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More About Antioxidants and Free Radicals

The body naturally generates free radicals as a byproduct of energy production. Free radicals are molecules with at least one unpaired electron. Paired electrons are stable, while unpaired electrons are always looking for a mate. As free radicals move through the body, they steal electrons from other molecules, damaging the cells they touch. Free radical damage has been linked to many common health concerns affecting the circulatory, immune and structural systems and more.

Antioxidants are molecules that "deactivate" free radicals. They quench unstable free radicals by providing extra electrons, thus preventing a portion of the damage to adjacent cells. The body produces antioxidants to combat free radicals. But its natural production cannot address the added free radical stress cause by pollution, tobacco smoke, ultraviolet light, radiation and other factors. The good news is that antioxidant supplementation can.

Antioxidants have an affinity for specific parts of the body. While one might work best in the liver, another helps protect the eyes. In addition, some antioxidants are fat-soluble, others are water-soluble and some are both. For these reasons, the best supplement products have a well-rounded antioxidant profile.



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