Evaregan
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1. My understanding of free radicals is that they are highly reactive, unstable atoms with uneven number of electrons. They can be produced both endogenously and exogenously and damage cells by taking electrons, which creates a domino effect (thus damaging lots of them). Is this right?

2. Are free radicals the same as ROS?

3. When free radicals are unstable in the body, how do they damage the skin? just by taking electrons from things like collagen?

4. If so, how do topical products containing antioxidants help stabilize them?

5. Do antioxidant products just sink into the skin, or is it via the blood stream?

6. I know that the body receives free radicals exogenously through things like cigarette smoke/ pollutants. Do they physically go into the lungs with cigarette smoke/ inhaled pollution? Or are they a response from the body? E.g.- pollutants inhaled so the body produces free radicals to attack them.

7. How does stress increase the number of free radicals? is it to do with increased inhalation/ metabolic rate?

8. How does lack of sleep increase the number of free radicals?
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charco
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(Original post by Evaregan)
1. My understanding of free radicals is that they are highly reactive, unstable atoms with uneven number of electrons. They can be produced both endogenously and exogenously and damage cells by taking electrons, which creates a domino effect (thus damaging lots of them). Is this right?
Not necessarily atoms, they can also be species made up of many atoms. A free radical is a species that has at least one unpaired electron. That makes most free atoms also free radicals.

Some species, such as oxygen molecules are diradicals in that they have two unpaired electrons. This is what makes oxygen very reactive.

(Original post by Evaregan)
2. Are free radicals the same as ROS?
No

(Original post by Evaregan)
3. When free radicals are unstable in the body, how do they damage the skin? just by taking electrons from things like collagen?
Free radicals are very reactive species that can cause chain reactions in anything they come into contact with. Skin is made up of many compounds all of whch can be degraded by free radicals.

(Original post by Evaregan)
4. If so, how do topical products containing antioxidants help stabilize them?
These provide or absorb electrons that can end the free radical chain reaction.

(Original post by Evaregan)
5. Do antioxidant products just sink into the skin, or is it via the blood stream?
That would depend on the product and the solvent.

(Original post by Evaregan)
6. I know that the body receives free radicals exogenously through things like cigarette smoke/ pollutants. Do they physically go into the lungs with cigarette smoke/ inhaled pollution? Or are they a response from the body? E.g.- pollutants inhaled so the body produces free radicals to attack them.
This I don't know.

(Original post by Evaregan)
7. How does stress increase the number of free radicals? is it to do with increased inhalation/ metabolic rate?
Does stress increase the number of free radicals? I suspect that this has not been demonstrated/proven.

(Original post by Evaregan)
8. How does lack of sleep increase the number of free radicals?
Does lack of sleep increase the number of free radicals? I suspect that this has not been demonstrated/proven.
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