Definition of Free Radicals

What They Are

Free radicals are quickly making their way onto the minds of every person as they are finally being singled out as the biggest bad guy around. Knowing the complex science behind these killers is mandatory for anyone interested in pursuing a career in medicine. Attaining degrees like a MD or online MPH is a great start.

The definition of free radicals defines them as unstable and chemically incomplete atoms that tend to steal electrons from other molecules in order to stabilize.

Electrons are part of an atom. They are located at the outer shell of an atom. An atom usually becomes “grounded” or stable when each of the electrons pair up.

The existence of a lone or unpaired electron is unnatural and makes an atom a free radical.

What Free Radicals Do

Free Radicals Cause Aging Virtually every definition of free radicals state that that is the reason behind aging: the development of symptoms related to heart disease, hypertension, stroke and cancer. It has been claimed as the cause of so many health complaints such as headaches, dry skin, high blood pressure, which are all attributes of aging.

Free radicals attacking healthy cells

Free radicals attacking healthy cells (illustration)

For long, free radicals gave an impression of being the big ‘enemy’ when talking about our health, but that is actually not the case in every instance.

In truth, free radicals exist naturally inside the body. They are a product of oxidation, a process involved with respiration and other chemical reactions such as metabolism, digestion, energy production and consumption. The more we use oxygen, the more we are likely to produce free radicals.

In other words, just the basic actions of living life will create free radicals in your body: Breathing, Digesting food, Exercising, Sunlight—all these and more will create free radicals in your body.

In this light, it is possible for us to produce more free radicals than what our body can handle.

Another definition of free radicals mentions that they are purposefully created to neutralize viruses and bacteria, marking these common pathogens to be attacked by antibodies.

However, exposure to certain elements, which include pollution, cigarette smoke and sunlight, can also increase the formation of free radicals.

This is one more reason why smokers need to quit the habit, for the body generates about one quadrillion free radicals per stick. These elements cause damage to the tissues and delicate cell membranes.

It may also damage our DNA and disrupt our store of inherited information. Damaged cells replicate haphazardly which is generally thought to be a precursor to cancer.

The Good and the Ugly When the electron is stolen from an invader (e.g., bacteria), the invader’s molecular structure is damaged, which leads to its death. This is good immune function at work.

When there are no invaders left to destroy, free radicals then turn to the only other source for electrons – healthy cells.

The resulting damage to the death of healthy cells, further signals the immune system for additional help. This sets up a continuous autoimmune response which promotes chronic inflammation and tissue damage, commonly referred to as oxidative stress.

Chronic overproduction of free radicals by the immune system results in inflammatory-related diseases such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, heart attack, Type II diabetes, lupus, MS, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease, to point out just a few.

More on Aging & Free Radicals This directly links free radicals as the cause of fifty or so other major diseases, which include heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and respiratory diseases. However, people seem to be more familiar and concerned with free radicals aging.

Aging is an important definition of free radicals. This is because signs of free radical damage refer to the signs of aging. Heart disease is acquired with age because of the damage to the fat cells, causing them to be more “sticky” and easier to adhere on the artery walls.

High blood pressure and stroke may also result because of this. Another sign is the dryness in the skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles.

The free radical theory pretty much describes the definition of free radicals. According to the theory, organisms age because of the accumulation of free radicals. Over time, the damage they bring to the body is manifested through symptoms describing common health pains, aches and discomforts.

Inevitable free radical aging emphasizes the importance of maintaining sufficient amount of antioxidant rich foods in our diet.

It is important to note that free radical damage accumulates with age, just like the discoloration you see when an apple slice is left out in the air.

Diseases Linked to Free Radicals

  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease (Atherosclerosis)
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cataracts
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Allergies
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Sunburns
  • Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Gum Disease
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Nephritis (Kidney Disease)
  • Lupus
  • Premature Aging And Wrinkling
  • HIV/Aids
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Lung Disease (Copd)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Skin Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Alzheimer’s Dementia
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Hepatitis (Liver Disease)
  • Cerebral Trauma
  • Retinopathy
  • Diverticulitis/Colitis
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Melasma
  • Psoriasis
  • Radiation Injury
  • Immunodeficiencies
  • Infertility
  • Menstrual Disorders
  • Endometriosis
  • Huntington’s Chorea
  • Behcet’s Disease
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease

How free radicals can cause heart disease

It’s not just the eating of fats that can cause the buildup of fat on the inner walls of arteries, but the fat cells that have been damaged by free radicals. This is called “oxidized fat” which causes the fat to become more “sticky” thus enabling the fat to adhere to the artery walls more easily.

