What are Free Radicals and how do they Affect the Human Body?
A free radical is any atom or molecule with an unpaired electron. This is a very unstable state. A free radical will react with other molecules in an attempt to "steal" an electron for the unpaired one. But the molecule that has had an electron stolen from has now become the free radical and will attempt the same with other molecules. This can start chain reactions which can cause significant damage throughout our bodies.
For protection, our cells have antioxidant mechanisms which can scavenge these free radicals. It's when these antioxidant systems become overwhelmed that we run into problems (ie, aging, disease). Anyway, I hope this serves as a brief introduction.
WHAT ARE FREE RADICALS?
Like all matter, our bodies are composed entirely of tiny particles called molecules. Each molecule is made up of atoms, and each atom is made up of a center or nucleus and electrons which spin in orbits around it.
Ordinarily, the electrons occur in balanced pairs. This keeps the atom and molecule stable. Sometimes a molecule loses one of its electrons or gains and extra one. This causes the molecule to become unbalanced and highly reactive. Such a molecule is called a 'Free Radical'.
WHERE DO FREE RADICALS COME FROM?
Some 'Free Radicals' occur as normal by-products of a healthy body's metabolic processes. Overproduction of "Free Radicals' occurs when the body is subjected to 'Stress' in any of its many forms:
Types of Stress
Common Stress Sources
- Environmental Pollutants
- Pace & Pressure of Modern Life
HOW DO FREE RADICALS HURT THE BODY?
Having unpaired electrons is not an energetically favorable or stable state for a molecule. A 'Free Radical' will naturally try to return to a state of stability by taking an electron from some other molecule and restoring its own balance. It is this little act of thievery that causes the damage. The stolen electron may be from a molecule in a normal healthy cell. This process of 'Cell Damage' continues to multiply if not checked. The end result is that the healthy cells are damaged and the body's proper functioning is impaired.
Unfortunately today, the increased stresses of modern life combined with age and the nutritional inadequacies of a contemporary diet result in an excess of free radical activity in the body and a deficiency in the available supply of antioxidants to remove them. This negative state is known as 'Free Radical Pathology'.
HOW DOES THE BODY DEFEND ITSELF?
Nature equips the body to produce special enzymes called 'Antioxidants' which catalyze the removal of the 'Free Radicals' before they can cause cellular damage. Under normal conditions these naturally occurring 'Antioxidant Enzymes' can handle the 'Free Radicals' produced by the body's own metabolic processes.
In addition, nature allows the body to acquire additional supplies of these antioxidant enzymes from certain raw foods.
HOW CAN I MAXIMIZE MY BODY'S DEFENSES?
The first line of defense is to eat certain whole, natural, 'Live Foods' which are rich in enzymes themselves, and which appear to stimulate the body's own production of antioxidants.
However, it's not always convenient to eat fresh whole foods, and unless you grow your own, the nutritional value of those you do eat may be questionable. Modern agricultural practices have greatly depleted the nutritional value of the foods we eat, even raw fresh foods.
Today, vegetables are bred for longer shelf life, convenience in shipping and high yield, not necessarily for high nutrition. Important trace elements and other co-factors which make the enzymes usable to the body often are missing. The nutritional content is even further reduced by the heat of cooking which destroys the live enzymes.
The 'Live Enzyme' foods that provide the best sources of antioxidant enzymes include; Raw vegetables, wheat grass, barley grass, sprouts and blue-green algae.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing states, "Of all raw foods, sprouts are the richest source of natural food enzymes.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET LIVE FOODS?
Fortunately, recent years have brought some very beneficial research and new technological developments in plant management.
Biotec Foods has developed and grows enhanced strains of blended sprouts which are enzyme-rich and which have been shown to increase the endogenous production of antioxidant enzymes in the human body. These sprout blends are dehydrated at low temperatures to prevent damage to the live enzymes and then highly concentrated and compressed into a convenient tablet form.
These 'Live Enzyme' food supplements from Biotec are available under several product names. Each product formula is specially blended with IsoSproutplex™ to provide the required antioxidant enzyme protection based on individuals personal activity and needs.
Thanks to Biotec, you don't need to have your own organic farm to enjoy the benefits of eating 'Live Enzyme Foods'. The nutrition you need is as available at your local health food store or pharmacy in a convenient 'concentrated caplet or tablet.