Although this may sound a bit strange, since oxygen is obviously necessary for life, oxygen also does increase free radical production. But the human body is truly a marvel, which naturally produces free radicals and also antioxidants to counteract their damaging effects. However, in most cases, free radicals far outnumber the naturally occurring antioxidants. Oxidative stress occurs when production of free radicals exceeds the capacity of the antioxidant system of body cells. There are many occasions to create free radicals such as intense resistance and aerobic exercise because the body requires more oxygen during exercise, thereby increasing the production of free radicals. Similarly, tobacco smoke (first or second hand smoke), radiation, and exposure to environmental pollutants all increase free radicals.
Free radicals are the natural by-products of many processes within and among cells. As the free radicals interact with other molecules in the body, they cause oxidative damage, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Several vitamins and minerals, act as antioxidants.
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for virtually all reactions to occur in the body. While each has its own unique properties, they work synergistically to ensure reactions in the body occur appropriately. Vitamins are essential organic molecules that cannot be synthesized in the body and, like essential amino acids and fatty acids; they must be obtained from a proper diet.
Unfortunately, industrially produced fruits and vegetables often lack essential nutrients. Nowadays, proper diet means lots of fruits and vegetables as well as vitamin supplementation. The body stores nutrients, so a deficiency is usually detected after it has been without the nutrient for some time. The symptoms of a nutritional deficiency depend on which nutrient the body lacks.
However, there are some general symptoms you might experience, including:
- Pallor (pale skin)
- Trouble breathing
- Unusual food cravings
- Hair loss
- Periods of lightheadedness
- Heart palpitations
- Feeling faint or fainting
- Tingling and numbness of the joints
- Menstrual issues (such as missed periods or very heavy cycles)
- Poor concentration (1)
If you do experience any of those symptoms reach for a bottle of multivitamins and minerals. But make sure that they are natural vitamins and chelated minerals.