WHAT EXACTLY IS A FREE RADICAL?
Free radicals are atoms, molecular sets, which contain an unpaired electron. Such atoms, molecules are unstable, short-lived, because they react extremely quickly with other atoms and molecules in their environment. Reactive free radicals, as they acquire electrons, are destroyed themselves, which is why they are sometimes called ”kamikaze molecules “. This kamikaze action causes disease and premature aging in our bodies. Their destructive effects can best be compared to rust and rancidity. More than 100 diseases, including atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, are associated with the excessive presence of free radicals. Stress, sleep disorder, inflammation greatly increases their production. Adverse environmental effects, especially poor quality food, but even exhausting sports or physical work can increase the free radical load.
Throughout our life, processes constantly produce toxic substances in our body. Reactive oxygen radicals, for example, can be classified here, which trigger an oxidation chain reaction and thereby damage our cellular macromolecules. Free radicals cause malfunctions, eventually causing cell degeneration, premature aging and cell necrosis. In our body, antioxidant enzymes (haem oxygenase 1, SOD, catalase, peroxidase) are the first and strongest line of defense against oxidation processes. However, our antioxidant system does not seek to completely eliminate free radicals, but to maintain a pro – and antioxidant balance. When this balance is tilted towards prooxidants, our body develops oxidative stress.
This condition is one of the main enemies of our bodies, one of the main factors of our ageing process and the chronic diseases of civilization.
It is good to know, however, that not all free radicals are harmful. Some types are useful to the immune system and serve as indicators, others, e.g. hydrogen peroxide, are directly involved in the fight against pathogens. Neutralisation of the useful free radicals leads to the weakening of our defense mechanisms, our immune system and ultimately to the development of diseases.
All compounds that act against free radicals are generally called antioxidants.
Molecular hydrogen is the only known selective antioxidant. This means that it only reacts with the free radicals that damage the cells, while it does not inhibit the free radicals necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system.
(These cell-damaging free radicals, aka the “bad guys”:
peroxynitrite, formula: ONOO¯
hydroxyl radical, formula: OH
The “good guys,” so the useful free radicals are:
nitrogen monoxide NO
and hydrogen peroxide H2O2. )
It is worth paying attention to the optimal consumption of antioxidants. Their excessive consumption is as harmful as their absence, as it may interfere with the normal functioning of our immune system.
Other arguments for the use of molecular hydrogen:
It has a quick effect, its dosage can be personalized and its application is safe.