Dr. Mercola Interviews Ginny Bank on Antioxidants (Part 4 of 5)
Many forms of cancer are thought to be the result of reactions between free radicals and DNA, resulting in mutations that can adversely affect the cell cycle and potentially lead to malignancy. Scientists have also pointed to free radicals as the cause of some of the symptoms of aging, such as atherosclerosis, alcohol-induced liver damage, alpha 1-antitrypsin in the lung, and even emphysema.
Once the process of free radicals formation is started, it can cascade, finally resulting in the disruption of a living cell. Antioxidants: Natural Enemies of Free Radicals Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E are thought to protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals. What antioxidants do is neutralize the free radicals.
Oxidation causes the production of substances called free radicals which are highly reactive. These free radicals can readily react with and damage other molecules. Note that it says "molecules" so that means free radicals don't make the distinction between foreign bodies and healthy cells.
Their function is to stop free radicals from "attacking" other healthy molecules and causing a chain reaction. Because of this function, herbal antioxidants are said to play a role in the prevention and potential cure of various degenerative diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and several others.
Their results point to free radicals as the main culprits. It seemed that the more free radicals you have in your body, the faster the aging process becomes. Free radicals are harmful, unstable substances that develop after oxidation, a naturally occurring process of the body. Free radicals are not harmful in themselves.
A natural antioxidant protects the body against free radicals. One of the many functions of natural antioxidants is to work against the formation of cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances which are produced whenever our body undergoes the process of oxidation, e.