Some of the symptoms experienced by free radical damage

  • Tremor
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Acid reflux
  • High blood pressure
  • Edema
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Dry skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Low energy & fatigue
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Bedwetting
  • Constipation
  • Gastro intestinal problems
  • Immune system problems
  • Joint pain
  • Migraines
  • Nerve pain
  • Mood swings
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Over-weight conditions
  • Cysts
  • Anxiety
  • Poor circulation
  • Cold sores
  • Hearing loss
  • Stroke symptoms

To learn more on combating free radicals go to benefits of antioxidants.

For long, free radicals gave an impression of being the big ‘enemy’ when talking about our health, but that is actually not the case in every instance.

In truth, free radicals exist naturally inside the body. They are a product of oxidation, a process involved with respiration and other chemical reactions such as metabolism, digestion, energy production and consumption. The more we use oxygen, the more we are likely to produce free radicals.

In other words, just the basic actions of living life will create free radicals in your body: Breathing, Digesting food, Exercising, Sunlight—all these and more will create free radicals in your body.

In this light, it is possible for us to produce more free radicals than what our body can handle.

Another definition of free radicals mentions that they are purposefully created to neutralize viruses and bacteria, marking these common pathogens to be attacked by antibodies.

However, exposure to certain elements, which include pollution, cigarette smoke and sunlight, can also increase the formation of free radicals.

This is one more reason why smokers need to quit the habit, for the body generates about one quadrillion free radicals per stick. These elements cause damage to the tissues and delicate cell membranes.

It may also damage our DNA and disrupt our store of inherited information. Damaged cells replicate haphazardly which is generally thought to be a precursor to cancer.

This directly links free radicals as the cause of fifty or so other major diseases, which include heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and respiratory diseases. However, people seem to be more familiar and concerned with free radicals aging.

Aging is an important definition of free radicals. This is because signs of free radical damage refer to the signs of aging. Heart disease is acquired with age because of the damage to the fat cells, causing them to be more “sticky” and easier to adhere on the artery walls.

High blood pressure and stroke may also result because of this. Another sign is the dryness in the skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles.

The free radical theory pretty much describes the definition of free radicals. According to the theory, organisms age because of the accumulation of free radicals. Over time, the damage they bring to the body is manifested through symptoms describing common health pains, aches and discomforts.

Inevitable free radical aging emphasizes the importance of maintaining sufficient amount of antioxidant rich foods in our diet.

It is important to note that free radical damage accumulates with age, just like the discoloration you see when an apple slice is left out in the air.

Diseases Linked to Free Radicals

  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease (Atherosclerosis)
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cataracts
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Allergies
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Sunburns
  • Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Gum Disease
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Nephritis (Kidney Disease)
  • Lupus
  • Premature Aging And Wrinkling
  • HIV/Aids
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Lung Disease (Copd)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Skin Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Alzheimer’s Dementia
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Hepatitis (Liver Disease)
  • Cerebral Trauma
  • Retinopathy
  • Diverticulitis/Colitis
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Melasma
  • Psoriasis
  • Radiation Injury
  • Immunodeficiencies
  • Infertility
  • Menstrual Disorders
  • Endometriosis
  • Huntington’s Chorea
  • Behcet’s Disease
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease

How free radicals can cause heart disease

It’s not just the eating of fats that can cause the buildup of fat on the inner walls of arteries, but the fat cells that have been damaged by free radicals. This is called “oxidized fat” which causes the fat to become more “sticky” thus enabling the fat to adhere to the artery walls more easily.

Some of the symptoms experienced by free radical damage

  • Tremor
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Acid reflux
  • High blood pressure
  • Edema
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Dry skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Enhanced energy
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Bedwetting
  • Constipation
  • Gastro intestinal problems
  • Immune system problems
  • Joint pain
  • Migraines
  • Nerve pain
  • Mood swings
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Over-weight conditions
  • Cysts
  • Anxiety
  • Poor circulation
  • Cold sores
  • Hearing loss
  • Stroke symptoms

To learn more on combating free radicals go to The free radical becomes highly reactive, immediately attacking the nearest stable atom or molecule to capture an electron to regain its own stability.

This normally results in damage to the cells, molecules and atoms in the body, disrupting normal cell functions, which results to an imbalance to normal body growth and functions. antioxidants benefits

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

 

Stan's Health & Fitness Newsletter!
Subscribe Now For My
FREE Guide On
How To Start A Life Of Vibrant Health!