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The Killer Free Radicals And The Savior Antioxidants

Updated: Apr 12

There are more reasons to eat healthy than to just lose weight when one goes on a "diet". A very important reason should be to keep diseases at bay. And that only happens when you make a habit of eating well not just for a few months with the goal to look good or fit into some desired clothes but as a consistent habit.

And sometimes the so-called diet you are on might not even be that healthy. It might become the cause of severe deficiencies.

In today’s times, you would have heard a lot about free radicals and how they damage our bodies. One of the side effects of not eating in a balanced manner is the body becoming deficient in antioxidants.

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that are formed by losing an electron after reacting with oxygen or nitrogen inside the body. These atoms become highly unstable after they lose the electron and then they try to destabilize the normal cells by taking their electrons. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes affecting more cells quickly. There are both external and internal sources of free radicals.

External sources of free radicals:

Air and water pollution, alcohol, tobacco smoke, heavy metals, transition metals, industrial solvents, pesticides, certain drugs like halothane, paracetamol, radiation, cooking (smoked meat, used oil, fat), ultraviolet light.


The damage

Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Our body cells may function poorly or may even die if they react with free radicals.

Free Radicals And Ageing Of Cells

As per the free radical theory of aging, as we age our body goes through a high level of stress as a result of the oxidative damage that the normal cells have undergone by interacting with the free radicals over years.