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Nutrition Week 7.docx

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NUTR 1010

Week 7 NutritionAntioxidantsFree Radical Zappers What are antioxidants and how do our bodies use themNutrients that may function as antioxidants o Vitamin E o Vitamin C o BetaCarotene o Vitamin A What are Antioxidants Compounds that protect our cells from damage caused by oxidation Oxidation is a chemical reaction in which an atom loses electrons if you take an electron you lose that balanceDuring metabolism atoms exchange electronsWhen you lose electrons its called oxidation but you will eventually gain another one and that is called reduction Free Radicals In most exchange reactions unpaired electrons immediately pair up w other unpaired electrons o Oxidation followed by eduction creates a new stabilized atom Sometimes atoms w unpaired electrons remain unpaired o Creates highly unstable atoms Highly unstable atoms are FREE RADICALS out bodies dont like it because they are unbalancedWhat causes free radical formationOxidation reactions in the body o Occur all the timeOther metabolic processes o eg when immune system fights infectionOther factors o You cant control when oxidation occurs however there are times when you might be in control of free radicals Exposition of to the sun Inhale a toxicExposure to radiationCigarette smoke Environmental stuff o We need to produce free radicalsWhat do free radicals have to do with healthFree radicals can damage our cells o To stabilize itself a free radical steals an electron from stable compoundsGenerates more free radicals stars a chain reactiono Eg free radicals that form inside lipid layer of cell membranes steal electrons from stable lipid moleculesOther sites of free radical damage
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