What is the main reason we become ill and even age? Surprisingly, the answer may be smaller than life itself. When we look at the human body, at its smallest living parts we come to the cell. Made up of trillions of cells, your body’s health is dependent on the health of each cell in your body. When your cells become ill, you become ill. And as your cells age and become weaker we see it in the wrinkles on our face and the aching of our joints. We are experiencing the aging process.
Why do cells become ill and age?
Cells are made up of various parts, and all these parts are made up of atoms. When these atoms are healthy, our cells replicate (make a copy of themselves) producing other healthy cells. This keeps you healthy and young.
Atoms are made up of a nucleus, neutrons, protons and electrons (the orange dots in the illustrations to the right). Sometimes an atom loses an electron and it (the atom) becomes a free radical. These free radicals are missing an electron and the only way to replace that missing electron is to steal it from another atom. This results in another free radical being formed. Free radicals oxidize your cells (think rusting metal). As unbalanced, volatile oxygen molecules, they sacrifice healthy cells to make themselves more stable. In doing so, free radicals destroy or alter DNA, the cell’s genetic blueprint, and disrupt many other cell functions.
Free radicals may kill cells as a result of their plundering, or they may give rise to mutant cells that can lead to chronic conditions including cancer and heart disease. Fortunately, the body maintains a sophisticated defense system against free radicals. Unfortunately, our defenses wane with time, and cell damage ensues. This causes illness and aging.
Where Do Free Radicals Come From?
Chlorine in treated water
Mercury in seafood and teeth fillings
And many more causes
“Free radicals” are molecular outlaws that course through your bloodstream, and they have been implicated in the cause of more than 50 diseases. Read the rest of this entry