Free Radicals and Your Health

Almost any activity that you perform results in free radical formation. There are many external agents that can cause free radicals to form in our bodies.

Let’s start out by defining what a free radical is. If you have taken a chemistry class, you may already understand this. A free radical is an atom or compound that is missing an electron in its outer shell that is normally there.

There are normal ways that an atom can fulfill its need to complete its outer shell. For instance, Sodium (Na) has one electron in its outer shell, but it wants two. Chlorine (Cl) has seven electrons in its outer shell, but it wants eight.  So, when Cl comes in contact with Na, they sort of mate to form NaCl, which is ordinary table salt.

Now let’s go inside of your body. There probably never was a time when free radicals were not forming in your body. Any process within your body can produce free radicals. However, by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, free radicals can be neutralized. That’s all fine and good, but enter pollutants from the air we breathe, the chemicals we ingest when we eat processed food, over-exposure to the sun, and other activities such as hard physical labor or hard contact sports, and we have the potential for severe health problems. (I often wonder about the constant pounding and abuse withstood by a football player’s body having something to do with health problems sometimes encountered later in life.)

There is no doubt that eating properly is the key to good health, but everyone knows that eating properly is easier said than done. What should we do if we sometimes fail in our quest to eat properly? I believe that adding supplements to our daily lives can be part of the answer. I firmly believe that adding green tea to your diet can help. It’s easy because we have beverages all the time. Several times a day, add green tea concentrate to water, and you get two benefits. One, you’re drinking water, and two, you add the ever-important polyphenols from green tea.

A lot has been written about the health benefits of polyphenols. Many studies suggest that polyphenols help prevent dangerous health outcomes like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, because they fight free radicals.  I recommend that you look up green tea polyphenols and see all health benefits that are documented in the various literature available. I feel that if you look it up yourself, it will have more meaning to you than to just have me tell you what the benefits are.

Polyphenols are some of the most potent antioxidants that you can take to fight free radical damage in your body. There are other antioxidants that are also effective. Everyone knows that many fruits are important in your fight to maintain your good health. The problem with eating fruit to fight free radicals is that you would have to eat so much of each fruit that you would not be able to keep up with your body’s need. That’s why taking supplements is so important. In some future articles let’s discuss how you can add certain concentrates to help with this problem.

I want you to remember that you are in charge of your health and I recommend that you read and learn as much as you can on how to protect your good health.

—Dr. Franklin St. John

Dr. St. John

Dr. St. John



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