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Live longer by Sally Brown, Infinite Ideas

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5. Fighting free radicals

You don’t need to get radical to stave off ageing – you just need to help your body do its housework.

Ageing is not a straightforward process. One of its biggest paradoxes is that the very element that gives us life – oxygen – is also the thing that ages us most. But it can be combated.

When you put petrol in your car, you create energy – and noxious exhaust fumes. It’s a similar story in the body. When you breathe, oxygen enters the bloodstream and combines with fats and carbohydrates to create the energy that every cell in your body needs in order to function. But a by-product is created during the process – an unstable molecule called a free radical or oxidant. This roams the body, bombarding your body’s cells, ...

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