Free Radicals and Weight Loss:
Connected at the Hip
“We need oxygen to live. It travels from the lungs to every corner of the body, helping cells metabolize food into energy. But oxygen has a downside. Normally, the molecules in our cells have a full set of electrons, which keep them stable (think of them as a fortress surrounding a castle). But when these molecules come into contact with oxygen (i.e., they are ‘oxidized’) they lose an electron, converting to an unstable type of molecule known as a free radical. ‘Free radicals, if left unchecked, assault whatever cell constituents are nearby, including proteins, fats, and DNA,’ says Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton. ‘Once those molecules are attacked, their structure and function are changed and they don’t work as well’”(CNBC, 2010)
A big component of the obesity problem is the free radical problem. Free radicals are “rogue” molecules that rob electrons from other molecules, which in turn become free radicals and “pinball” around the body, creating a continuous cycle of damage and destruction to our bodies’ cells, tissue and organs. DNA is damaged, cells are destroyed, and body processes are disrupted. The end results of free radical damage are some of today’s most obvious health problems—we are overweight, we look terrible, we feel terrible, and we are simply less healthy.
Our environment is literally assaulting us with toxins that cause free radicals. These toxins are everywhere—in our food, air, water, homes, offices, and automobiles. Now scientists are telling us that the daily onslaught of free radicals is contributing to a growing waistline. And the studies are simply supporting what we see all around us.
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