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What is free radical biology?

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Free radicals are not our friends
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Breakthroughs in anti-aging answer the question what is free radical biology

Every person, no matter how genetically blessed they may be, is going to show signs of aging, eventually.

Some people show obvious physical signs, like wrinkles, deteriorating posture and greying, early. Some people fall victim to various diseases and illnesses. Others fare better.

Is it the luck of the draw? Maybe; maybe not.

Free radicals, which are singlet oxygen molecules, have been proven to be damaging to health, and may be the key contributor to aging. No one is fully exempt from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals play a vital role in biological processes. Free radicals are believed to harm us and eventually kill us because of the byproducts that they produce, including unstable oxygen free radicals that carry a negative charge. Consequently, much medical research has been undertaken in the field of free radical biology.

The fast pace of developments in free radical biology are resulting in numerous ways to protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals, including beauty products containing natural compounds and products that combine these compounds. 

Anti-aging products fight the unstable oxygen molecules resulting from the break down of glucose and other energy yielding reactions. These unstable oxygen molecules run amok inside the body, wreaking havoc with chromosomes and cells.

When negatively affected by unstable oxygen molecules, chromosomes become distorted. Distorted chromosomes replicate and result in a surplus of that which should not be replicated in the body. Abnormal proteins occur and donít function properly, which may lead to inflammation, cancer, aging, arthritis, dementia, arteriosclerosis and loss of organ function.





Since 1954, when Denman Harmon first introduced his free radical oxidation theory of aging, it has been accepted that the harmful - yet also natural cellular processes - that take place in the body eventually result in disease and death.

In response, advocates of anti-aging medicine rushed to introduce free radical scavenging products. These products, which can be taken orally or topically, include ingredients such as vitamin E, grape seed extract and vitamin C. These are on the list of substances that were purported to neutralize free radicals via absorption.

Unfortunately, advanced research indicates that little absorption of these substances by the body actually takes place. Few medical professionals believe that these products have any significant anti-aging impact.

New products have entered the market that contain other natural plant substances and combinations of substances. These products may be the answer in the never-ending battle to tamp down free radicals and thwart their attempts to damage our bodies. One of these products, Protandim, which was mentioned above, is the outcome of four decades of free radical biology research. Protandim contains turmeric, milk thistle extract, green tea, ashwaghanda and bacopa, a unique grouping of natural plant substances.

Each of the plants in Protandim has radical scavenging abilities; when combined the claimed impact is multiplied a thousand times and more. The result of free radical research, this particular plant combination has proven to ignite the production of huge amounts of free radical scavenging compounds -- signal NRF-2 molecules -- which go inside the nucleus of the cell and actually activate over mapped 400 genes.  Free radical scavenging compounds like these are believed to  simultaneously shutt off the gene loci, which is the code for inflammation.

In other words, free radical scavenging compounds down-regulate the "bad stuff" and up-regulate the "good stuff."

As people age, anti-aging studies indicate that they have a surplus of free radicals in their bodies. Anti-aging products, and those therapies that result from the study of free radical biology, appeal to a huge segment of the population.

Neutralizing free radicals may halt reactive vascular hyperplasia, as well as post-vascular surgery clogging. Anti-aging products may stop lipid peroxidation, which is the process of turning bad cholesterol (LDL) into arterial plaque. Toxic neurologic connections that lead to dimensia, Parkinsonís disease and multiple sclerosis may also be averted by free radical scavenging products.

Advances in free radical biology may present the promise of preventing serious, life-threatening disease, including malignancies, debilitating joint disease and many hereditary conditions associated with aging.

Other resources:

National Cancer Institute: Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention
ABCNews Primetime: Does a New Pill Contain the Fountain of Youth?

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