Your understanding of free radicals and antioxidants is critically important. Although there are several causes for aging, most experts would say that the interaction between these two factors has the greatest impact on how you age.
Free Radical Theory of Aging
In 1954, while at the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Denham Harman formulated what is now the most widely accepted theory on aging. Over the last 50+ years, Dr. Harman and a host of other scientist have developed a body of work that clearly points to free radical damage at the cellular level as the leading cause of aging. Additionally, their work clearly shows the benefits of antioxidants on reducing this damage.
In Dr. Harman’s own words,
“. . . free radical reactions are involved in aging. There are two major aspects to it. One, is that you can decrease the rate of free radical reaction by decreasing the rate of initiation of the chemical reaction; and/or two, you can slow the decrease in the propagation phase. With antioxidants, it might be possible to increase the lifespan.”
Although these damaging atoms and molecules can be produced by outside factors such as toxins, pollutants, radiation, alcohol and tobacco, the greatest factor in creating them is normal metabolism; the use of oxygen to create energy.
At Home Experiment
To show you this damaging interaction just do is a small experiment. Take an apple and cut it in half. Leave both halves sitting out on your counter. Paint 1/2 of the exposed apple with lemon juice and do nothing to the other half. Come back in an hour or two and you will see the interaction between these two factors in aging.
One half of your apple, the half that does not have the lemon juice, will be very brown and aged. The half with the lemon juice will only be slightly brown if at all. Why the difference? The half without lemon juice suffered oxidative damage from free radical reactions to the oxygen in the atmosphere. The half with lemon juice didn’t because the antioxidants in the lemon juice protected it.
The mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells. This is where the vast majority of your energy is created through the oxidative process called respiration. It is also where most of these damaging atoms and molecules are created. If left unchecked they can contribute to the following diseases:
Two Pathways to Slowing Down Aging!
From Dr. Harman’s own words, there are two major pathways to reducing this damage. One is to “decrease the rate of free radical reaction by decreasing the rate of initiation of the chemical reaction.”
Yikes! What does this mean?
Very simply it means slowing down the rate of metabolism or energy production. One way to do this is to eat less. It is called caloric restriction. When you cut down on your food intake, you decrease the rate of oxygen utilization, decreasing this type of damage and increase longevity. Your diet, level of exercise, ability to handle stress, and other factors that increase or decrease your overall metabolism will have a factor on your aging process.
The second pathway is to “slow the decrease in the propagation phase.” This is where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants convert these unstable atoms and molecules into stable ones to prevent them from damaging the cell.
Purpose of This Portion of the Website
This portion of the website will empower you with knowledge that will:
I’ll help you understand this dynamic so that you can develop an effective anti aging strategy; a strategy that will help you slow the aging process while improving your overall health, wellness, energy and vitality.
Enjoy the knowledge and may we both age youthfully!
P.S. I would recommend the following articles to help you understand this dynamic as you build an effective anti aging strategy that improves your overall health and wellness:
The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.