Many of the products mentioned can help fight free radicals, ranging from food products to cosmetics. Free radicals are said to cause disease and cause premature aging. So what exactly is meant by free radicals?
Actually free radicals are part of the natural processes in the body. Apart from being a natural result, free radicals can also be sourced from outside the body. Free radical levels offset by antioxidants will not be dangerous, but will be dangerous if free radicals exceed levels that can be handled by the body to cause damage.
Free Radical Sources
When the body uses oxygen, about 1-2 percent of cells will become damaged and turn into free radicals. Free radicals are designations for damaged cells that can cause certain negative conditions. Called “free” because these cells lose important molecules that make them able to cause damage if they meet with other molecules. Not only damage other cells, free radicals also not infrequently damage the DNA that is the seed of disease growth.
One damaged cell can quickly damage another cell. When DNA changes, the cell can mutate and develop abnormally quickly. The process of inflammation and injury can also produce free radicals.
Besides originating from processes in the body, free radicals are also found in other ingredients from around. The main sources of free radicals come from:
- X-ray radiation.
- Air pollution and cigarette smoke.
- Food and water contaminated with poisons and pesticides.
- Most industrial products.
Therefore, it is important to limit the consumption of the above materials and protect yourself from X-ray exposure.
Impact of Free Radicals
For physiological functions to work well, there needs to be a balance between the levels of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, but if the levels of free radicals exceed the body’s ability to manage them, there will be a condition called oxidative stress. Free radicals can attack and cause damage to various body cells. Nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins are elements that can be affected. Here are some of the effects of free radicals on the body:
- Oxidative stress is a major factor causing inflammation, such as respiratory distress syndrome in adults, arthritis, ischemic disease (stroke and heart disease), high blood pressure, preeclampsia, Alzheimer’s, and many other diseases.
- Exposure to excessive sunlight can cause oxidative damage to skin cells. While free radicals can attack internal organs, such as free radicals in cigarettes attack lung cells.
- Cancer and atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries are the two main killers associated with free radical attacks.
- Research has found that free radicals cause cell damage that is closely related to aging.
The key to preventing cell damage caused by free radicals is to adopt a healthy diet with foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as various fresh fruits and vegetables. Some examples of good antioxidants to ward off free radicals are polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C.