The human body houses a variety of organisms and agents. During the process of eating, we take in different things with our foods. Some of the microorganism that accompany the food we eat gets into the blood stream, multiplies and because a cause of concern to the body. These organism forms free radicals and other disease causing agents in the human which in turn are very injurious to the health. In order to combat these disease causing agents, nature has given the human body special ability to defend itself against any harmful external agent. The body does this fighting process through a lot of means which include the white blood cells fighting against diseases and the presence of antioxidants helping in the processes of getting rid of strange harmful substances and molecules.
Chemically, an electron loves pairing, however, in the human body, oxygen normally split into single atom thereby leaving an unpaired electron which is free to roam around. These free roaming electrons are referred to as free radicals. They freely move around the whole body in search of any available electron that they can form a bond with. In the process of the search and roaming movement, they have full potential to effect severe damage to the body proteins, DNA and the body cells. Free radicals are associated with almost all the types of diseases which include cancer, alzheimer diseases, night blindness and other vision related diseases as well as many other dangerous diseases that undermine the human health. Since the processes of aging have been medically considered as the steady accumulation of these free radicals, it implies that they are equally related to aging which many today have wondered and dreaded about. But unfortunately, these free radicals which are always present in our body have over the years and through medical research, proven to be more of an enemy that a friend.
These free radicals get into the human body through a variety of means. The most common we get free radicals into our body include through the food we eat, water we drink and for those who smokes, it is also a very good source of free radical in the body. Aside these, some medicines we take to cure some sickness also contain these free radicals, even the air we breathe is also contaminated with free radical.
The foregoing makes it practically impossible to avoid the presence of this dangerous free radical from entering into our body. Although free radicals are actually very important to humans because, the ability of the body to convert air and the food we eat into chemical energy to a very large extent depends on the series of reactions from these free radicals. Despite this importance of the free radicals they are still very detrimental and injurious to the human health. The chain reactions from free radical can cause a break down in the cell membrane, thereby preventing the cell from being able to determine what enters and leaves the cell. When there are too many free radicals in the body with too much damaged cells, it leads to a condition known as oxidative stress which is related to the damaging of protein, nucleic acid and lipids. With the enormous dangers of the free radicals, the only saving grace against these free disease causing agents is the antioxidant which serve as the police against the activities of these free radicals.
The presence of antioxidants in the body mitigate the damaging effects of the free radicals the antioxidants inhibits the functions of the free radicals in the body thereby rendering them partly or completely useless.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are considered as molecules that exist in the human cells which have the ability to stop free radical from bonding with any electron in the cell so a s to prevent damage to the cell and protect the human body. The antioxidant is able to stop the free radical chain of damaging reactions because it can donate an electron to the free radical so the free radical get bonded and become harmless while the antioxidant itself is still able to maintain its stability. Antioxidants exist in the human body as natural substances that are primarily tasked with the responsibility of cleaning up the body especially from ravaging and scavenging free radicals.
The human body is designed in such a way that it produces antioxidants naturally by itself. However, the amount of antioxidants produced by the body is not enough to effectively fight off all the free radicals in the body. When the number of free radicals in the body is more than the number of antioxidants in the body, it subjects the body to a condition known as oxidative stress. Since the number of this very vital substance known as the antioxidant is not enough as required, we are constantly in steady need of the external sources that can help us boost the quantity of antioxidants that we have in our body. We can get this boost through some food types that are very rich in antioxidants, through fruit that are high in antioxidants or through some antioxidant supplements. Tomatoes, spinach, nuts and green tea are some examples of products and food types that are rich sources of antioxidant.
Adequate and regular consumption of the food that are rich in antioxidant increases the total number of antioxidants in our body which in turn helps to combat the damaging effects of free radicals in our body system.
Antioxidants became a popular phenomenon in the early 90s as a result of medical discoveries into the alarming danger of free radicals which was causing cancer and many other alarming and chronic health conditions.
Subsequent to this disaster being released and portrayed by this free radical, medical research began to understudy the possibility of eradicating or neutralizing these free radicals which overtime gave rise to the understanding of the function and importance of antioxidants. It is thus, imperative to maintain a good balance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body so as to avoid oxidative stress.