Free Radicals Contribute To Cancer
Free radicals are toxic to the body because they oxidize vital compounds damaging the body's cells and DNA. Examples of oxidation are all around us. A cut piece of fruit, like an apple for instance, left exposed to air (oxygen) will begin to turn brown in a few minutes. However by coating the apple with a substance high in vitamin C, like lemon juice, the browning effect will be prevented.
Oxidation will not occur.Perhaps a more demonstrative example of oxidation is seen in the rusting of metal left exposed to the elements. It is clear from this example that oxidation can have very destructive results.
In the body, oxidation damage is a major contributor to cancer and, to a
lesser degree, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. To make matters worse these toxins apparently accumulate in the body over time and may also convert stable compounds in
the body into free radicals. This means as a person ages he has higher levels of toxins related to chronic disease in his body. This may be one reason why cancer and other diseases are more
prevalent with age.
What Can Be Done About Free Radicals?
Preventing free radical development is difficult since they are naturally produced in the body every time a person eats or even breathes. As long as production is kept low and we consume enough antioxidants in the diet to eliminate or reduce their damage, the body is able to cope with the situation.
In addition to the functions our bodies perform there are certain environmental factors that can increase the production of free radicals. Some of these factors we can control. Some we cannot.
Exposure to pollution, sunlight and radiation can increase production.Other causes are...
Don't be a weekend warrior.Because most people are exposed to many of the factors that produce free radicals, and few people consume enough antioxidants in their diet to eradicate these renegade molecules, disease has a much higher likelihood of winning the day. Add to this scenario the fact that free radicals accumulate in the body over time it becomes apparent that as we age we have an increasing likelihood of falling victim to cancer or heart disease or some other serious malady.