Free radicals are a condition that we have learned much about and they are a factor that is pervasive in the diseases and conditions of aging. Free radicals are dangerous molecules in the body that impairs cells through a process called oxidation. This is equivalent to the process of rusting. Oxidation occurs when a molecule loses one of it’s electrons; particles that orbit an atom’s nucleus. This causes the molecule to become unstable. It thus becomes a highly reactive energy state called a free radical.
After the free radical is formed, it seeks to rebalance itself by taking an electron away from another molecule. Sometimes it can accomplish this within a harmless chemical reaction. But sometimes, in its quest to get an electron from another molecule, the free radical will inflict molecular damage. Thus normal enzymes, proteins, and cells are destroyed. The process can cascade swiftly, much like a multi-vehicle automobile accident, with one car crashing into another, and with the end result being a wrecked transportation system, or on the bodily level, an impairment of normal functioning. When DNA is attacked by free radicals, for instance, genetic mutations result, and are passed down, a situation that can result in cancer.
Free radical damage, or oxidative stress, has been implicated in most of the diseases associated with aging, and it intensifies from continuous exposure to harmful stimuli.
Antioxidant foods and supplements can latch onto free radicals and neutralize them. Unfortunately, most humans and dogs alike don’t eat enough antioxidant foods or take the appropriate supplements to adequately compensate for age-induced loss of endogenous antioxidants (those that originate within the body). This is a complicated topic but it is a valuable lesson to learn that can reduce or eliminate serious diseases and aging. We can all benefit from the education on how to reduce the level of free radical damage.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.