Dr. Weil explains free radicals and how they can contribute to cancer.
Free radicals are highly energetic molecules, which, because they are so charged, can damage other molecules and constituents of cells. Free radicals are generated in the course of normal metabolism. They are also generated when our bodies are exposed to toxins and, you know, it looks as if the aging process really is determined by a balance between the pressures of oxidative metabolism and the generation of free radicals and our body’s ability to contain the damage caused by those molecules.
So, life is kind of a struggle between oxidative stress and antioxidant defenses. And, you know, over time, eventually, the antioxidant stress and the damage done by free radicals gets the upper hand.
About Dr. Weil, M.D.:
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., was born in Philadelphia in 1942, received an A.B. degree in biology (botany) from Harvard in 1964 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After completing a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he worked a year with the National Institute of Mental Health before writing his first book, The Natural Mind. From 1971-75, as a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Dr. Weil traveled widely in North and South America and Africa collecting information on drug use in other cultures, medicinal plants, and alternative methods of treating disease. From 1971-84 he was on the research staff of the Harvard Botanical Museum and conducted investigations of medicinal and psychoactive plants.