How do free radicals affect the body?

You may have heard of free radicals many times but few of us actually understand and know what they are. This blog will look at what free radicals are and how they can affect your body.

Many supplements claim to reduce free radical damage’ or protect the immune system from free radical damage but what does this actually mean? To answer this question this we must first understand what a free radical actually is.

To explain a free radical you need to understand some basic chemistry. Each atom is surrounded by a shell of electron particles, the number of these electrons determine whether the atom is stable or not. The right number of electrons in the shell means that the atom is stable, bear in mind this number will vary from atom to atom. In the case of a free radical the number of electrons in the shell is not complete, therefore the atom looks to balance and stabilise itself by attracting electrons from other atoms. This unstable atom will look to join with any atom, which can lead to an undesirable change.

an atom with outer electrons

If we take a look at oxygen for example, when it is split the two halves become unstable. These unstable oxygen free radicals will look to bond to any surrounding atoms thus leading to a process called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to many undesirable effects to our body such as; ageing, wrinkles, grey hair, muscle or joint pain, memory loss and fatigue to name a few.

However its not all bad news, there are chemicals called anti-oxidants which aim to lessen or prevent the damage caused by free radicals. They essentially replace the missing electrons on the damaging free radicals without themselves becoming free radicals and causing further damage. This is why you will see many supplements containing anti-oxidants.

The damage caused by free radicals builds up over time leading to many diseases such as cancer, so it’s in our best interest to try to reduce the exposure to these harmful atoms. One sure way to help reduce these free radicals is by supporting your body with a powerful anti-oxidant rich supplement such as Shield. We have crafted it with the most powerful natural anti-oxidants to help protect your body and help to slow down the ageing process.