Free Radicals - What They Are, Where Do They Come through as well as How to Protect Yourself?
What Are Free Radicals?
Free radicals, or reactive Oxygen species (ROS), are unstable molecules which steal electrons through additional molecules. This particular makes those molecules unstable inside process, starting a chain reaction which can lead to damage of many important molecules in our cells. The damage to cell membrane structures, enzymes, as well as DNA caused by reactive Oxygen species can lead to significant cell damage or even cell death. Cells which die or replicate in a damaged state can lead to premature aging as well as disease. Heart disease, most cancers, arthritis, macular degeneration, as well as cataracts have all been shown to have oxidative damage as a causal factor. In fact, scientists currently believe in which ROS play a significant role in almost all major diseases as well as what we commonly refer to as 'the aging process.'
Where Do They Come through?
We are exposed to free radicals by normal metabolic processes of our cells as well as through our environment. The series of chemical reactions which produce energy for our cells is actually called aerobic respiration, as well as ROS are a byproduct of these reactions. This particular level of exposure is actually unavoidable, nevertheless our bodies have mechanisms in place to help deal with This particular exposure. Sources of environmental exposure to ROS include cigarette smoke, smog, as well as overexposure to sunlight. Over time or as the body is actually exposed to high levels of reactive Oxygen species through the environment, the body's protective mechanisms can become overwhelmed. This particular imbalance between ROS as well as the body's protective antioxidant network is actually called oxidative stress.
How Can I Protect Myself through Free Radicals?
Limit your exposure.
The level of exposure to ROS through our environment can vary greatly, as well as is actually dependent to a large extent upon lifestyle choices. If you smoke, stop smoking currently! Every single cigarette you smoke introduces up to 1,000,000,000,000 free radicals into your body! This particular level of exposure is actually a very high oxidative stress on your body. Also, avoid areas with high levels of second hand cigarette smoke. For every hour you spend in a smoke filled room, you take inside same oxidative stress on your body as if you smoked four cigarettes yourself. Another lifestyle choice you can make to limit your exposure to ROS is actually to avoid overexposure to sunlight. Spending some time inside sun can be Great for you. However, spending excessive amount of time inside sun without the proper sunscreen protection can lead to heavy ROS generation as well as damage to your skin, as well as increase the total oxidative stress in your body.
Increase Your Body's Antioxidant Protection.
In addition to limiting your exposure to ROS, you can also increase your antioxidant levels in your body. Antioxidants are molecules which neutralize reactive Oxygen species as well as help terminate the chain reaction of damage they cause. The antioxidant network is actually several antioxidants in your body which work together to protect your cells through the damage caused by ROS. In order to work optimally, the protective antioxidant network relies on dietary antioxidants as well as vitamins as well as mineral cofactors. In order to maximize your antioxidant protection, you can eat foods high in antioxidants or drink antioxidant drinks or juices. Certain varieties of tea are also high in antioxidants. For those who are unlikely to realistically change their dietary habits to include a bare minimum of 5-7 servings of fruits as well as vegetables or the recommended 9-11 servings, you may wish to consider an antioxidant vitamin supplement.