How do Antioxidants work to rid our bodies of free radicals?
To understand what antioxidants do for the body, we need to understand what Free Radicals are and how they cause damage. Free Radicals are hazardous molecules that age us and cause diseases
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. Many vitamins and nutrients function as antioxidants and they limit the damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are atoms that have lost one of a pair of electrons. Oxidation occurs. Antioxidants give up an electron to the free radical atom making it neutral. The antioxidant can do this by redistributing its electrons and still keep stable. See my Hub www.hubpages.com/hub/thatdave
bonds in molecules are formed when electrons pair up. Free radicals have only 1 electron, and therefore are highly reactive, seeking to steal another electron off another molecule.
A chain reaction takes place, and key molecules like DNA can be damaged.
Antioxidants are molecules that "mop up" free radicals.
Antioxidants (or anti-oxidation agents) are substance that protect body cells from the damage caused by oxidation from free radicals (free oxygen radicals).
Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from our body cells by binding to free radicals, decreasing the free radicals destructive power. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, breaking the electron-stealing chain reaction. The antioxidant themselves do not become free radicals by donating an electron because they are stable in either form.
Antioxidants act like scavengers, preventing cell damage. Antioxidants can also help repair damage already sustained by cells.
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