Need help? Call us on (07) 5532 2069

    Antioxidants vs Free Radicals

    Posted by: Dr Julie Douglass

    Antioxidants vs Free Radicals

    Antioxidants are the good guys and free radicals are the baddies. But why? Chemically a free radical is an atom with an unpaired electron in its outer layer, which makes it very unstable, reactive and desperate to find a pair. They will attack cells such as nucleic acid in DNA, mitochondria (energy factories in cells), amino acids protein such as tyrosine, tryptophan, proline, cysteine and arginine, in order to extract an electron. This breakage of vital structures will lead to oxidative cellular damage and premature degradation. This type of damage has been linked to aging, cardio vascular disease, cancer, cataracts, and complications associated with diabetes mellitus. Vitamins A, E, C, the mineral selenium, as well as manganese, copper and zinc are the powerful antioxidants that the body requires to engulf the free radicals and stop their damage. This is why we need a healthy diet filled with phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are the colours, flavours, textures and fragrances in plant foods. When we eat them, they continue their work as antioxidants, reducing inflammation, blocking tumour formation, eradicating carcinogens and stimulating enzymes. They are our internal hero’s, that need to be replenished constantly. Smoking, consuming foods cooked at high oil temperatures, alcohol and exposure to toxic chemicals, create free radicals. Consuming a diet high in whole foods (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) reduces the incidence, and the associated diseases, developed due to free radical cellular damage. They are protective. If you maintain a good antioxidant plasma nutrient concentrations, you limit your disease risk. Excessive endurance exercise is another way free radicals are created. Increased oxygen volumes increase the by-product of muscle fatigue, free radicals. So to sustain endurance and limit oxidative damage, antioxidants including Vit C, Vitamin E, Selenium and Coenzyme Q must be consumed.

    Subscribe to Gr8Health

    Sign up to get 5% off your first order, exclusive access to our special offers, new arrivals and more.

    © 2020 Gr8 Health