Free radicals, antioxidants and ageing

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Oxidative Stress Diseases

1. What are free radicals?

Free radicals are particles that cause oxidation and damage to our cells. They are highly reactive and can spread to other cells in a chain reaction. They are responsible for diseases and premature ageing.

Free Radicals

2. Why are free radicals dangerous?

The main danger is when excessive free radicals damage important parts of our cells, such as DNA or the cell membrane. Cells may then malfunction or die. This cell damage can lead to cancer, various other diseases or a malfunctioning immune system.

3. Where do free radicals come from?

– from normal metabolism in the body (breathing, movement, exercise…)
– other sources: food, drink, exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoke, other air pollutants, industrial chemicals, mental stress

Free Radicals

4. What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are anti-oxidation agents. Their help in prevention or reversal of the oxidation in cells is fundamental to cell health. Antioxidants defend cells of: artery walls, pancreas, eyes, muscles, digestive system, bones, skin, blood, brain, etc.

Antioxidants are key to the reversal or prevention of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, premature ageing, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. 

Antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, lycopene, selenium and zinc.

5. Why are antioxidants key to anti-aging, good skin and weight control?

Premature ageing and poor skin health are partly caused by oxidative stress caused by excessive free radicals. Antioxidants control free radical damage.

Mitochondria are tiny engines that power our cells. They convert food into energy (instead of the food being stored as fat). Antioxidants are crucial for keeping our mitochondria healthy and active.

6. Why is a large reserve of antioxidants important?

Every day, our body’s trillions of cells face threats from free radicals that can damage our cells and genetic material. A large reserve of antioxidants in our body is necessary to effectively protect against free radical damage and to boost our immune system.

During a time of severe infection or a pandemic, our life depends on our immune system.

7. What is a pandemic? Why worry about a pandemic?

A pandemic is an outbreak of an infectious disease that spreads over a country or the world.

Just as there is no time to build an army when a war comes, there is no time to build a strong immune system when a pandemic strikes.

8. Can the antioxidant level in our body be measured?

There is at least one device that indicates a person’s antioxidant level. More are being developed.

Blog Featured Antioxidants 20181003

9. Where do we find antioxidants?

There are thousands of antioxidant sources in natural whole plant foods.

– Berries (goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, alma… )
– Other common fruits (red dragon fruit, mango, papaya, guava, jackfruit, pineapple…)
– Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kai-lan, cabbage, purple cabbage…)
– Other common vegetables (bok choy, water cress…)
– Root vegetables (carrot, ginger, turmeric, sweet potatoes…)
– Nuts (almonds, pecans, hazel nuts…)
– Seeds (sunflower, flax, sesame…)
– Legumes (red beans, green beans, soy beans, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas…)

10. Why not just take antioxidants from pills and supplements?

Professor Colin Campbell explained that whole foods have nutrients that operate as an infinitely complex biochemical system involving thousands of chemicals producing thousands of effects on our health. Pills and supplements which concentrate one or a few nutrients only cannot replace whole foods. Antioxidant supplements have been known to increase cancer risk.

11. What are the best ways to raise our antioxidants level quickly?

Make your meals nutrient dense with antioxidant rich whole foods. Take in many small meals. Salads and smoothies are easiest.


The information shared here is for educational purposes only.
These opinions are not given as medical advice and not intended to replace or conflict with your decisions or healthcare providers’ advice.


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4. The role of free radicals in disease.

5. Reduce Inflammation and Lose Weight with Antioxidants

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10. Eating Right: 8 Principles of Food and Health