Oxygen’s effect on life is a dichotomy. While oxygen is a necessity of life, it is also detrimental to life. Cells of the body use oxygen to produce energy. The production of energy also creates a byproduct called free radicals. Free radicals are single or multiple atoms that have at least one unpaired charged electron. Free radicals are extremely reactive and aggressively look for other unpaired electrons to partner with. In search for unpaired electrons, free radicals agitate other atoms creating a chain reaction. More and more free radicals are released causing damage to cell walls, proteins, vessels, and DNA in the nucleus of the cell by altering the chemical structure. Some call this process oxidative stress. This same process occurs when metal rust, or when you cut an apple, or when a banana ripens. Free radicals are produced by the natural body processes and by outside sources like tobacco, toxins, and pollutants.
It is now known that many degenerative diseases are a result of oxidative stress including Parkinson’s, MS, lupus, coronary artery disease, cancers, and over 60 others. Oxidative stress also accelerates the aging process. Traditional medicine is very important in combating these diseases. A lot of the tests are performed annually like PAP smears, blood work, mammograms, urine analysis, and physical exams for early detection of diseases. However, those tests do not prevent diseases. Antioxidants, however, can neutralize free radicals. For prevention it is becoming clearer that a healthy diet, moderate exercise, and a comprehensive supplementation plan are best. To best fight diseases, along with traditional medicines, antioxidants can slow down and in some cases reverse the affects of free radicals.
Unlike never before people are living very stressful lives, many are over-medicated, and everyone is exposed to pollutants and toxins. There are many massive studies that have been conducted that indicate people who have a complete supply of antioxidants and trace minerals along with B cofactors are 2 to 3 times healthier than those with the least amounts of antioxidants. Based on this information a physician would recommend individuals have a minimal of 8 to 12 servings of whole fruits and vegetables every day. The next best solution would be to supplement with high quality, complete, balanced vitamins that provide cellular nutrition. I partner with a company that offers some of the best, if not the best, nutritional products in the world; USANA Health Sciences.
First published April 2010 © Shannon Thigpen LLC