Free Radicals are Unstable Atoms
Free radicals are often defined as unstable and chemically incomplete atoms that tend to steal electrons from other molecules in order to stabilize. Virtually every definition of free radicals state that it is the culprit behind aging. Free radicals have been directly associated to the development of symptoms related to heart disease, hypertension, stroke and cancer. It has also been claimed as the cause of headaches, dry skin, and high blood pressure, which are all attributes of aging. What do free radicals really do and how do we stop them?
Free Radicals Attack Healthy Cells
Free radicals attack healthy cells. Although they have been known for a long time as the “bad guys” in terms of health, free radicals actually exist naturally in the body. They are the products of metabolism, digestion, energy production and consumption. The more we use oxygen, the more we are likely to produce free radicals. Even breathing, digesting food, exercising, and sunlight and others will create free radicals in the body. They are created by just the basic actions of living life. However, our body sometimes produces more free radicals than we can handle.
Other references point out that free radicals are purposefully created to neutralize viruses and bacteria, marking these common pathogens to be attacked by antibodies. However, when we are exposed to certain elements that include pollution, cigarette smoke and sunlight, formation of free radicals increases. The body generates about one quadrillion free radicals per stick of cigarette. Elements like these cause damage to the tissues and delicate cell membranes. Our DNA can also be damaged, causing cells to replicate haphazardly, producing a precursor to cancer.
Antioxidants Combat Harmful Free Radicals
Thankfully, we have strong antioxidants to combat these harmful free radicals in our body. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is a natural antioxidant made by the body and found in most foods. It improves use of oxygen at the cellular level, particularly in the heart muscle cells. CoQ10 helps protect LDL (“bad” cholesterol) from oxidation, maintains healthy blood vessels, reduces the risk of plaque rupture and supports optimal functioning of the heart muscle. In addition to that, CoQ10 can help lower blood pressure and relieve fatigue and muscle pains associated with taking statins.
The safety of CoQ10 supplements has been well established over many years. In addition to the illnesses mentioned above, CoQ10 has also been shown to be effective in some diseases that are associated with free radical damage.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Studies indicate that CoQ10 may help slow the progression of dementia in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Breast cancer: High doses of CoQ10 (up to 300 mg daily) may increase survival in patients with breast cancer.
- Low sperm motility: In the January 2004 issue of Fertility and Sterility, a study suggested that CoQ10 may increase sperm motility in infertile men.
- Migraine: In the February 22, 2005 issue of Neurology, a study from Switzerland suggested that CoQ10 can help prevent and treat migraine headaches.
- Muscular dystrophy: CoQ10 has been shown to improve patient’s exercise capacity, heart function, and quality of life.
- Parkinson’s disease: There are promising evidences indicating that high doses of CoQ10 (up to 1,200 mg daily can be beneficial in slowing down the progression of the disease.
Being a very potent antioxidant, CoQ10 is a very good supplement for preventing age-related diseases. Free radicals can cause serious damages in our cells. Fight free radical damage with a daily dose of CoQ10.