damaged cells.

Now you may wonder what role antioxidants are playing soon after their donation of one electron to the free radicals, whether antioxidants become unstable molecules since they lack one electron. This is not the case. In fact, antioxidants are acting like a searcher here that look for the damaged cells and repair and then get eliminated from the body as waste products.

Availability of Antioxidants

Our Mother Nature has a great abundance of natural antioxidants. You can found them plenty in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Primarily yellow and orange vegetables, green leafy vegetables are huge sources for antioxidants. You can avail from carrot, papaya, strawberry, cantaloupe, tomato, broccoli, spinach, etc. Don’t forget to take at least 5-7 servings rich with fruits and vegetables.

However, it is not advised to go for commercialized medications in order to fulfill the needs, since the proof for effectiveness of these medications in long term needs further research support. No matter what claims for antioxidants contents are they making, it is better to go for natural supplements. Think wise about your health and take appropriate action.

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