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A Word about Free Radicals

By October 16, 2021April 11th, 2024Peer Reviewed Articles

FREE RADICALS are highly active molecules in the body that are produced through various reactions on normal safe molecules. They basically consist of molecules like oxygen and hydrogen peroxide that have an extra electron (an unpaired electron in the outer circuit).     The cause of free radicals may be UV rays, oxygen or enzymatic reactions, as well as through some degradative processes of our cells that destroy invading bacteria etc (macrophages = pathogen-‘eating’ cells of the body).

Free Radicals can oxidize proteins, lipids, DNA, and cellular membranes thereby doing damage to the body. Free radicals are taken care of in the body in two ways:


by enzymes within the body

by antioxidants that are taken in through the diet

the skin can be protected by antioxidants applied topically to the skin.


ANTIOXIDANTS have the ability to act like a ‘sponge’ to neutralize the radicals before they can do any real damage to the body. They can supply the missing electrons or absorb the energy that creates the Free radicals.  The most effective antioxidants are


vitamins C Vitamin E, and

The carotenoid family.


Some research points to the possibility that free radicals are responsible for the effects of ageing, for cancer, for heart disease, and/or for other chronic diseases. Hence the recent interest in these antioxidant chemicals.



























Laura Matjasich

Author Laura Matjasich

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