What Are Free Radicals In The Body


The free radicals form in the body as a result of chemical reaction. They can cause great harm to the body by damaging the cells creating a pathway for a host of biological dysfunctions and cause death, when left uncontrolled it induces unregulated cell death and degenerative disorders in the body. The cells, the tissues, and the organs are vulnerable because their normal ability for optimal performance has been disrupted by the forming radicals that roam freely.

These free roamers are destroyers with no limit to the destruction they unleash to the host that suffers from its effects; they are the product of a variety of factors that includes physiological changes, environmental changes, unhealthy diet, and lifestyles like smoking and alcohol consumption, pollutants and excessive exposure to sunlight. While a variety of reasons can induce the formation of radicals, the most prevalent are radicals free of Oxygen; the radicals are a highly reactive breed that comprises of superoxides, hydrogen per oxide, singlet Oxygen and hydroxyl anions.

With more scientific innovation it has become, more awareness has become possible to study previous concepts about free radicals that shroud its functions and functionality in the body system, this information makes it possible for anyone to access knowledge about how to live a healthy and dynamic life.

What Exactly Are Free Radicals In The Body?

Free radicals are atomic substances that have free moving electrons. This makes them highly unstable and very reactive. An atom’s stability is determined by the amount of electrons in its outermost shell, it is this stability or number of electrons in its outermost shell that is responsible for its attributes and functions. If the outermost shell contains no free roaming electrons, it becomes stable and cannot participate in chemical reactions, conversely when free electrons in its outermost shell exist the atom can attach itself with another atom seeking to balance itself out.

For an atom to make itself balanced it has to either gain an electron to itself or shed some electrons to become stable. Atomic bonding occurs freely in nature because atomic substances need to be balanced and must either accept electrons or give some to attain stability.

How Are Free Radicals Produced?

Free radicals are produced when weak atomic bonds between electrons in unstable atoms are broken. This implies some electrons will have the freedom to roam without it being in an electron pathway to guide its actions. This active electron then ties to duplicate the function of the atom it broke away from by trying to attain atomic stability by stealing electrons from unbalanced cells. If a fee roaming electron succeeds in obtaining electrons to attach to itself it creates a vacuum in the nucleus of the tricked molecule and becomes a molecule, a free radical and will strive to steal more electrons again. This creates a chaos and triggers a chain of the unregulated and unrestrained link of free radicals that can easily destroy a cell, tissue or organ. The chain reaction of free radicals can cause billions of molecules to suffer adverse effects within a second.

Free radicals are the aftermath of chemical processes in the body. They are essentially waste substances from different chemical reactions that take place in the cell, as the cell regulates and performs maintenance, substances not needed by the cells are secreted from the cells, when they get out they have a tendencies of forming clusters ultimately causing harm as its volume increases in the body and cause problems. The freedom to roam about through the body makes them dangerous because they can engage in so many unregulated functions.

What Are The Effects Of Free Radicals?

Free radicals formation can be either sudden or a by-product of processes. In a few instances, the body’s immune system stimulates its production in order to wipe out harmful pathogens from the body – this is one positive effect of free radical in the body.

The body consists of extensive molecules that are vulnerable to being destroyed by free radicals; they include amino acids, genetic components in the cell, cell membrane, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Sadly, Oxygen is inclusive, it can easily induce the formation of free radicals, and the chaos it creates is further intensified when it facilitates aerobes in the body it’s consequences could be mortal, free radicals arising from this manner can cause degeneration of lipids and destruction of the cell membranes resulting in rapid aging, cancer of the skin and unstable cell death.

Many metabolic reactions require Oxygen atoms to bond with a variety of molecules through chemical reactions and as this reactions occurs free radicals becomes a by-product in some of this reactions, this tendency makes the production of free radicals easy because the human cells require Oxygen to bond with lots of chemical substances to produce a positive effect even in breakdown of food Oxygen is required and as they mix up in chemical processes in the body free radicals can be produced alongside the very important bodily functions the element is involved in.

What Are The Effects Of Free Radicals?

When free radicals roam the body they could cause massive alterations in the body systems and this alteration causes all sorts of sicknesses. It leads to different forms of cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer, Parkinson and rapid aging to list a few; the damage becomes intensified when they interact with important constituents in the cell like the cell membrane and the DNA, the slightest of alteration caused to important cell constituents will result in an

Imbalance in how the cells in the body should operate it may lead to rapid cell death or reduce the abilities of the cell this is because the genetic codes that make up each cell are also affected and their sequence dissembled by the chaotic imbalance in the cells, the damage caused by free radicals are still undergoing continuous research to understand it completely but the body can combat them by its own protective mechanisms – Antioxidants.

Antioxidants And Their Role In Limiting Free Radicals

Antioxidants are active agents that shield the cells from damage. They are molecular entities that can form chemical bonds with free radicals without causing more complexities before they can form clusters and cause damage to important molecules. While they are units of enzymes that act as patrol that seeks out and cancel out the activity of free radicals in the body antioxidants play the distinguished role, they include Vitamins E, beta-carotene and vitamin C. The trace metal Selenium also provides support for the unit of protective enzymes that seek out free radicals and is occasionally referred to as an antioxidant as well. These nutrients are not produced in the body and must be provided as supplements.

