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Week 7.docx

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NUTR 1010

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Week 7 Antioxidants Free Radical Zappers What are antioxidantsCompounds that protect our cells from damage caused by oxidation When an atom loses an electron its called oxidation and when it gains an electron its called reductionDuring metabolism atoms exchange electronsFree RadicalsIn most exchange reactions unpaired electrons immediately pair up with other unpaired electrons o Oxidation followed by reduction creates newly stabilized atomsSometimes atoms with unpaired electrons remain unpaired o Creates highly unstable atoms o These highly unstable atoms are called free radicalsWhat causes free radical formationOxidation reactions in the body o Occur all the timeOther metabolic processes o Eg When immune system fights infectionOther factors o Pollution overexposure to the sun toxic substances radiation exposure cigarette smoke asbestos o Continued exposure leads to free radical formation Free radicals can damage our cellsTo stabilize itself a free radical steals an electron from stable compounds o Generates more free radicals and starts a chain reactionEg Free radicals that form inside lipid layer of cell membranes steal electrons from stable lipid molecules
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