What Is the Definition of Free Radicals?

The definition of free radicals is necessary to understand so you can use the antioxidant benefits to their full advantage as you win the war against aging and degenerative diseases.

If you are health conscious, you probably know that antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals. But what exactly are free radicals that makes them so evil while the antioxidants that destroy them are so popular? To understand the definition of  free radicals, and why they are so destructive to your cells, you need to remember some basic Chemistry.

Free Radical Structure

Both your body’s wellness and disease begin at the cellular level. The tiny cell is composed of even smaller particles called molecules. A molecule is the smallest piece of matter you can have while it is still that substance. The molecules are composed of atoms. A molecule is two or more atoms joined together. Some of these atoms are free radicals.

A free radical is an atom in one of the billions of molecules in your cell that does not have its outer electron cell filled with the needed electrons.

What Is An Atom?

An atom is composed of three parts: A nucleus that is the in center of the atom having positively charged particles called protons and particles not having any charge at all called neutrons. Orbiting the nucleus are negatively charged particles called electrons. To make this electron “happy” there needs to be the same amount of electrons orbiting the nucleus as there are protons in the nucleus. If there are not enough electrons, the atom is very unstable and will do whatever it can to grab an electron from a more stable molecule. This “unhappy atom” in a molecule makes the molecule a free radical.When the free radical grabs an electron, perhaps from your cell’s DNA, it damages that cell.

Here is a picture of a free radical grabbing an atom and thus damaging the nearby molecule:

definition of free radicals

When this damaged cell replicates, it will do so, but with a mutation. Multiply this electron-stealing, mutant replica billions of times every day, month after month, year after year and your get a good picture of your body under attack, your cells being damaged, your body aging and succumbing to various degenerative diseases.

Origins of Free Radicals

Free radicals are a normal by-product of your body’s oxygen metabolism. Other sources of free radicals are cigarette smoking, air polluting toxic chemicals in pesticides, food additives and breaking down of trans-fats to name a few outside sources of free radicals.

When a free radical steals an electron from a nearby molecule, it causes the stripped molecule to become a free radical itself, setting up a domino-like chain reaction.

To stop this destructive chain reaction protect yourself with an antioxidant supplement. One such supplement is Rice E. This particular product gives you the antioxidant protection from over 100 different antioxidants.

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