Most people have heard of free radicals and sense they’re not good, but what if I asked you exactly what a free radical is?
Or how about an antioxidant? What’s that?
<Insert sounds of crickets chirping.>
The thing is, it’s important to know what free radicals and antioxidants are, as your health and life may depend on it.
Let’s start with:
What’s a free radical?
A brief but simple chemistry lesson is needed to understand free radicals.
Your body is made up of cells, each cell is comprised of smaller molecules, and each molecule is created by one or more tiny atoms.
Atoms are made up of a nucleus (center), protons (positively charged particles in the nucleus) and electrons (negatively charged particles surrounding the atom). The number of protons in an atom determines the number of electrons the atom needs.
Electrons "orbit" around the atom in one or more shells or rings--they look like this:
Atoms are fussy and like to always maintain their proper number of electrons. But sometimes an electron can get stripped away--that’s when the atom becomes a free radical!
The free radical is unstable and goes on a frantic search to find another electron to complete its set. It will desperately grab onto any electron it can find, and in this process, it can destroy the molecule it just “robbed.”
Free radicals can be caused by your environments, such as from chemicals or cigarette smoke. But they also come from your own metabolic activity—when your cells burn oxygen (called oxidation), free radicals are created.
Free radicals can be very destructive and cause inflammation, cell damage, DNA damage and chronic degeneration of healthy tissues.
If it goes on long enough, uncontrolled free radical damage can eventually lead to:
- Heart disease
- Accelerated aging
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Neurological disorders
- Lung diseases
- Autoimmune diseases
Antioxidants to the rescue!
Antioxidants are protective nutrients that include vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and alpha lipoic acid. They come to your rescue by fighting harmful free radicals and minimizing or preventing the damage to your cells that they cause.
They can do this in a couple different ways.
Sometimes they surround and engulf the free radical. At this point the antioxidant itself becomes a free radical; however, it is a very weak one that is far less likely to do harm to your body.
Antioxidants can also “lend” a needed electron to a free radical, thereby calming it down and putting an end to its tirade.
Make sure you have what you need!
Current estimates show that over 70 percent of Americans will die from diseases caused or contributed to by deficiencies of certain antioxidants. So antioxidants are not something to take lightly—you MUST ensure that you have enough to protect you against free radical damage and maintain your health.
Having a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to start.
Also, supplementing with a multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core can help ensure your body has health-supporting levels of these crucial nutrients.
In addition to the antioxidant-rich vitamins E and C as well as selenium and zinc in Super Core, our special formula contains the well-studied antioxidant carotenoids lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin, as well as resveratrol and the “cream of the antioxidant crop”—alpha lipoic acid!
Now THAT’S complete!
Plus Super Core also has natural anti-inflammatories that can help counteract any inflammation you may already have from free radical damage.
Get going on your journey to better health by fighting free radicals now!
To your health,Sherry Brescia