A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron (Afzal & Armstrong, 2002). The molecule is reactive and seeks another electron to pair. Free radicals are involved in the mechanisms of damage associated with disease development (Rice-Evans, 1999). Examples are hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorite, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide.
The need for antioxidants in our daily life is becoming more critical with increased exposure to free radicals (Percival, 1998). Pollution, cigarette smoke, drugs, illness and stress can increase our exposure.
Percival, M. (1998). “Antioxidants”. Clinical Nutrition Insights 1/96 Rev. 10/98. http://acudoc.com/Antioxidants.PDF
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