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Antioxidants Fight Free Radical Damage


Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances which are produced whenever our body undergoes the process of oxidation, e.g. breathing. When free radicals are released, they immediately latch unto other molecules, stealing their electrons and in so doing, turning them into unstable molecules like themselves. Once the process of free radicals formation is started, it can cascade, finally resulting in the disruption of a living cell. Antioxidants: Natural Enemies of Free Radicals Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E are thought to protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals. What antioxidants do is neutralize the free radicals. In addition, there is good evidence that bilirubin and uric acid can act as antioxidant support to help neutralize certain free radicals. Antioxidant support can be found in almost everything that we eat. More particularly, fresh fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of antioxidant support available. Sure, fresh fruits are generally low in fat and high in fiber, but it's much more than that. Recent studies have shown that part of the benefit from eating fresh produce everyday comes from antioxidants. These are substances that defend our body against the ravages brought on by free radicals. The first ever antioxidants to catch the attention of scientists and the vitamin supplement industry is beta-carotene or more commonly known as Vitamin A. To make up for their shortage in electrons, these free radicals will react with certain chemicals in the body, and in so doing, they interfere with the cell's ability to function normally. But just as the body naturally produces free radicals, it also has a means to defend against its harmful effects. For this reason, our bodies are always in need of a constant source of antioxidants. How antioxidants work is a two-way process. First is the chain-breaking. This is where the antioxidant comes in to break the chain reaction of free radicals turning other molecules into free radicals like them. Chain-breaking is also called Stabilization. 

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