I’m no scientist so perhaps this is something lots of people know but has only just dawned on me. and it’s fascinating. I’m reading the story of Shiva right now and there’s an explanation of the way the body works that has never occurred to me before. here’s an extract from the book:
“…nature has a sense of humour. the thing that keeps us alive is also what causes us to age and die. when oxygen reacts with our food in order to release energy, it also releases free radicals called oxidants. these oxidants are toxic… and they react inside us. we rust from the inside and hence age and eventually die.
think about it. the body tries to store everything that you need from the outside world in order to survive. it stores enough food to survive for a few days without it. it stocks up on water so that a few days of thirst will not kill you. if your body needs something, it keeps some of it as backup for possible shortages.
on the other hand, the body does not store enough oxygen, the most crucial component of staying alive, to last for more than just a few minutes. it doesn’t make any sense at all. the only explanation is that the body realises that despite being an elixir, oxygen is also a poison. hence it is dangerous to store.”
never thought about it this simply before. but there you go!