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.
Antioxidants are the defense system against this large-scale chain effect of free radicals. When a cell component becomes destabilized, antioxidants can give their electrons to the free radical without becoming destabilized themselves.
Avoiding free radicals is both impossible and undesirable. When kept in check with a healthy balance of antioxidants, free radicals can have beneficial effects on the body by helping the immune system defend against pathogens.
There are several causes besides cellular metabolism that can lead to oxidative stress, like:
- Excessive stress
- Lack of sleep
- Consuming too many calories, especially sugar.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Too much or too little exercise
- Excessive tobacco smoke
- Polluted environment
To prevent oxidative stress adhere from the above causes and eat foods that contain natural antioxidants. Oxidative stress tends to age the body quicker than it would naturally. The symptoms include:
- Memory loss
- Wrinkles and grey hair
- Decreased eyesight
- Susceptibility to infections
- Propensity to neurological, autoimmune and vascular diseases
The symptoms are very general, but if left unchecked, oxidative stress can lead to pathophysiological conditions in the body like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, different types of cancers, chronic fatigue syndrome, and heart disease.
Examining the DNA damaged by free radicals and the level of antioxidants in the blood can determine the extent of damage from oxidative stress. Antioxidant supplements and a revamped diet can usually treat oxidative stress and return the body to it’s natural, healthy balance. Using a simple, 30 second breath analysis testing, we can determine your oxidative stress, and design a personalized cellular recovery program.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms and are concerned you may be suffering from oxidative stress, call us for a consultation.