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Free Radicals

Woman exercisingOxygen has a bright side (we would quickly die without it) and a dark side. It is required for cellular respiration and energy production. Fuel plus oxygen equals energy, the same principle your automobile engine employs to get you down the road. We need energy to fuel our body’s systems.

But just like your automobile engine, cells produce emissions or toxic wastes. These wastes are byproducts of cellular metabolism and energy production.
Free radicals are produced through these normal metabolic processes. Although some free radical activity is necessary for proper biochemical electrical requirements, the rampant over abundance of free radicals can wreak havoc on cell
membranes and intracellular stability.

Also, other toxins from overcooked foods, excessive sugar intake, rancid fats, environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, food additives, household chemicals, drugs, alcohol and chemotherapy (to name a few), are exposed to and interact with oxygen to create what are called reactive oxygen species (ROS) or “free radicals”. Even stress and exercise create them.

There are many types of free radicals, some of which produce arterial plaque when cholesterol is oxidized. Others attack healthy cells and tissues, penetrating cell membranes and doing damage to DNA that can cause cells to mutate or even die.

So, oxidative stress is a fact of life, and as we age, the need becomes ever more crucial to control these byproducts of cellular metabolism and other toxic substances that can be dangerous when electrons are stolen from oxygen, producing unstable oxygen molecules or “free radicals”. There can also be a “series of cascading events” that turn free radicals into even more harmful substances if the momentum isn’t halted. Excessive free radical activity is thought to be a leading cause of degenerative disease and aging.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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