What Are Free Radicals?


Free radicals are species capable of independent existence that contain one
or more unpaired electrons, that is, electrons that are alone in their orbit.
Free radicals and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are either synthesized
endogenously, for example, in energy metabolism and by the antimicrobial
defense system of the body, or produced as reactions to exogenous
exposure such as cigarette smoke, an imbalanced diet, exhaustive exercise,
environmental pollutants, ultraviolet and blue light, and food contaminants
(Fig. 5.1). They usually have a transitory existence, as a result of which
their steady state concentration in the biological system is very low.
Oxidative and other chemical stresses may modify not only polyunsatured
lipids, but also carbohydrates, proteins, and complex macromolecules,
forming atherogenic, carcinogenic, diabetogenic, and brain degenerating
substances, depending on the target organ. Modified biomolecules also
interfere with gene expression, causing metabolic disturbances and skin


Schematic representation of free radicals and cell damage.

Oxidative Injuries

To counteract oxidative injury of structural lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins,
human skin is equipped with a network of enzymatic and nonenzymatic
antioxidant systems that are responsible for maintaining an equilibrium
between pro- and antioxidant compounds [4]. Therefore, the use of natural
antioxidants as topical and/or systemic agents, which reduce the onset of
oxidative stress, may help to protect and increase the efficacy of the skin’s
biological system [5]. Usually, the use of cosmetics (beauty from the outside)
associated with diet supplements (beauty from the inside) has a synergistic
activity aimed to maintain the cells’ antioxidant power [6]. The
current tendency to apply and to ingest various kinds of vitamins and antioxidant
compounds is notably on the rise.
However, major information is lacking on the mechanisms by which these
compounds exert their antioxidative activity.

Beauty from the Inside

The concept of health and wellness is broad and segmented, offering a
composite of several smaller specialty categories generally characterized
by an emphasis on prevention and maintenance rather than on therapy [7]
(Fig. 5.2). Perhaps this is due to an increased awareness of what appear to
be the most frequently discussed diseases (i.e., heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis,
arthritis, etc.) coupled with better information provided by the
media. Every year more and more newspaper and magazine articles
are dedicated to the relationship between diet, health, and beauty, and more
specifically to nutraceutical and cosmeceutical concepts [8]. The fact that
people tend to be more aware of health-related issues is also a result of the
aging of the population.

The Market

The functional food market has risen from US $8.9 billion in 1996 up to
US $16.1 billion in 2006. It is interesting to note that this market has grown
at a steady rate of 10% a year and is expected to register a +56% increase
worldwide by 2010 [9] (Fig. 5.3).
Interest in the role diet plays in optimizing personal health and well-being is
stimulated by substantial work that is being carried out, and will continue
to be carried out in the future, in six areas: (a) risk reducers, (b) life stage

Categories with the health and wellness market. Source:
David Thibodeau, Managing Director, Canaccord Adams, Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada, 2007.

Functional Foods Market

Strict definition: +56% to USD 25.1bn

⇒Europe                     +79%

⇒Us                             +66%

⇒Japan                       +24%

⇒Australia                  +80%

Broad definition: +47% to USD 53.2bn

⇒Europe                     +71%

⇒Us                             +55%

⇒Japan                       +26%

⇒Australia                  +61%

Future prospects (strong growth to 2010) of the functional
foods market. Source: Fiona Angus, Leatherhead Food International,

and gender nutrition, (c) getting through the day, (d) slimming solutions,
(e) age of antioxidants, and (f) beauty from the inside. To achieve these
objectives consumers are willing to pay a premium, purchasing so-called
anti-aging nutraceutical and cosmeceutical products.
Thus, the growing linkbetween diet and beautylhealth, makes the consumer
more open to the concept of beauty from within.

Consumer Expectations

One must also consider consumer expectations in terms of what is natural.
Indeed, according to consumers, a natural product is:

  • “a product containing ingredients that come from the earth

    rather than from a laboratory;

  • “a product containing no man-made ingredients;

  • “a product without added chemicals;

  • “a product that is more expensive because chemical ingredients

    are cheaper than natural ones on account of the fact that

    they are mass produced [10].”

“What is the conclusion? By and large, according to consumers, when we
say that a product is natural, we mean that the product’s ingredients are
derived from a plant or the earth and are not man-made or produced in a
laboratory [10].” Moreover, “natural products are perceived as being less
harmful, gentler on the skin, 100% safe, and containing no toxic agents”.
According to Michael Harmswoth from ESPA (UK) [10], “the key to
benefiting from this demand lies in avoiding the pitfalls-this can be
achieved through transparent communication and by continuously improving
products and formulations as the development of natural ingredients
improves.” This applies to both oral and topical beauty products. However,
regardless of whether or not they are natural, modern functional foods and
cosmetics may represent a real alternative to minor dermatology for the
prevention and treatment of imperfections caused primarily by skin

Author : kaabinet



38 thoughts on “What Are Free Radicals?”

  1. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up. The text in your content seem to be running off the
    screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a format issue
    or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.

    The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed
    soon. Thanks

  2. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought
    this post was good. I do not know who you are but
    definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  3. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely fantastic.
    I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the
    way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still
    take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read
    much more from you. This is actually a wonderful web site.

  4. After checking out a handful of the blog articles on your
    website, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing
    a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please check out my website too and let me know your opinion.

  5. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your
    site? My website is in the very same niche as yours and my users would really benefit
    from a lot of the information you provide here. Please
    let me know if this alright with you. Thanks!

  6. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Ie.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with
    internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to
    let you know. The design and style look great though!
    Hope you get the problem solved soon. Thanks

  7. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and
    found that it is really informative. I am
    going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future.

    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  8. whoah this weblog is magnificent i really like studying your articles.
    Stay up the great work! You realize, a lot of individuals are searching round
    for this info, you can help them greatly.

  9. Hi there, There’s no doubt that your blog might be having internet browser compatibility problems.
    When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, great website!

  10. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information much.
    I was seeking this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  11. It’s awesome to pay a visit this web page and reading the views of all
    mates on the topic of this post, while I am also keen of getting knowledge.
    natalielise plenty of fish

  12. After exploring a few of the articles on your site, I truly like your way of writing a blog.
    I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be
    checking back in the near future. Please check out my web
    site as well and let me know what you think.

  13. I am no longer positive the place you are getting your information,
    but great topic. I needs to spend a while studying much more or figuring out more.
    Thanks for wonderful information I was searching for this info for
    my mission.

  14. After I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve
    4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

  15. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site.
    I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since
    i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to
    change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

  16. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your site, how could
    i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I have been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided shiny transparent idea

  17. This is the right web site for everyone who hopes to find out about
    this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).

    You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject which
    has been written about for years. Excellent stuff, just great!

  18. The next time I read a blog, I wish that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

  19. Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?|

  20. Hi, I do believe your blog might be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent site!|

  21. Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous
    to and you’re just too excellent. I actually like what
    you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and
    the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible.
    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous website.

  22. Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!

    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward
    this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your post is just nice and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up
    to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the
    enjoyable work.

  24. I’m really loving the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever
    run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A few of my blog readers have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer
    but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this

  25. Wonderful work! This is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared around the net.
    Shame on Google for no longer positioning this post
    higher! Come on over and seek advice from my web site .
    Thanks =)

Leave A Reply