February 27, 2004
British scientists have discovered that it is enzymes and not antioxidants that are the active factor, when white blood cells attack bacteria.
Free radicals are aggressive molecules that are capable of destroying the structure of other molecules. For example, the body uses free radicals to cut large molecules into pieces and build complex protein structures. So far so good.
But an abundance of free radicals has been shown to be able to damage the body due to the deterioration (oxidation) of certain molecules, such as LDL cholesterol, which then becomes dangerous because it causes arteriosclerosis in its rancid (oxidized) form.
In order to slow down this harmful oxidation, we form the so-called antioxidants. These are also found in our diet and in several dietary supplements. For example, vitamins C and E are such antioxidants.
By: Vitality Council
Nature, vol 427;6977:853.