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Posts tagged ‘free radicals’

Antioxidants: Your Defense Against Premature Aging

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ORAC what? Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity is a test developed by USDA researchers at Tufts University in Boston to measure the antioxidant levels of foods and supplements. Why is this important? First, let’s explore what antioxidants are. These, in a nutshell, are substances that destroy free radicals. What are free radicals? Free radicals are unstable molecules that have a free electron. What free radicals do is that they steal electrons from other molecules such as our cells to make themselves stable. In the process, they damage our cells and their components. One of the most vulnerable parts of our cells is the mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of our cells. No wonder, once there’s mitochondrial damage (which is another cause of aging), one of the earliest symptoms a person could experience is fatigue or weakness. Antioxidants should ideally be coming from our food. Other sources include nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals and therapeutic-grade essential oils. Rich food sources of these antioxidants include prunes, wolfberries, acai berries, blueberries, pomegranates, apricots, kale, etc. Among the essential oils, clove scores the highest at 1,078,000, followed by myrhh at 379,000 and citronella at 312,000.

Cell Phone Dangerous!

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I appreciate one of Oprah’s projects which is to basically ban cell phone texting while driving. Texting while driving is dangerous. And so is talking on the phone while driving unless you have a headset or use the car’s stereo system. Get this however! It’s dangerous to place the cell phone against your head while talking. Apparently, there are cell phones that give off high levels of radiation. And of course, excess radiation causes free radical formation. Free radicals in turn causes DNA damage and abnormal cell formation. If this happens in the brain area, you could potentially get brain cancer. There is still some debate in the scientific community whether this could really happen. It’s better to err on the side of caution and take preventive measures to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure. Anyway, in a surprising first in the US, San Francisco my beloved US home city is passing a bill that requires cell phone retailers to post the amount of radiation emitted by cell phones they are selling. Fortunately, there are tools available that can actually neutralize the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation. I’ve been using these tools for years and they’re very popular in Japan and Germany. Interestingly enough, they’re manufactured right in our own backyard in Santa Rosa, California. Check out for more info.

I Hate Radicals!

The lipid peroxidation mechanism shows a singl...

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Free radicals, that is! Free radicals are highly unstable atoms or molecules that have unpaired electrons. In order to maintain stability, they steal electrons from other molecules such as our cells thereby causing cell damage. A good analogy would be a codependent/clingy person. He or she always has to be with someone to thrive or even survive. That ain’t fun! Anyhow, excessive free radical formation leads to premature aging and nobody wants that. To fight against free radicals, we need to take antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that basically donates electrons to free radicals which then neutralize them and prevent them from damaging other cells. Antioxidants come in the form of vitamins (Vitamins A, C and E), minerals (zinc, selenium), amino acids (glutathione), herbs (ginkgo), essential oils (clove essential oil) and other nutrients (resveratrol). Antioxidants typically turn into free radicals once they donate their electrons. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take a good mix of antioxidants rather than just taking an isolated one. Among the antioxidants by the way, glutathione is the only one that doesn’t turn into a free radical. Neat, huh?

A Chocolate A Day…….

….may keep the doctor at bay. Interesting thought, huh? When I say doctor though, I meant staying away from someone who’s always ready to prescribe medications for any ailment. You may want to work with a doctor (originally derived from Latin word “doctoris” meaning teacher, by the way) who actually works in partnership with you and is open-minded to other forms of healing. As far as chocolate is concerned, I’m referring to cocoa and/or organic, unrefined, dark chocolate and not the milk chocolate variety (lots of sugar and saturated fat). It has been found out in numerous studies that the polyphenols found in cocoa (as well as tea and blueberries) help improve endothelial function therefore preventing atherosclerosis. They also combat free radicals thus proving to be one of the best nutrients to use for anti-aging purposes. A French study showed that people greater than 65 years old with a diet rich in these bioflavonoids had less cognitive decline over a 10 year period. There’s also a Finnish study of more than 1,000 men in which a high polyphenol diet was linked to healthier arteries. More clinical studies (even double blind studies required by the authorities here) are found in Life Extension magazine. Ever wonder why cocoa is considered “food of the gods” (named “Theobroma cacao” by botanist Linnaeus) in the Aztec culture?

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