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How Do Antioxidants Work?

How Do Antioxidants Work?

It's the million dollar question. I will try and explain this in the easiest and simplest way and by using an illustration or analogy, hopefully to get the point across effectively. I always find that is the easiest way for me to understand or grasp anything ;)

how do antioxidants work, free radical attack So, here we go...just how do antioxidants work in the body?

First you need to know.. what is a free radical and how does a free radical work?

Then you need to understand, what are antioxidants and how do they work?

How a free radical works

Imagine a molecule, it doesn't matter what shape or size it is, just picture it in your mind. Now imagine it has just 'lost' a vital piece of itself ok? Now, that vital piece happens to be one of its electrically charged electrons that orbit in pairs.

Now the balance has to be restored..and quickly. So what heppens next is that the radical frantically steals an electron from nearby molecules, or maybe gives away the unpaired one.

When they succeed in their task, they will then create still more free-radicals, causing a sort of snowballing procession of damage.

What you have going on right there in your body is molecular mayhem...smashing into the protein, fats and genetic DNA of your cells. The result? It's not very pretty, cells are now disfigured and corroded.

It gets worse, because if the target is fat, the radical can ignite a potentially destructive chain reaction that can break down membranes, leaving cells to disintegrate.

If protein takes a hit, then the radical may shave off bits, destroying its ability to function.

If the DNA takes a hit, especially in the cells' tiny power factories called mitochondria, this will cause mutations that incite cells to unusual and erratic behaviour.

Eventually, over time, the free radical damage takes its toll on your poor body, leaving it aged and diseased in its wake. It's quite bizzare really, because one of the most essential elements the human body needs for life itself, namely oxygen, is also responsible for cellular deterioration, ageing, and countless diseases.

food high in antioxidants, anti oxidant foods How do antioxidants work?

Don't worry, nature has come up with a solution for this. Something called antioxidants. Substances in our food to help keep oxygen from damaging cells and causing disease...our saviors. Quite simply, an antioxidant is a chemical that can donate a sought-after electron, in other words give the missing electron immediately back to a free radical, without becoming dangerous itself.

So, the antioxidant vs free radical clash puts and end to its rampage of cellular and bodily destruction..the slow degeneration we all know as aging.

Picture it another way. Illustration time...Imagine you are a movie star..a very famous one at that, in other words a very well-known world famous figure. Wherever you go, a threat to your safety could happen any time. So, what do you do? Simple, employ a highly effective team of bodyguards surrounding you.

Now, if any danger comes at you, your team of highly trained bodyguards are ready and waiting to swoop in and get between you and the potential threat. Your protectors are willing to suffer any consequences themselves, all for your safety and stop you from getting hurt.

These bodyguards, forming the human shield around, can be likened to the antioxidants in your system. You see, every time you eat fruits, vegetables or any other antioxidant-rich foods, a flood of these protective compounds enters your bloodstream. They travel freely around the body, stepping between your body's healthy cells and the pillaging free radicals, offering up their own electrons to neutralize the free radicals and keep cells out of harms way.

what is a free radical, free radical damage And the threat to you can be compared to the FR's. Because every day, the DNA in each cell in your body faces about 10,000 attacks from these cell damaging forces. The many ways they are manufactured in your body can be from things such as pollution, smoking, other sources and they are also naturally produced as your body turns fuel into energy.

How do antioxidants work? Prevention

So, we now know how antioxidants work, the question is, how can they help us? They can...

Many anti oxidants can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, and vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E are familiar types. There is much more information at this site that will further explain and discuss the many different types of antioxidants and their sources, so click around and discover how to increase your anti oxidant intake for a healthier, longer life.

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Back From How Do Antioxidants Work to Homepage

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