Oxidative stress occurs when the amount of free radicals in the body outnumbers the amount of antioxidants in the body.
During cellular metabolism, cells use up oxygen to help convert food into energy, producing free radicals as a byproduct. Free radicals are highly reactive, destabilized molecules that can interact with the body’s cell components like DNA, stealing their electrons to stabilize. By removing their electron, the free radical destabilizes the cell component, which in turn looks to stabilize by taking an electron from another molecule, triggering a chain effect. The end result is cellular damage, manifested as premature aging and emergence of chronic diseases.