Free radicals, also known simply as radicals are organic molecules responsible for aging, for tissue destruction and the occurrence of some diseases. A broader definition of free radicals includes all variables – chemically unstable types of particles – atoms, molecules or ions. Free radicals are named “free” because they float around until they get stabilized and “radical because they can take an electron from many different molecules.
How Free Radicals Work
The damage that has occurred when the free radical success to stabilize don’t stop because the molecule from which was taken away the electron, becomes a new free radical. This positive bond ravages the healthy tissue, destroying his built units.
Radicals, except in the destruction of tissue play a key role in several biological processes. They play a role in the work of phagocytes (one of the types of white blood cells) that are tasked to eat and destroy bacteria and other pathogens in the body. It is believed that they play a role in the process of redox signalization in the cells, were the cells act as cellular messengers.
The antidote for the insatiable appetite of the free radicals is antioxidants. They come in fresh foods like fruits and vegetables, especially in vitamins found in this food. Among the vitamins, I would mention vitamin A, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. These large molecules act as an obstacle and don’t allow pairing the free radical, in this way they prevent the damage. It is recommended to consume antioxidants’ in the body through a balanced diet because in this way the body is absorbing the antioxidants easier than when they are entered by vitamin supplements.
It is thought that environmental pollution, ionizing radiation, cigarette smoking and poisons like some detergents, encourage the creation of free radicals. The role of free radicals in the incidence of certain types of cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease is still under investigation.
Initial results of numerous studies show that low levels of free radicals are associated with reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular diseases.