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Healthy Aging: Understanding Free Radicals, Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants

RKMD 11 months ago

Your body is made up of cells, so it makes sense for your health to begin from a cellular level. However, that means poor health can occur at this level as well.

One common cause of cellular damage is free radicals, often known for causing oxidative stress. This type of cellular damage is connected to many chronic diseases and aging, showing the significantly impact free radicals can have on your health.

While everyone will experience the damage instituted by free radicals throughout their life, there are also steps you can take to prevent their damage and promote healthier aging. Continue reading to learn more about free radicals, oxidative stress, and how antioxidants factor in.

What Are Free Radicals?

When it comes to understanding what free radicals are, we do have to delve into chemistry a bit. Still, we’ll keep this simple for those who have not seen any chemistry topics since their high school days.

An atom is the basic unit for any chemical element, and they are surrounded by electrons that orbit them, similar to how the moon orbits the earth. The electrons form layers called shells, with each shell preferring a certain number of electrons. Once one shell has reached capacity, the electrons begin filling the next shell. However, depending on an atom’s number of electrons, its outer shell might not be full, which allows it to bond with other atoms. When this occurs, the pairing allows the two atoms to meet their electron needs.

These atoms without full outer shells, which look to bond with other atoms, are called free radicals. Full outer shells make an atom stable. Since free radicals do not have full outer shells, they are considered unstable and quickly react with other substances to fill their shell.

In terms of the body, free radicals form when oxygen molecules split into two separate oxygen atoms, making them unstable free radicals. These atoms then try to bond to other atoms and molecules, which can cause oxidative stress.

How Do Free Radicals Affect Your Health?

When the amount of free radicals in your body becomes high, oxidative stress can occur, with damage occurring to the DNA, fatty tissue, and proteins in your body. This damage can lead to a large number of diseases, including:

  • atherosclerosis
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • inflammatory conditions
  • cancer
  • high blood pressure
  • neurodegenerative diseases

What Can Cause Free Radicals?

Now that we know what free radicals can do to the body, let’s discuss what can cause these substances to be produced.

Your body naturally produces some free radicals, which is why everyone will experience their damage to some extent. Still, certain lifestyle factors can increase their production, such as:

  • smoking
  • exposure to toxic chemicals, such as air pollution or pesticides
  • alcohol consumption
  • eating fried foods

With links between these factors and diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer (which have also been linked to oxidative stress), the connection between these factors and diseases might just lie in the increase of free radical production the above factors create.

The Role of Antioxidants

Thinking too much about free radicals can make it seem like nothing you do can reverse their impact, but there is one clear winner for free radical protection: antioxidants.

Antioxidants are your body’s primary defense against free radicals and oxidative stress. These chemicals donate an electron to free radicals, lessening their reactivity and the effects they produce on the body. What makes antioxidants so powerful, though, is that they can donate this electron without becoming reactive themselves.

Since oxidative stress occurs when the number of free radicals in the body outnumbers the number of antioxidants, keeping your antioxidant levels high can go a long way in protecting you from oxidative stress.

Can You Supplement Antioxidants?

Antioxidants can be found in many fruits and vegetables, such as:

  • cherries
  • berries
  • prunes
  • citrus fruits
  • broccoli
  • dark leafy greens
  • olives
  • carrots
  • tomatoes

However, some people may struggle to get enough of these foods each day or want an extra boost to their well-being. In these cases, they may consider antioxidant supplementation.

A safe and effective supplement is Original Glutathione Formula®, (OGF).  OGF® is a super antioxidant and antitoxin that boosts your immune system, promotes anti-aging and improves cellular function. OGF is unique from other glutathione supplements because it contains no glutathione. Instead, OGF contains the precursors the body uses to create glutathione, aiding the body’s natural production of glutathione. With glutathione as the body’s master antioxidant, its production is crucial for protecting against oxidative stress.

When your body produces glutathione itself, it is available in a much easier-to-utilize form, and therefore, more effective.

Free Radicals and Glutathione

Free radicals are unavoidable parts of your body’s natural functioning. Still, if they become too high, they can cause damage to many tissues through oxidative stress, potentially leading to the development of various diseases over time.

Glutathione, as the body’s master antioxidant, helps to negate the effects of free radicals and lead to their breakdown, helping to protect the body from damage. However, supplementing glutathione itself is not as effective as using the glutathione produced by the body.

To address this, OGF contains all the precursors needed by the body to produce glutathione, helping to boost your body’s natural production of this vital antioxidant. Try OGF today to help your body protect itself from cellular damage.

References
Lobo, V., Patil, A., Phatak, A., & Chandra, N. (2010). Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 4(8), 118. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.70902
Cortés-Jofré, M., Rueda, J., Corsini-Muñoz, G., Fonseca-Cortés, C., Caraballoso, M., & Bonfill Cosp, X. (2012). Drugs for preventing lung cancer in healthy people. Cochrane Database Of Systematic Reviews. doi: 10.1002/14651858.cd002141.pub2
Bjelakovic, G., Nikolova, D., & Gluud, C. (2013). Meta-Regression Analyses, Meta-Analyses, and Trial Sequential Analyses of the Effects of Supplementation with Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E Singly or in Different Combinations on All-Cause Mortality: Do We Have Evidence for Lack of Harm?. Plos ONE, 8(9), e74558. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074558

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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