Any molecular species capable of independent existence that contains unpaired electron in an atomic orbital is called a free radical. Metabolic process or exposure to different physiochemical conditions or pathological states, reactive free radicals are generated. Most radicals are unstable and highly reactive which causes damage to cells, protein and DNA. It can damage DNA’s instructional code, causing new cells to grow incorrectly, which leads to aging.
How does free radicals created or produced in the human body?
Scientifically speaking, exposure to X-rays, cigarette smoking, pollution and other industrial chemicals are some of the possible reason of the production of free radicals in the human body. These has toxic chemicals the causes damage to the cell. Studies show that free radical formation occurs continuously in the cells as a consequence of both enzymatic and non-enzymatic reactions. Metabolism is an enzymatic reaction that creates free radicals as its natural byproducts during chemical reaction. Once free radicals are formed, a chain of chemical reaction occurs. A free radical pulls an electron from a molecule, which destabilizes the molecule and turns it into a free radical. That molecule then takes an electron from another molecule, destabilizing it and tuning it into a free radical. This domino effect can eventually disrupt and damage the whole cell, according to Rice University research institute.
A condition known as oxidative stress develops if free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate them. Since it is formed with an incomplete electron shells, they are dangerous molecules that can accumulate in the human body that can cause serious health issues like cancer. Studies shows that oxidative stress contributes to the development of many conditions, including macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, emphysema, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ulcers and all inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and lupus.
After learning about how free radicals affect or damage our cells, it can be prevented if we eat the right balance of food that we intake daily.
What you can do to prevent free radicals?
Food rich betacarotene is a powerful antioxidant that may help neutralize and prevent free radicals. Foods with beta carotene are easy to spot because this antioxidant gives them a vibrant orange color.
Vitamin C foods plays a big role with free radical prevention. It is one of the antioxidants that gets the most attention because it has such as a positive effect your body’s natural defenses against illness. It helps in boosting the immune system and also in preventing damage caused by free radicals by elimination.
Foods with Vitamin E helps neutralize any free radical that have already formed. It has antioxidant properties that help protect cells from free radicals and also aids in DNA repair, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation.
Throughout the years, the study about free radicals have given more attention due to the high health risk diseases that is produced in our body. Being healthy and eating a balance diet will help in reducing the probability of getting such diseases.