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Thread: Free radicals

  1. #1 Free radicals 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    I've heard a lot about "free radicals". what are they ?


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  3. #2  
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    If you've heard a lot about them then shouldn't you know?

    They were a group of German students in the 60's.


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    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    its chemical componetns with an odd number of valence electrons and are highly reactive cause of it
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  5. #4  
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    So it results in them having an unpaired electron that is highly reactive.
    It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong. --- Isaac Asimov
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  6. #5  
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    A highly reactive chemical/element can damage things such as DNA, causing cancer. This is the big hype these days. Everone want's antioxidents (something that bonds to free radicals so they don't do damage). There is even this acai berry ice cream that people buy because they think it's healthy. If you ask me it's just another health fad. Calories, cholesteral, antioxydents, omega fatty acids, etc... we need many things to be healthy and these silly fads are just money-makers.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    it's food companies playing on the hypercondriacs mind, they need to stop worrying and chill
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  8. #7 Antioxidents 
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    Whenever I hear the word "antioxidents" I always automatically think: Anti Oxygen.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  9. #8  
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    as do I, oh no i figured it out.... they (the food companies) are trying to sufocate us and take away all our oxygen !!!
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    I like it when they say that things have "enzymatic activity" ... in like ... shampoo.
    It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong. --- Isaac Asimov
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  11. #10  
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    Please visit following link for more details: -
    http://www.healthchecksystems.com/antioxid.htm
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  12. #11  
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    do u know the thing we breath is causing us to age..... every 20 mill or so oxygen molecule will become a free radical.
    The thing we need to live is slowly killing us... ironic huh??
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  13. #12  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    They still don't know what it is that makes us grow old and die. It maybe free radicals, cells dividing, something written into our dna code (although they have not found any think yet) or some think else we have not thought of yet.
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  14. #13  
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    yeah but then free radicals definetly hav something to do wif aging us.... as in making us look older n stuff... whether it makes our biological clock tick is another thing....
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  15. #14  
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    Yeah, they attack tissues when they are free in cells or blood, they are also involved in cell ageing & cell death, this isnt really to do with ageing of a person as say; your red blood cells are replaced every 120 days because they become over run with free radicals. (that a simple explainiation lets not go into that!)

    anti-oxidants (anti oxidation), can help reverse this effect by preventng the oxidation which the radicals may cause.

    However, be aware that the media exaggerates the effect antioxidants have on health by quite a large amount. Did this answer anything :-D
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  16. #15  
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    OK free radicals have nothing to do with age. Think of it. I baby living inside its mother has just as many free radicals as anyone (proportionately). A child growing has the same thing. Free radicals have nothing to do with it. Now, if you live a very unhealthy life style than free radicals will have a significant impact on how fast you age.

    Same with cells dividing by the way. A childs cells are dividing way more than any adult yet they are not 'aging', they are growing.

    I don't know for sure but I would guess that aging has something to do with the DNA. Some sort of instruction to die.

    A free radical oxidizes other chemicals. Oxygen is one of the most reactive elements (second to flourine I believe). Because of this oxygen usually takes electrons from other chemicals. This is where the word oxidant comes from. An oxidant is a chemical that oxidizes other chemicals (pulls electrons from them). Not all oxidants are oxygen.

    I would disagree that oxygen is killing us. That is like saying the sun is killing us. We have mechanisms to deal with certain issues. For example; antioxidants to get rid of free oxygen molecules and dark pigments to absorb harmful light rays. I oxygen was killing us we would have gone extinct long ago.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    Same with cells dividing by the way. A childs cells are dividing way more than any adult yet they are not 'aging', they are growing.
    As you said a childs cells divide more quickly, won't that lead to a dampened effect on the free radicles? and i don't see how you can say children arn't aging, everyone ages
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  18. #17  
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    I would disagree that oxygen is killing us.
    That's th irony of it, Oxygen is of course required for existance but superoxide radicals can do quite a bit of damage to people.

    Radicals do have a certain role to play in ageing but yes of course DNA has a larger role in that, let me go back to the example of red blood cells (cos it''s easy)
    There are superoxide radicals produced in the cell throughout its life, these can be destroyed by mechanisms in the cell (eg glutathione being oxidaised by glutathione peroxidase and also the action of superoxide dismutase on O2-), this is all powered by NADPH which eventually becomes exhausted, causing ageing of the cell and its death. If there was never any rradiclas, the cell would not age.

    As you age, there is decreased ability of the body for dealing with radicals, these can be carcinogenic. This partially explains why there is an increased rate of cancer in the elderly.

    Im not suggesting oxygen is toxic, but its radicals are. (there are plent of radicals produced when you smoke)
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    As you said a childs cells divide more quickly, won't that lead to a dampened effect on the free radicles? and i don't see how you can say children arn't aging, everyone ages
    Actually if they are dividing faster it would created an increased rate of possible damage by a free radical. That is why skin cancer (or cancer of rapidly dividing cells) is more common than other types.

    Think about this ageing thing for a second. Since the begining of us or life in general (as we know it that is) cells have been dividing. We are dividing. If age causes death than we would have died from "ageing" long, long ago. A man produces millions of sperm which could have all sorts of free radicals yet this mass cell division and free radicals when met with a womans egg becomes a growing baby. When I say growing I mean things like neurons and bone and so on. Bone naturally grows more dense into your twenties (and if you practice bone packing techniques even longer). It is not cell division or free radicals that cause it to decline in densitity it is something else, likely a DNA instruction. If we didn't age we would become very vulnerable to new pathogens and die from them. So we age so that we can die in a more effecient amount of time and let our offspring take our place.

    Robbie,

    I guess it just see it differently. It's not killing us because, obviously, we aren't dieing from it but instead using it to our benefit. Everything can cause what would be considered damage so I guess I don't see the reason it must be pointed out that oxygen is one of these things.

    Sunlight.
    Oxygen.
    Sugar.
    Vitamin A.
    All vitamins and minerals for that matter.
    Running.
    Seeing.
    Dieing.
    Living.
    Everything!

    P.S.
    No time to edit, sorry.
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  20. #19  
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    Yeah I know exactly what you're saying. Im doing molecular medicine in my next term in college so hopefully in a few months I'll be able to mount a better argument about radicals impacting cells.

    Again, I totally agree, oxygen is absolutely necessary for life. However, as someone pointed out, oxygen is a very reactive element & it doesnt necessarily prove to be good for us under every circumstance (despite always being necessary).

    Thre have been sopme interesting points made in this thread though. I'll have to read up a bit on it!
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  21. #20  
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Yeah I know exactly what you're saying. Im doing molecular medicine in my next term in college so hopefully in a few months I'll be able to mount a better argument about radicals impacting cells.
    And I know what you're saying. I'm just being stuborn because of how I understand nature. Sort of a yin yang. You can't have the good without the bad.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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