What Are Free Radicals?

Model of the coenzyme B12 dependent enzyme,
methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. This enzyme utilises
free radicals.
Free radicals are everywhere, in the air, our bodies, and the materials around us. They cause the deterioration of plastics, the fading of paint, the degradation of works of art, aging related illnesses, and can contribute to heart attacks, stroke and cancers.

Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. In their quest to find another electron, they are very reactive and cause damage to surrounding molecules.

However, free radicals are also useful because they help important reactions in our bodies take place and can be utilised to manufacture pharmaceuticals, custom-designed plastics and other innovative materials.

Download to Centre's Free Radical Information Pamphlet- Explore Free Radicals (PDF - 1.1MB)