Antioxidant And Excercise
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Free radicals are atoms or group of atoms where unpaired electrons are present. These radicals seek electrons from other neighboring molecules in order to get neutralized. Hence, when they knock against healthy molecules in our body, they steal the electrons which results in undesirable mutations damaging the healthy molecules. The result is a domino effect wherein these damaged molecules also start seeking electrons from their neighboring molecules causing serious destruction to many more healthy molecules in the body in order to neutralize the growing number of free electrons. (See Reference 1)
Free radicals, thus, cause deterioration of the cellular system of the body. They are formed due to radiation exposure, pollution, smoking, drug abuse and alcohol consumption among other factors. If free radicals are large in number, then it can cause adverse effects on the body.
Anti-oxidants are substances that neutralize these harmful free radicals. Vitamin C, Vitamin A as well as Vitamin E are anti-oxidants that fight against these free radicals.
Experts now say that strenuous physical exercise can result in what is called oxidative stress. The elevated aerobic metabolism levels due to physical exertion increases the number of free radicals. The amount of antioxidants available in the body is not sufficient to neutralize these radicals and this causes an imbalance in the antioxidants and the number of free radicals present in the body. If the antioxidants level deteriorates, the body would not be able to fight against free radicals. (See Reference 1)
When experts tried to find out the reason behind the increase in the production of free radicals, the findings were as follows. Fats and carbohydrates are two primary sources of fuel in the body that results in producing energy through oxidation. During the process of oxidation, some of the oxygen atoms do not bind with hydrogen atoms and this result in the formation of free radicals. This causes oxidative imbalance which gives rise to more number of free radicals that are not neutralized due to inadequate amount of antioxidants present in the body. (See Reference 1)
Oxidative stress has been associated with various diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, premature aging, hormonal imbalance, cellular death, mitochondrial dysfunction as well as protein alterations and certain types of cancer. (See Reference 1)
Some individuals exercise a lot over the weekend than following a regular balanced exercise routine. These people are much more prone to oxidative than those who follow a regular exercise regimen throughout the week. This is because regular exercise can enhance the ability of antioxidants to combat free radical damage over a period of time. (See Reference 1)
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