08 May New Insights on Free Radicals
Free radicals or Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) which are often thought to harm the body has been found to have benefits to the body.
- Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali, found that Free Radicals play a key role in regulating the growth and the size of the organisms.
- Free radicals are hyper-reactive molecules that are thought to be harmful to the body and are implicated for the occurrence of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and many more.
- These particles react with the cells and damage them.
- Often these are removed from the body with the help of antioxidants.
- But, scientists from IISER has found that they play a role in modulating the systemic growth of the organism.
- The study by the scientists is significant as it throws light on various activities of the body in the early stage of development.
- For the study, the scientists used fruit flies.
- Insulin is the growth hormone that plays a vital role during the development phase of an organism.
- Whereas, the Ecdysone hormone regulates the growth.
- There needs to be a stable relationship between Insulin and Ecdysone for controlled growth of an organism and scientists have found that Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) does this job with perfection.
Formation of Free Radicals:
- Our body constantly faces oxidative stress.
- Thus, Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons.
- Electrons cannot be unpaired for long and they seek to pair with another electron.
- They start scavenging the body for electrons and damage the cells, DNA and proteins.
- These are thus known as free radicals.
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- These inhibit free radicals.
- They terminate the chain reactions that are formed by the free radicals.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin E are some of the examples of free radicals.
- Antioxidants reduce the risk of the formation of cancer and other cardiovascular diseases.