We all want to slow down the signs of aging and we can, by reducing oxidative stress – helping our cells fight free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecular fragments that can damage cell membranes and the internal organelles of the cell.
Free radicals are created in the body internally in the following manner:
1 The primary source is from our body during the energy production process within the cells. 98% of the oxygen we breathe is used within our cells in the production of energy. The resultant effect of this energy producing activity is that a very small amount of oxygen that was not used losses electrons creating free radicals.
2 Another source of free radicals is the presence of toxic heavy metals in the body – especially those caught up in the cellular tissues. All transition metals with the exception of copper, contains one electron in their outermost shell and can be considered a free radical. Copper, although having a full outer shell of 2 electrons, loses its electron easily and can be considered a free radical too. The following metals are, however, major free radicals creating agents in the body – mercury; calcium; aluminium; lead; chlorine; iron; cadmium
3 From foods that have a destructive potential like fried foods, which causes the bonds in the molecule to become unstable.
4 During normal metabolism of fat, carbohydrates and proteins
5 Stress especially oxidative stress. All chemicals and some endocrine hormones create free radicals
Free Radicals are also created externally in the following situations:
1 Environmental contaminants such as pollution. Cigarette smoke in particular increases free radical load tremendously
2 Ionizing and ultraviolet radiation such as from overexposure to sunlight and prolonged exposure to x-rays
3 Excessive or over-exercising
4 Toxic chemicals like toluene, benzene, formaldehyde and pesticides
5 Petroleum based products
The free radicals created burn holes in our cellular membranes that weaken tissues and organs in our body. As the damage continues unchecked, the body becomes “rusty” and less able to defend itself against problems such as cancer, hardening of the arteries, premature aging and other health issues.
Doctors Cranton and Frackelton dramatically underline the importance of dealing with free radicals:
“When free radicals in living tissues exceed safe levels, the result is cell destruction, malignant mutation, tumor growth, damage to enzymes and inflammations, which manifest clinically as age-related, chronic degenerative diseases. Each uncontrolled free radical has the potential to multiply a million-fold. But, when functioning properly, our antioxidant systems suppress excessive free radical reactions”
We should all regularly check free radicals in our body to make sure they are under control. One way we check for free radical activity is with a simple urine test that takes just a few minutes. Once we have your results we work with you to ensure you are getting adequate antioxidants in your diet along with supplements that can help activate your cells to turn on natural antioxidant production and protect cells from free radical damage.
We have a saying at Glow IV – Age is just a number, its how you look and feel that counts!