Free Radicals

A reactive atom or group of atoms which can damage cell membranes, proteins, and DNA. They have an unpaired electron making them highly reactive and capable of starting a chain reaction by taking electrons from other cells or compounds. They can be formed during normal metabolic processes such as breaking down carbohydrates and proteins to release energy. They can also come from outside the body in the form of carcinogenic chemicals which can alter DNA causing cell mutation. Some of the most harmful are the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) such as superoxide’s and hydrogen peroxide. Free Radicles can be neutralized by antioxidants by the donation of an electron.

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