I take for granted that most people are aware of free radicals, how they form, and the antidote for them. But it occurred to me the other day that there are a lot of people who probably DON’T know. This is important, life enhancing information, and I want to do my part to educate as many people as possible…so here goes with a free radical primer!
A free radical is a molecule missing an electron from its outer shell. We all remember from high school chemistry that atoms like to have that outer shell filled and will do just about anything to accomplish that, including stealing electrons from their neighbors. Because free radicals are lacking an electron, they are highly “reactive,” meaning their stealing creates havoc in the body. When free radicals steal from another molecule to complete their own outer shells, the molecule they stole from becomes a free radical which is now in the same position of lacking and trying to steal to fill its need. So a chain reaction is begun.
Some free radicals are formed naturally during metabolism, and the body generally can cope with these on a limited scale. Others are formed by the body’s immune system in order to neutralize viruses and bacteria that have invaded the body. Free radicals are also formed when the body is exposed to pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke, and herbicides. The damage to living cells (oxidative stress) is cumulative–thus as we age we are less able to combat the negative effects of free radicals.
Some well known negative effects of free radicals: cancers, strokes, heart attacks diabetes II, atherosclerosis, emphysema, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Antioxidants are the body’s defense against the damage of free radicals. They protect the body from damage by neutralizing the free radicals. They are able to donate an electron from their outer shell without becoming reactive themselves. They thereby create a new stable atom and neutralize the threat of damage to cells. Scavengers, they are sent out to circulate and round up free radicals before they can wreak havoc and cause disease.
Fat and water soluble antioxidants work synergistically (better together), so there must be both present in the body for adequate defenses. Some antioxidants you’ve probably heard of: vitamin E, vitamin A, beta-carotenes, and CoQ10 are fat soluble. Glutathione, lipoic acid, and vitamin C are all water soluble.
It is a well known fact that today’s food is not as nutritionally dense as that of just 40-50 years ago. Depletion of nutrients from the soil results from abusive modern agricultural practices on a vast scale. Plants require over 50 vitamins and minerals, yet soil on today’s mega-farms is routinely supplemented with only phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. The result is plants which are vitamin and mineral deficient–how could they be otherwise?
This coincides with historically high levels of environmental pollutants (true car emissions have decreased since the 1950s, but everything else is through the roof). Without supplementation our bodies lack the antioxidant armies necessary to withstand the onslaught of pollutants. Free radicals run rampant. The evidence is plain to see in the increased incidence of widespread disease in our population.
Fortunately there are new discoveries daily for nutrient supplementation. Of note is the NIH’s plant of the year in 2008, Moringa oleifera. Natural News reports the Moringa tree is “a natural source of food and medicine.” It has been called one of the most useful trees on the planet. It is also the chief component of Zija. Zija contains an amazing 46 fat-and water-soluble antioxidants as well as over 36 vital anti-inflammatory compounds.. These compounds are essential for combating the onslaught of toxins we are assaulted with daily and can no longer obtain from our depleted soils.
I consider it my moral obligation as a healthcare professional to advise you about antioxidants in general, and more specifically to Zija’s remarkable nutrient profile. It is the only product on the market today that can completely meet all of one’s daily supplementation needs. It is my fervent desire that you’ll take this information seriously. Your longevity and quality of life can only benefit from the addition of Moringa into your daily supplement regimen, whether you choose Zija or not. Life is short–make it great!
Annie RN, MSN
PS As always, I welcome your comments, insights, and suggestions.
Don’t just do nothing. If you do nothing, nothing will change. To whatever extent possible, take care of your body, mind, and spirit. The more we know, the more we can help ourselves and others toward a healthier tomorrow. We’re all in this together…