Articles Of Interest

 

What are Antioxidants?
Recently we often hear the term “antioxidants” – but what are the benefits of antioxidants? You could say that oxidation of the body equals ageing of the body and antioxidants protect the body from that process.
The main cause of oxidation of the body is “free radicals”, which we hear mentioned a lot these days. Oxygen taken in when we breathe is used for metabolizing the body’s cells, but around 1% to 2% of the oxygen contains unpaired electrons, which make molecules unstable. These are what are generally referred to as “free radicals.” Free radicals indiscriminately scavenge electrons from surrounding tissue, causing oxidation and damage. This occurs in the skin, organs, blood vessels and body fluids – everywhere, and triggers various forms of ageing such as spots, wrinkles, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, and senile dementia. Free radicals are also attributed with causing cancer in cells by damaging the cancer-controlling genes in the DNA inside cells.
Stable oxygen molecules
Fig 1 (left): Stable oxygen molecules. Oxygen molecules are stable if they have eight electrons in the outer orbits and so these oxygen molecules are each sharing two oxygen atoms to achieve stability.

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