Free radicals – apolitical, reactive, unpredictable
Normally the electrons in molecules in pairs. Single, unpaired electrons, these, however, they are referred to as radicals. They arise in the body (endogenous synthesis) in breathing. The exogenous synthesis can be triggered by exposure to UV or radioactive radiation, reactive substances such as ozone or nitrogen oxides (e.g., cigarette smoke) or heavy metal contamination (e.g., food). Inflammatory processes and extreme physical stress can also contribute to the so-called oxidative Stress, and thus to the production of Radicals.
Radicals are very reaction are unstable but joyful and can cause in the body significant damage. Also, the view in the mirror shows it: radicals promote the aging process. The lone electron try to snatch other molecules of their electrons, and thus chain reactions. Our genetic material, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), proteins and lipids are popular points of attack.
But radical “help” the human body also. They resist micro-organisms (bacteria and viruses) and eliminate foreign substances, for example, in the immune defense of infections. In the concentrations, however, as they occur today, in industrial Nations, the growing burden of pollutants, they are not useful. Our body has mechanisms to protect us, but in the case of permanent and severe “attack” except for the “premature aging” of other serious problems, like cancer or the eye disease “cataract”, occur.
“Free radical scavenger”
The body has two defense mechanisms, in order to be the flood of free radicals the Lord. An enzymatic and non-enzymatic System. These are called “radical scavengers”. They exert their effects via the release of electrons to radicals, to be self-reactive.
Include enzymes (enzymes catalyze processes in the body) including the glutathione peroxidase and super oxide dismutase. In order for these enzymes to work, must be added various trace elements such as zinc, selenium, copper, iron and manganese with the food sufficiently, or if necessary by supplements or food Supplement.
Non-enzymatic protection mechanisms or antioxidants are some vitamins (Vitamin E and Vitamin C) and various phytochemicals (e.g. flavonoids, carotenoids). These secondary plant substances, of which there are an estimated 30,000, to serve the Plant in different ways. As a protection against “Ate”, or for the training of the color (for example, lycopene, the blush, the tomato can). The term “secondary plant substances” is the result of the Knowledge that they are not for the primary metabolic processes of the Plant such as growth important. The beginning of the 90s, it was found that these substances exert in humans, various health-promoting properties.
If our protective mechanisms are overwhelmed: cancer and cataracts
It is discussed that the damage can cause the radicals to DNA, proteins, or lipids, in the pathogenesis of degenerative diseases such as cancer, cataract, rheumatism, heart disease, immune weakness and dysfunction of the brain (Alzheimer’s disease) plays a role. Access to our protection systems, under the arms, it is helpful to observe the following tips:
- One apple a day, keeps the doctor away. The Apple has not only due to its content of Vitamin C, a radical scavenger function, but also because the, specially in the shell and contained in the juice, secondary plant. The German society for nutrition e. V recommends 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The serving size depends on the size of your fist. Applies here: the more fruit and vegetables spread over the day, the better. Pay attention to the Freshness of their “vitality bombs”.
- Some vegetable Oils have a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This can be easily radicalized oxidized, and thus””. Do not store Oils for a long time. The special case of safflower oil: Use it due to its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in small quantities. Sunflower, wheat germ and olive oil have a high content of Vitamin E and have a positive impact on your antioxidant protection systems.
- May wine has substances because of its content of phytochemicals (polyphenols) to have a protective effect. Here, quality over quantity!
- The trace element selenium is essential for the function of glutathione peroxidase. High selenium levels found in protein-rich foods such as fish and meat. Vegetarians can meet their selenium requirements through legumes and nuts. Grain depends on the selenium content of the soil, which is also a source of supply.
- Cereals and meat are also good sources for the minerals zinc and iron, for other protection systems are needed.
It is generally recommended that a varied mixed diet to adhere to, so that you are completely well supplied!