Free radical is an atom, group of atoms or molecules that have unpaired electrons free in the outer circle. This molecule is seeking a new balance by taking an electron to other molecules or release electrons which there is no spouse. The existence of free electrons make free radicals are very unstable and very reactive. Small amounts of free radicals formed in normal cellular processes in all cells in aerobic, and is part of the immune system to resist attacks from outside. However, large amounts of oxidants are toxic and capable of reacting with damaging proteins, nucleic acids, fats and other molecules such as glikosaminoglikans (hialuronik acid). So, most free radicals potentially disrupt the cells. In small amounts, free radicals for the reaction function of cell metabolism, phagocytic cell function and signal transduction functions. Sulfur-containing amino acids and unsaturated fatty acid found in high concentrations in the brain very sensitive to these free radicals, and cause premature aging resulting in a variety of degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke, heart disease and others.
Fortunately, under normal circumstances, cells have defense mechanisms in the form of free radical scavengers. Included in this group are vitamins and analogues such as alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), as well as enzymes which metabolize free radicals or precursors of such enzymes superokside dismutase, catalase and gluthathione peroxidase. In general there are two kinds of antioxidants, namely specific antioxidants such as super oxide dismutase, peroxidase Gluthathione. Its mechanism of inhibiting the formation of new free radicals and antioxidants nonspecific like vitamins C and E that work by capturing free radicals that are circulating.
Here are the sources of free radicals:
1. Free radicals are formed as a byproduct of metabolic processes
2. Free radicals enter the body in the form of chemical toxins from food,
drinks, polluted air, and ultraviolet sun rays
3. Excessive free radicals are produced when we eat too much or when
we are in a state of excessive stress, whether physical stress, psychological or biological
In order to increase the antioxidants in the body, can obtain it through foods and dietary supplements. For it must consume food properly. Here are tips for eating healthy, increasing antioxidant:
- Eat vegetables are dark green, red, yellow and orange as much as 3-5 times a day
- Expand eating fruit 3-5 times a day
- Stop drinking coffee
- Drinking a cup of tea a day
- Drink fruit juices such as orange-colored, melon, papaya.
If the consume antioxidants in supplement form, consumed in moderation. Function as antioxidant supplements when pregnant:
- Vitamin C 500-1000 mg
- Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) 25000 IU daily
- Vitamin E (alpha tokoverol) 200-600 IU daily