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Free Radicals and Antioxidants


So where do Free Radicals come from?

With over 1100 different families of  Free Radicals known to exist today, these do come from many different sources such as airborn emissions, sunlight, chlorination, chemical sources and pollution etc, which we are exposed to on a day to day basis. 

And when we are exposed to these free radicals, they start to damage our body's cells by causing oxidation and cell deterioration.


So Just what are free radicals?

Simply stated a free radical is an atom or molecule with an unpaired electron. Unpaired electrons make for very unstable highly reactive atoms and/or molecules. Paired electrons by way of contrast, are the characteristic of a far more stable state. Researcher and writer, Michael Dye, explains it this way.

"This is a very hazardous, unnatural and unstable state, because electrons normally come in pairs. This odd, unpaired electron in a free radical cause it to collide with other molecules so it can steal an electron from them, which changes the structure of these other molecules and causes them to also become free radicals. This can create a self perpetuating chain reaction, in which the structure of millions of molecules are affected in a matter of nanoseconds (a nanosecond is a billionth of a second), wreaking havoc with our DNA, protein molecules, enzymes and cells."

How do free radicals get into our bodies?

  • From Within - as natural by-products of ongoing biochemical reactions occurring in normal metabolic functions, in the detoxification processes and in the immune system defence.
  • From Outside - free radicals (better yet! - free radical generating substances - Ed) can be found in the food we eat, in our water supplies (especially after chemicals and pollutants have entered into them), drugs and medicine we ingest and the air we breathe.
  • Our environment contributes immensely to the spread of free radicals, as do processes like drugs, radiation, pesticides, air pollutants, solvents, fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, etc. - All the things most of us are exposed to all the time.


What Can We Do?

"Free Radical Scavengers" (antioxidants) are key elements in the defence system, which the body uses in order to neutralise the activity of these free radicals.

Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene and Selenium among other nutritional benefits, have strong antioxidant properties. We assume that you are already quite familiar with these important nutrients and take them on a regular basis.

What you probably don't know about and what you need to find out about are the powerful free radical scavengers called proanthocyandins ('Pycnogenols'). As free radical scavengers, these substances are 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E and at least 20 times stronger than Vitamin C (one report we have seen indicates 1000 times stronger).

An even more recent discovery is Curcuminoids which are nature's most powerful and aggressive antioxidants known today, and are about 3 times more powerful than antioxidants from white and maritime pine bark and grape seed OPC extracts.

With the combination of these new discoveries we are now able to support the body in its efforts to combat the effects that these free radicals have on our cells every single day.


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