What Free Radicals Are
A Free Radical is an oxygen molecule with more or less than its normal number of electrons. This imbalance makes the atom or molecule unstable, reactive, and destructive.
Some free radical activity is normal. White blood cells use peroxide (H2O2) to kill ingested bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders. Too much free radical activity, however, is harmful. Cell damage and cell death occurs when energy production (ATP) is reduced and excess peroxide and hydroxyl (OH) radicals are formed.
Certain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids help keep excessive free radical reactions in check. These are called free radical scavengers or Antioxidants. Some of the best Free Radical Scavengers are:
One of the most bioactive natural antioxidants is a product called Pycnogenol. It is about 50 times stronger than Vitamin E and about 20 times more potent than Vitamin C as an antioxidant. One of the richest sources for this proanthocyanidin (procyanidin) is the French maritime pine tree (needles, primarily, and bark). Pycnogenol contains about 85% proanthocyanidins by weight. Red wines, grapes, other foods and herbs also contain lesser levels of proanthocyanidins.
- Vitamins: A, B3, B5, B6, C Complex, and E Complex
- Minerals: Germanium, Manganese, Selenium, and Zinc
- Amino Acids: L-Cysteine, DMG (N,N-Dimethylglycine), and GSH (as Glutathione Peroxidase and Reduced Glutathione), L-Methionine, and L-Taurine
- Enzymes: Catalase, Coenzyme-Q-10 (Co-Q-10), Sorbic Acid, and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
Most health food stores carry some form of Pycnogenol, but very few, if any, explain how to properly take it. If your tissues are not saturated, it does not seem to have its reported effects. If you choose to try this product, take one 20 mg. tablet, for every 20 pounds of body weight, every day for three days. After taking the proper amount for you for three days, a normal maintenance dosage is two tablets a day.
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