Sources Of Antioxidants

  • Vitamin E – This is a fat soluble vitamin that is prevalent in processed cereals, whole grains , seeds and vegetable and fish oils to mention a few. Men should not take more than 15 IU daily and women 12 IU daily.
  • Vitamin C – This is a water soluble vitamin that is common is fruits and fruit juices. More than 60mg should not be consumed daily.
  • Large quantities of vitamins C (more than 4 mg per day) may have an adverse effect on the body. The high buildup of Vitamins C from diets is unlikely so high-potency supplements are the source to monitor so the recommended dosage is not exceeded.
  • Beta – Carotene – This antioxidant is available in milk, butter, tomato, cantaloupe, liver, strawberries, carrots, squash, and broccoli. Many other food substances are rich in beta carotene and it is wildly prevalent in some fruits. Since Beta – carotene is readily converted into vitamins A in the body, it can be taken without much adherence to limits It should be taken in light quantities however because if too much build of Vitamins A in the body occurs as a result of the conversion of nutrients, it can be toxic in large amounts.

Can The Levels Of Free Radicals In The Body Be Tested?

Currently, they are no proven straight method to detect the levels of free radicals in the body but indirect methods have been used since over a decade. This indirect method is performed by testing and studying the substances produced from oxidation off lipids. While this mode of testing is not yet proven as an error proof method, it has been applied through the years and many kits used for testing lipid oxidation has become rampant as a result of the suggestion it holds.

The Role Of Antioxidants In Disease Prevention

Antioxidants are acclaimed to help the body in its defense from the effects of free radicals. They cancel out free radicals by forming stable atomic bonds with the, ending its cycle of stealing. While the antioxidants donate free electrons they do not become radicals themselves and are stable in their normal state or when they merge with free radicals. This makes them vital in preventing cell and tissue destruction that would have resulted in more complexities.

Vitamin C plays a distinct role by inhibiting continuous free radicals that are produced by air pollutants. It also plays an additional role in revitalizing vitamins E.

Vitamins E helps the body in guarding against heart diseases by preventing plaques that blocks arteries and oxidation of low-density-lipoproteins, a key indicator that is traceable with heart failure. Accumulated studies have suggested that lots of intake of Vitamin C reduce the risk of cancer especially cancers of the mouth and gullet. Research suggests a lower cancerous activity with high intake of fruits and vegetables, this sparked theories that foods contain antioxidants and has since been maintained despite controversies about this particular subject in scientific communities.

Antioxidants And Prevention Of Heart Disease

Unproven reports claim antioxidants can help the body guard against heart complications, stroke and slow down aging. Currently research into this claim is very active and in some years this data will become available, what remains clear for now is that fruits and vegetables can supply the body with antioxidants that are needed to halt the effects of free radicals in the body, consistently balanced diet along with 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily will help the body maintain moderate levels of antioxidants without stockpiling more nutrients than the body requires.

Exercise And Formation Of Free Radicals

Rigorous exercise can lead to increased Oxygen intake about twenty times more than the normal consumption rate, this causes the sporadic production of free radicals inducing the destruction of cells, tissues, and muscles when this occurs it becomes a cause of concern for athletes who have to go through lengthy and tough training. One key question to ask is how to effectively guard against the additional free radicals that results from such exercises and if it can be controlled.

Since it is not possible to quantify the amount of free radicals in the body, the medical community helps athletes to have knowledge of the level of free radicals in their body system by determining the amount of by-products formed by free radicals in the body. While the body may have antioxidants that reduce their activity it is important not to have the level of free radical in the body exceed the antioxidant levels in the body, if it’s on par with the level of antioxidants then a balance is in place to keep more formation of more free radicals in check.

Many facts surrounding this subject have surfaced because research helps us to know that consistent light exercises helps the antioxidant in the body and prevents free radicals that could form from rigorous activities. Conversely, very tedious exercise leads to more free radicals formation. To this end, many athletes are prone to have a considerable amount of free radicals in their body system.

Can Antioxidants Neutralize Free Radicals Formed During Rigorous Exercise?

The use of antioxidants to recover from free radicals formed during rigorous exercise is a subject of debate. Research has only produced conflicting results to make a concise judgment about the subject. However, the results of these researches have consistently hinted that use of Vitamins E protects the body from oxidative damage. Another hypothesis that is generated during this research hints at the recovery of the body can be enhanced by using vitamins E. This report generates hope for athletes but there are no solid and concrete evidence to back this claim.


Although the formation of free radicals in the body may necessitate the use of antioxidants, while much debate may exist about what free radicals in the body are and the best methods to combat them it is very practical to keep the formation of free radicals in check by using an exercise program that is not too stressful but consistent, when practiced the use of fruits and vegetables will provide nutrients the body craves for after physical activities. It is also important not to take too much supplement but use them and if it will make you feel comfortable have the levels of free radicals formation in your body checked twice a year so you can take proactive steps to the building up of free radicals in the body.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here