Free Radicals and an Achy Breaky Heart

Written by on November 24, 2012 in Health - No comments | Print this page


Almost everyone has heard the term “free radicals” bandied about on television and radio. When pressed for a definition, however, many people have to admit that all they’ve heard is that free radicals contribute to poor health and accelerated symptoms of aging.

So, what are free radicals, and why are they considered one of the most formidable villains in the fight for health, longevity and beauty?

Free Radicals Defined

Free radicals are produced within the human body as by-products of oxidation. It’s a natural, unavoidable process, and it doesn’t just happen in humans. When a sliced apple starts to turn brown, it does so because it’s losing electrons, which occurs as oxygen interacts with other elements. The oxidation and generation of free radicals within the human body is caused by a long list of processes, including respiration and digestion. Inflammation and injury also produce free radicals.

A Chain Reaction

When free radicals come into contact with healthy molecules, they remove electrons from it, thereby creating another free radical. Left unchecked, this process can damage many organ systems and accelerate visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and reduced skin elasticity. Another major concern is free radical heart damage, which may contribute to death by heart attack or cardiac arrest.

The Antioxidant Answer

Although the creation of free radicals is unavoidable, their ill effects can be countered by antioxidants. These are substances that protect cell integrity and prevent free radicals from multiplying uncontrollably. Many antioxidants are found in foods, including acai berries, blueberries, cantaloupes, beans and green tea. Others, such as Coenzyme Q10 (often called ubiquinol) are normally produced within the body. They can, however, also be consumed in foods such as beef heart and chicken liver. Vegetarians who want to add more CoQ10 to their diets can protect against free radical heart damage by increasing their intake of avocado, oils, nuts and cruciferous vegetables. Ubiquinol is also available in pill form.

Ubiquinol Supplements

Ubiquinol is available without a prescription and is an invaluable heart health supplement. Combined with a regimen of exercise and solid heart health nutrition, ubiquinol provides unparalleled cell membrane protection. Doses as small as 100 mg per day provide a serious boost to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and immune system. This powerful heart health antioxidant has few side effects and is one of the safest dietary supplements available.

Dosing Guidelines

Healthy patients who add 100 mg of ubiquinol to their daily supplement regimen generally find that this small dosage gives them all the benefits they seek. Individuals whose bodies do not produce enough CoQ10, such as the elderly and those taking large doses of statin drugs, must usually consume at least twice that amount to restore their CoQ10 levels to a healthful amount. In some cases, doses as high as 300 mg may be necessary. It’s very important to note that ubiquinol may drastically increase the amount of enzymes produced in the liver. Regular blood tests are the most effective way to monitor liver function and ensure that the patient’s health remains uncompromised.

This is a guest post.  Thanks for reading this article on free radical heart damage advice, and facts. For more information be sure to check back next week!

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /


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