Oxygen and Free Radicals Formation
Every day we breathe polluted air, eat food with artificial additives, drink water, containing dozens of harmful substances, and lead a life full of stress. Scientists have found that under the influence of the above factors, formation of so-called “free radicals” takes place in the human body, which are responsible for the accelerated destruction and deformation of the body’s cells. They can also damage DNA molecules, impairs memory and accelerates aging.
The problem lies with the structure of oxygen atoms. Normally, the nucleus of an atom of oxygen is surrounded by 8 electrons, which are combined in pairs to form a stable and safe molecule. But sometimes, under the influence of external factors, one electron is taken away from, or vice versa, is added to the molecule. Then, extremely active formations are born, known as free radicals. Free radicals “wander” the living cells of the body, plunging everything into chaos. In an effort to gain a normal amount of electrons, they are ready to “tear” the missing particle in any molecule they meet, causing a chain reaction of destruction. This process, known as “oxidative stress”, is considered responsible for weakening a healthy person.
Free radicals can form when oxygen interacts with some types of molecules, in a process known as oxidation. Free radicals are single atoms or groups of atoms that are “unpaired,” meaning they are unstable and like to steal an electron from a nearby atom or groups of atoms to stabilize themselves. Unfortunately, losing an electron causes the other atom or atoms to become unstable free radicals, which then try to steal electrons from their neighbors.
Left unchecked, this can cause a chain reaction that causes widespread damage to cellular components, such as DNA and the cell membrane. Widespread damage can also result in premature cell aging.
How People Get Excessive Free Radicals
Excess levels of free radicals may be the result of a variety of factors including:
Pollution and other environmental factors
Weakened immune system
Ultraviolet (UV) light
It’s impossible to be fully protected against free radicals. But they may be neutralized. That’s where chaga mushroom with its high ORAC levels can help.
Antioxidants Neutralize Free Radicals
You know how dangerous free radicals can be to your health, but you may not know the best natural way to control free radicals. It is not easy to avoid the oxidative damage associated with free radicals, but it is possible.
Unfortunately, many consumers are not aware how the active ingredients of foods work to stop free radicals in their tracks. To prevent oxidation, the body absorbs anti-oxidative nutrients from some of the foods you eat. Foods with antioxidant properties neutralize free radicals by donating an electron, which effectively halts the chain reaction. Unlike other molecules, however, antioxidant molecules are stable even after donating an electron so these molecules never become free radicals. In fact, anti-oxidant molecules hunt down free radicals to help prevent cellular and molecular damage.
Scientists have assigned each food a ranking of its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC, based on its ability to stop a cascade of dangerous oxidation and free radicals before they can cause damage. Foods with high ORAC levels provide a great deal of anti-oxidants, while those with low ORAC levels have fewer antioxidants. In other words, substances with high ORAC levels provide the greatest protection against harmful free radicals.
Recent marketing has increased the popularity of certain foods – such as blueberries, pomegranates, and Açaí berries – among people who hope to reduce free radicals and control the damage they cause. Chaga mushroom is now taking center stage for its ability to control dangerous free radicals.