PREMATURE AGING AND FREE RADICALS

Aging might be inevitable, but there are several factors that speeds up the aging process. The main factor is the rate at which free radicals bio-accumulate in our body. The free radical theory of aging (FRTA) states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radicals over time.

What are free radicals and how can we go about preventing them?

Free radicals are broken atoms in our cells searching for electrons with which to bond. They can start a speedy chain reaction when oxygen interacts with the atoms. This matingprocess leads to cellular damage and premature aging of our skin.

A good example to visualize free radical activities in our body will be to slice an apple in half and watch it turn brown. The progressive brownish color is an indication of free radical activity due to the presence of oxygen. This whole process is called oxidation and to efficiently keep oxidation in check within our body, antioxidants are intimately involved.

Antioxidants are molecules that come from nature. They neutralize free radicals by donating their electrons to end the radical chain reaction’s domino effect. Our body cannot produce antioxidants so it is of utmost importance that we source antioxidant-rich nutrients in our foods, as well as our skin and hair care products.

Although research has proven that there are various enzymes in our body that can counteract free radical activities, scientists believe that antioxidants still remain the principal terminator of free radicals. Vitamin C, beta-carotene (Vitamin A), and Vitamin E are micro nutrient antioxidants.

Vitamin C:

These are natural ascorbic acids that are water-soluble and are present in citrus fruits, spinach, broccoli, kale, green peppers, kiwi, cantaloupe, kiwi, strawberries and blueberries.

Beta-carotene:

These vitamins are present in liver, egg yolk, milk, butter, spinach, broccoli, yams, tomato, peaches and grains. Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A.

Vitamin E:

These are fat-soluble vitamins that are present in nuts, seeds, vegetables and fish oils, whole grains, and fortified cereals. Vitamin E is known to contain the most abundant antioxidants and are highly effective at preventing and repairing free radical damage. Barbary fig seed oil contains more Vitamin E than any other oil available on the beauty care market.…