What Do Free Radicals Have to Do with You?

Free radicals are oxygen fragments inhaled in air pollution and tobacco smoke, consumed in fatty foods and generated in the body during normal metabolic processes. Left unchecked, these oxygen fragments, or oxidants, attach cell membranes and the genetic code, a process called oxidation. Your body “rusts” when exposed to oxygen, which cause cells to either die or mutate. Cell “rusting”, or oxidation, contributes to all age-related disease, from heart disease and cancer to cataracts and possibly osteoporosis.

Free radicals also damage the delicate communication pathways in your brain. Minute by minute, day by day, year after year, decade upon decade, free radicals are attacking and damaging one brain cell after another until the buildup results in memory loss, slowed reaction times, reduced alertness and even Alzheimer’s disease. The damage they do to brain cells also contributes to fatigue. Feeling blue and being stressed out. Next time you walk into a room and can’t remember why you came in there or once again forgot where you put your keys, you might be experiencing firsthand the effects of daily free radical attacks.

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