What are free radicals
In bio-chemical processes continuously occurring in the human body are organic and inorganic compounds. The former include proteins and enzymes, carbohydrates, lipids, hormones and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), other substances produced by metabolism processes. The second, inorganic, can be attributed water and oxygen.
Active oxygen molecules are formed in the body as a result of the breathing chain, it involves groups of mitochondrial proteins transforming oxygen inhaled by humans in adenosine triphosphoric acid, a source of energy for cells. As a byproduct of this process, active forms of oxygen are formed, having an unpaired electron attracting other atoms and molecules, causing an uncontrolled chain reaction in the body. They have a powerful oxidative capacity and are called “free radicals”.
What are dangerous free radicals
Free radicals, just as other important compounds generated in the body perform certain physiological functions: are involved in synthesis of a number of biological regulators, control the process of contracting vessel walls, stimulate natural programmed cell death.
But, if a chain reaction involving free radicals begins, which can be triggered by harmful external effects, the process of their uncontrolled reproduction begins, as a result of which may change information links, leading to changes in the genetic code, disruption of the structure of proteins.$ The immune system that controls such mutations recognizes them as an abnormality and tries to destroy them. The result is cancer, including leukemia, as well as heart disorders: atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, etc., other vital organs.
Free radicals formed in large numbers destroy cell membranes, serving as a kind of protection of cells, which leads to the accumulation of fluid in the body, the consequence of which is aging. In addition, the level of calcium content also changes, which also provokes the occurrence of life disorders. The
external impetus that can stimulate such a chain reaction can be radiation or ultraviolet exposure, living in environmentally hazardous areas, harmful effects of tobacco smoke and exhaust gas.$ Medics believe food rich in fats can also trigger an increase in the number of free radicals in the body.
How to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals
Scientists have long been engaged in this issue, on which the human life expectancy depends. The use of strong antioxidants (antioxidants) is the remedy they offer today. Sampled on laboratory animals, antioxidants allowed to increase their life expectancy by 40 -50%. The
human body is able to independently produce antioxidants, which are quite enough, as long as living conditions do not involve stresses and harmful environmental effects. Such antioxidants include the protein glutathione, which is produced in the liver from amino acids. It is able to reduce the harm of drugs, smoking and radiation exposure to the body, neutralizes the effects of chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer diseases, removes toxins that enter the body together with alcohol, neutralizes the action of heavy metals, which promotes cure in case of blood and liver diseases. Its action begins even before free radicals can begin their destructive influence, glutathione together with selenium forms an enzyme that neutralizes the peroxide formed under their action hydrogen.
The most active anioxidant known to date is melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland of the brain, but its production in the body starts to decline even before puberty.
group of antioxidants that a person can get together with food include vitamins: A, C and E, beta-carotene, cuenzyme Q10, trace elements: selenium, zinc, cysteine; hormones: melatonin. Some plants have high anioxidant properties: ginko biloba, blueberries, grape seed extract, green tea, sprouted soybean and wheat grains, fresh vegetables and fruits.
Oligomeric proanthocyanides contained in grape seed and pine bark extracts have 50 and 20 times more powerful in their antioxidative action than vitamins C and E. respectively.
In addition, there are substances that can enhance the antioxidative effects of vitamins and glutathione, such as alpha-lipoic acid, which is also a an important component that ensures the production of enzymes that turn food into energy.