What if I Were a Car

If I were a car I would not care about my maintenance. My owner would and I am sure he or she would be extremely cautious with my “health” because I cost a lot of money.

Fact is, I am a human who does not have a car. I do not drive either but I know quite a lot of things about cars as almost all my friends have, at least, one and you can easily imagine that whenever we meet a part of the conversation is dedicated to their cars and everything related to: oil, change of oil, tiers, gas price, engine and most of all, rust. Rust is the number 1 enemy of a car, especially in this Northern snowy country.

I can perfectly understand my friends’ preoccupation. What I do not understand is why they never think about the “rust” from their own body and take care of it, too. “What are you talking about? Rust? In my body? I’m not a machine”

No, you are not a machine, of course, but you have a body you ought to take care of if you don’t want it to rust. Let me explain myself.

“When a car rusts, oxygen latches onto and oxidizes the iron, changing it into a material much weaker, dustier, and flakier than the original frame of the shiny vehicle we drove out of the dealer’s showroom. The same thing happens to human bodies, and a large body of scientific research indicates that it is a long-term losing battle.” (Harvard Magazine – http://harvardmagazine.com/1999/03/health.html)

The process of oxidation in the human body damages cell membranes and other structures, including cellular proteins, lipids and DNA. When oxygen is metabolised, it creates unstable molecules called ‘free radicals’. They will steal electrons from other molecules, damaging the DNA and other cells.

The body can cope with some free radicals and needs them to function effectively. However, the damage caused by an overload of free radicals over time may become irreversible and lead to certain diseases, including heart disease, liver disease and some cancers. Cigarette smoking, alcohol, sunlight, pollution and other factors can accelerate oxidation.

Antioxidants have a lot of benefits for the human body. They came to public attention in the 1990s, when scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis and may contribute to cancer, vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions. (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/)

For a car not to rust there are a lot of products and solutions. The human body can fight against oxidation thanks to antioxidants in food or high quality supplements if food cannot provide them.

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