According to Dr Edward Group these are: atoms, ions or molecules that contain an unpaired electron. The unpaired electron makes them unstable and highly reactive in a process called Oxidation. Free radicals steal electrons from other molecules-fats, proteins, cell membranes and even DNA-altering the fundamental structure of the affected molecule. One unbalanced molecule may not sound like a major concern, but oxidation sets off a chain reaction by damaging a cell’s DNA structure and ability to function. Overtime oxidative damage accumulates and contributes to premature aging because it affects the body inside and the outside ,and a variety of degenerative diseases like Cancer, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and many others.
The part of the body which receives the most of the free radicals is damaged first hence the degenerative disease. Dr Ray Strand says there’s a war being waged within our body. Chemically, the violent action of these free radicals has been shown to produce bursts of light and if not readily neutralised, the free radicals set off a chain reaction leading to potentially dangerous conditions.
Apart from the free radicals that the oxygen in our body forms; air pollution, cigarette smoke, food, water, alcohol, medications, toxic metals, chemicals from industry,radiation, illness , poor exercise habits and stress also cause free radicals.
For us to combat or reduce the free radicals we need Antioxidants these are the defenders of our body. The most common ones are Vitamins C,E and A. However our body creates its own antioxidants namely Glutathione peroxide, superoxide dismutase and catalase. These are not enough for the defense of our bodies so the rest we get from the food we eat.
These days because of the quality of our food which is full of chemicals and lacking nutrients from the depleted soils we need to supplement to get enough antioxidants. We need for the antioxidants in our bodies to out number the free radicals for our adequate protection. If we have more free radicals than the antioxidants then we will be ill. The antioxidants give to the free radicals the electron which has been lost to correct and neutralise the free radicals. So if that can not happen and we go on for a long time we will develop a degenerative disease.
Apart from the three most common antioxidants we also need other nutrient compounds, such as polyphenols, beta-carotene and minerals like selenium and zinc, coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid and colourful bioflavonoids.
Antioxidants work with each other to disarm the free radicals in our body. They each have a different role from each other. Vitamin C is water soluble and targets free radicals within the blood and plasma. Vitamin E is fat soluble and works best in the cell membrane. Glutathione is within the cell itself. Alpha lipoic acid works within the cell membrane and the plasma. Vitamin C and Alpha- lipoic acid both regenerate the E vitamin and Glutathione so they can be used again. So we need all the antioxidants available at all times for them to be effective.
They also need other nutrients for them to be effective in dealing with the free radicals. Antioxidant minerals such as copper, zinc, manganese and selenium which aid in the chemical reactions of the antioxidants should always be available otherwise oxidative stress will still occur.
Antioxidants also need cofactors in their enzymatic reactions so that they can do their job well. The cofactors are the Vitamins B1,B2,B6,B12 and folic acid. So we need good amounts of both cofactors and minerals if we are to conquer the free radicals. A good storage of antioxidants in all their forms in our body is needed because the defense system does not know how many free radicals it will have to deal with each day. For more on the supplements visit http://www.amway.co.uk/user/mapfumo