What are free radicals?

Free radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons, which make them highly reactive and if allowed to run free in the body, are believed to be involved causing degenerative diseases such as ageing and cancers. Created in their millions, they are essential to life, and we need them to fight bacteria, fungus, and parasites.  Once created, they are checked by enzymes, or anti-oxidant nutrients in our food (vitamins C and E, beta carotene and bioflavonoids). However, if there are too many, they reek havoc over run the enzymes and anti-oxidants and create damage to the cell membrane resulting in arthritis, emphysema, bronchitis, atherosclerosis or heart disease, peptic ulcer, ageing and wrinkling.