Have you ever found yourself wondering why everyone talks about Anti-Oxidants or Free Radicals, and why you need to up your game on Anti-Oxidants? What exactly are anti-oxidants? And why on earth do we have so much free radicals? How did I get exposed to free radicals? Why and how do free radicals damage my body or cause me to fall ill?
WHAT ARE FREE RADICALS?
The basis of everything on earth comes down to atoms. Atoms contain shells which are filled up with a certain number of electrons. When one shell is complete with those electrons, they begin to form another shell of electrons. An atom is stable when their shells are “complete”.
The problem arises when an atom when an incomplete shell bonds with another atom by using electrons to fill its outer shell. This forms the free radical and they are unstable molecules. These unstable free radicals have a high tendency to react with other healthy cells, by stealing electrons. This causes the once healthy cell, to transform into a free radical. This cycle continues to other healthy cells which potentially affect tissues, organs, bones and other bodily functions.
This vicious cycle causes oxidative stress in our bodies. Oxidative stress damages cells and when not controlled, cause a range of diseases in our bodies and also on our skin such as premature skin aging like wrinkles and dark spots.
HOW DO FREE RADICALS DAMAGE THE BODY?
Our bodies naturally have free radicals, due to everyday cell activities. In defense, our body will also naturally produce a certain level of anti-oxidants to neutralise free radical damage. As we begin to age however, our body will also naturally lose more of its ability to fight free radicals. This is “normal” aging.
What should be of concern is when there are more free radicals and too little anti-oxidants for the body to counter, accelerating the effects of a disease, causing our bodies to age or break down faster than it should.
This can cause a list of health problems related to oxidative stress from free radicals:
- Neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons’ and other forms of dementias
- Cardiovascular diseases from clogged arteries
- Skin ageing such as wrinkles, loose skin, hair loss etc.
- Vision impairment such as cataracts
CAUSES OF FREE RADICALS
The reason behind all this hoo-ha when it comes to anti-oxidants vs. free radicals is really quite simple. Our bodies in today’s world is unfortunately exposed to harmful lifestyles and substances. It can be something as trivial as:
- eating processed foods that are too easily and commercially available in supermarkets
- over-drinking alcohol
- deep fried foods
- poor diet
- inhaling harmful pollutants in the air
- coming into contact with toxins such as pesticides, aggravating substances, etc.
These lifestyle factors are often linked to modern day diseases such as heart problems and cancer. It is no wonder that we hear more of these problems today as our society continually exposes itself to free radicals with very little supplementation of anti-oxidants in return.
HOW DO ANTI-OXIDANTS FIGHT FREE RADICALS?
You may think of anti-oxidant as a generous donor. They donate an electron to free radicals in order to neutralise their reactivity. In essence, they prevent “oxidation” of other molecules.
What makes anti-oxidants special is the fact they do not turn reactive when donating an electron. Even when losing an electron, they remain stable.
This is why boosting one’s self with an anti-oxidant rich diet is not only important for maintaining optimal bodily functions, but to also prevent serious health problems such as cancers, heart diseases and neurological diseases onset.
WHERE TO GET ANTI-OXIDANTS
There are many foods rich in antioxidants. Vitamins C, and E, beta-carotene, lycopene and certain plant estrogens are some anti-oxidants that are able to fight against free radicals. Eating more fruits and vegetables are also recommended when one is looking to boost anti-oxidant levels.
COCOLAB’s ANH-VCO + Super Vitamin E Tocotrienols + Lycopene Softgels is a great all-in-one start. Supplementation of these travel-convenient softgels are proven to be healthy for the heart, brain, body and skin. Results are often immediate and noticeable with better mental clarity too. You can also try the liquid variation if you fancy drizzling it over salads and incorporating it into sauces.
Browse our shop online at www.cocolab.my or a COCOLAB physical store near you for a Super Anti-Oxidant solution of your choice today!