What is a Free Radical?
Most people are familiar with the fact that free radicals are bad for us but don’t know why. Free radicals are atoms, molecules or ions which posses unpaired electrons. Consequently, they will have one or more than one dangling covalent bonds. It is these dangling bonds which render free radicals extremely chemically reactive to other substances. They look to combine with other atoms and then to rob or extract parts of other intact molecules so they may complete their electronic structure. This process will generate a new radical starting the whole process again causing a domino effect. Damage will be caused when these radicals react with and alter the chemical structure of vital cellular components (like cell membranes or DNA). A popular theory is that an accumulation of damage to cells from free radicals over time will cause an organism to age, develop cancers and a whole variety of other diseases and ailments.
What is an Antioxidant?
An antioxidant, in a nutshell, is a molecule which will prevent the damage caused by these free radicals. They will interrupt the damaging chain reaction before any vital molecules become damaged. An antioxidant has the ability to donate an electron to a scavenging free radical and thus sparing damage to other vital molecules of our body and thereby preventing the harmful effects that can be caused by them.
There are many antioxidants which will help to prevent the damage caused by free radicals. You will find them naturally occurring in foods and in supplement form. Some of the most common antioxidants are Vitamins A, C, E, Beta-carotene, selenium, lycopene and lutein to name but a few.
Glutathione – The Master Antioxidant
One antioxidant stands alone in its ability to fight free radicals like no other and is the bodies most important and effective antioxidant. Glutathione is arguably the best antioxidant for the human body. It is so important to our body we manufacture it within our cells to perform this task and many other important life preserving functions within the body to maintain our health. The body does not choose to make any other antioxidant, but it does choose to make GLUTATHIONE. It makes it because it is the most natural and effective antioxidant, bar none, for your body. Without it, any other antioxidant you consume will not be able to function properly in its absence. Due to glutathione’s powerful antioxidant abilities, research has demonstrated its effectiveness in fighting many different types of diseases and ailments such s cancer, diabetes, arthritis, coronary heart disease, environments poisons, obesity and many, many more conditions and health threatening hazards we are exposed to every single day.
Free radicals are the cause of significant damage within our body and even our DNA. The most common free radical is oxygen, which causes oxidative damage (you can see the effect of oxidative damage when you cut an apple into slices and after a short amount of time it will start to turn brown as it oxidizes. It is the oxygen in the air that causes this). Despite the necessity of oxygen for life and to produce energy, it will also damage vital molecules when they oxidize in its presence. Oxidative damage can trigger inflammation and when inflammation spirals out of control this can result in life-threatening diseases such as cancer, heart disease and even obesity. The damaging effects of free radicals can be prevented or reduced with antioxidants. The bodies best, most effective, versatile and powerful antioxidant is glutathione.