There are tiny little particles, smaller than our imagination can grasp that are running around your body with seemingly the only purpose of making you older and sick.
Many leading health experts believe these tiny particles are the ONLY reason people age and die of sickness. And that if we could tackle this one issue, we would theoretically live forever.
Some studies have, however, indicated that methods meant to limit those particles could possibly shorten lifespan and cause diseases.
No, this is not science fiction. This is reality called “free radicals.” Since I believe most of us have a tough time grasping such an abstract concept, I’ll try to explain “free radicals” and the truth about them in plain English.
This is a complicated issue and I really appreciate your view. So please read the rest of the article and make your comment at the end.
You see, in an ideal world we would all live in peace. There would be no conflicts, no crimes, no wars. Little children would be dancing around spreading flowers in the sparkling sunny air. Nobody would ever get sick or die and we would all live forever.
This, of course, is not reality in this world and neither is it inside your body. Without your conscious awareness, your system is in constant war with invading bacteria, viruses and other external threats. Not only that, there is also civil war where your immune system systematically murders perfectly functional body cells.
As in any other war, various weapons are used. One of the most powerful weapons of mass destruction your immune system uses are “free radicals.” Your white blood cells shoot those highly targeted free-radical-chemical-bombs that blow up bacteria and viruses that dare to enter our system.
Of course, as with all powerful weapons, the radical explosion doesn’t just harm the bad guys. Cells surrounding the bacteria are also highly damaged or killed. But isn’t that how it is, always the innocent that suffer. It’s a small price to pay for fighting off bacteria or viruses that would kill every cell in your body.
It also has means to eliminate the free radicals it creates if they’re not needed any more, or if they begin to get out of control.
Now this is the functional use of free-radicals. Your body creates a small amount of those weapons for this very specific purpose. If this was the end of the story, there would be a very limited problem.
However, your body isn’t the only free-radical factory. Many things in our surroundings create free radicals; especially chemical reactions from things like smoking or unnatural chemicals added into our processed food or sprayed on our non-organic vegetables.
These can create an overload of free-radicals in your body. And since they’re not managed by your white blood cells, they can attack any cell or organ, making you sick.
The free-radicals created by outside pollution are also often built up from different types of atoms than your body produces and therefore we’ve less tools to deal with these “non-organic” free radicals. These are the free-radicals you want to eliminate by all means.
Before we go any further, let me explain a little what exactly free-radicals are. I’m not going deep into this however, since their function is more important than their original.
I hope we’ll receive some good technical additions to my explanation from our readers in the comment section. Please don’t hesitate to show off your chemistry knowledge and point out flaws or gaps in my explanation. I’m not a chemistry major so no hard feelings.
Every atom and molecule has electrons spinning around on their outer shells. These electrons are usually paired, which binds them to the molecule or atom and makes them stable. If, for any reason, one of the electron pairs is split up, the molecule or atom all of a sudden has single, unpaired electron on the outer surface, making the atom or molecule unstable, turning it into what’s called free-radical….
…more often than not a highly reactive chemical bomb.
One of the most common free-radicals is made of one of the most common atom on earth: Oxygen. Usually Oxygen has two unpaired electrons that stabilize the atom. Through various reasons listed before, one electron can be removed that makes the oxygen atom into free-radical. Often referred to as “superoxide”.
This begins a process called “Oxidation.”
The real long term threat of oxidation in the human body is, however, that it can create a deadly chain-reaction; whereby one free-radical attacks normal atoms and changes them into a new free-radical. As the free-radicals multiply, their attacks become stronger and they can eventually destroy groups of cells, organs or even DNA structures, creating all kind of diseases.
This is, of course, closely related to the inflammatory reaction discussed in an article a few days ago. As the free-radical attacks cells or organisms, an inflammatory reaction is triggered to fight off the attack and begin the healing process. This triggers the body to create more free-radicals to fight the attack. Your body in essence is fighting itself.
To fight the chain reaction or oxidation, we use things called “antioxidants.”
Antioxidants are molecules that can stop the oxidation by removing or adding electrons to other atoms or molecules, therefore stabilizing the free-radicals (that now are not free-radicals any more).
There are several types of molecules that have the ability to do this in the human in a very healthy way and can be found in various vitamins- the most well-known and effective being vitamin C and E.
Supplements can help, but they’re no replacements for a healthy, whole food diet. A quick search for “antioxidants food” will results in thousands of pages listing various types of food. In essence, however, you’ll get most antioxidants from almost every type of berries, most vegetables and honey.
When you have enough of those antioxidant molecules in your system, your body can send them out to various parts of your body where it senses that too many free-radicals have gathered up- stopping the oxidation and inflammation process.
This is why it seems that every single natural health expert on earth seems to be focused on educating you on supplements, drugs and diets filled with antioxidants.
And definitely for a good reason…. I thank them all.
But taking supplements or eating food loaded with antioxidants is not enough. We also have to remove external things that create free-radicals. This includes not smoking, eating organic (non chemical treated food) and avoiding pollution of all kinds.
There is, however, one supplement I believe is a must have if you want to fight free radicals. It’s CoQ10. This amazing supplement not only has an antioxidant effects in and of itself. It also helps the body recycle other antioxidant molecules. This is also one supplement you should not skimp on price with. The more expensive, light color CoQ10 is much more effective than the regular orange color.
It took me years to realize the important role free-radicals, oxidation and inflammation played in my arthritis. I suffered tremendously for years due to my lack of knowledge.
I hope my writing helps you if you’re in a similar situation. If you suffer from arthritis or another inflammation-created disease, you may want to check out my journey to an arthritis free life here… Arthritis Guide
My associate Jodi Knapp has also done tremendous research on this issue when she helped her mother tackle type 2 diabetes. Learn more about that here… Type 2 Diabetes Guide
Finally, please leave your comments bellow. Tell us your thoughts on this issue and most of all, share with us your favorite antioxidant foods.
by Shelly Manning