Understanding Oxidative Stress And Its Impact
Excessive free radicals in your cells can cause oxidative stress. Although the body produces them naturally as the metabolic process happens. However, oxidative stress can damage your cells. It can also do the same with proteins and DNA that can contribute to the aging process.
Oxidative stress can be detrimental to your health. It causes the development of different diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Although the body produces antioxidants naturally. They will fight these free radicals to avoid you from developing diseases but sometimes, it can't be avoided.
Oxidative stress is a disturbance in the balance between the production of the reactive free radicals and your antioxidant defenses. It plays a role in the production of free radicals. This will result in the development of different health conditions. The body's natural defense mechanism will produce antioxidants to fight them.
To make sure that your body can fight these free radicals, you must have a healthy diet. That way, it can increase the production of antioxidants. Changing an unhealthy lifestyle and diet will help your body to stay healthy. It includes maintaining a healthy weight. Exercising regularly will also help as well as eating a healthy diet.
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are bad for your health since it helps to develop different types of diseases. It's a molecular species that is capable of existing independently. They contain unpaired electrons that are unstable and very reactive. It means that if their numbers increase, you will end up developing different types of diseases.
Although free radicals are naturally produced by the body, it also creates antioxidants. It's your body's way to combat the harmful effects of free radicals. That's why it's important to sustain the production of antioxidants. The best way to do that is to eat a healthy diet. That way, you don't have to worry about getting sick
Oxidants and Free Radical Production
It's a natural process during the metabolic process. The body will produce oxidants and free radicals. Oxidants are reactive molecules that can react to other molecules in your body. It can damage other molecules that cause inflammation, aging, and diseases. It's both produced inside the body and can be harmful to your health.
Harmful Effects of Free Radicals
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Free radicals can indirectly implicate joint damage. It's also a secondary messenger when it comes to inflammation. Immunology cellular response can also be affected. It can degrade the joint cartilage directly by attacking the proteoglycan and inhibits its synthesis. Oxidative stress promotes inflammation on the joints that will promote the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Neurological Disease
It's been reported that free radicals provide a huge contribution when it comes to neuronal loss. That can cause neurological diseases such as cerebral ischemia, schizophrenia, seizure disorders, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease. This means that even your brain can also be affected by free radicals and not just your body.
3. Cardiovascular Disease
There's a fine balance that separates the free radicals and endogenous antioxidants in your body. Although this balance can be disturbed and free radicals sometimes win over their competition. When there is a disturbance, it can increase oxidative stress and lead to cardiomyopathy as well as heart failure.
Free radicals cause cell damage and they can also create damage to the DNA itself. It plays a role in the development of cancer as well as other health issues. Having abnormally high concentrations of free radicals was caused by exposure to ionizing radiation. It can also be caused by different environmental toxins.
5. Male Infertility
Extensive research was made about the effects of free radicals on male infertility in the last decade. These reactive oxygen species may be responsible for sperm dysfunction. In both diagnoses and idiopathic cases, free radicals seem to be the cause of male infertility. This is because it was found that a higher level of free radicals was found in men with this condition.
6. Respiratory Disease
Free radicals are highly reactive as well as unstable molecules. They are ethically produced as a byproduct of metabolism in the body. The exposure of these to toxins will lead them to react and develop respiratory diseases. Exposure to tobacco smoke and ultraviolet light is not a good idea.
7. Kidney Diseases
Oxidative stress, or the imbalance between excess free radicals produced by damaged cells in disease and the level of natural antioxidants that our cells have to combat the free radicals, is a process common to many diseases, including kidney diseases.
8. Sexual Maturation
The reactive oxygen species have an important role when it comes to reproductive system function. It's an essential part of the pathogenesis of female infertility. These species can also cause reproductive organ diseases such as endometriosis. Sexual maturation can also occur in advance due to the free radicals inside the body.
Antioxidants as Supplements
Antioxidants can effectively neutralize the free radicals inside your body. They will sacrifice some of their electrons to switch off free radicals before they can harm your body. This action helps to break a chain reaction that will affect other molecules in your cells. Sustaining your body's antioxidant production will help.
Some enzymes within your body can disarm the free radicals as well. These are the nutrients such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and selenium. They will neutralize free radicals inside your body so it's best to help them. Taking antioxidants and supplements can make them stronger to fight these free radicals.
1. Alpha-Lipoic Acid
It helps to prevent cell damage in your body caused by free radicals. It can also restore the vitamin levels in your body like vitamin E and vitamin C. Alpha-Lipoic acid can break down carbohydrates and turn them into energy. It also works as an antioxidant. This also protects the brain in case of damage or injury. Its effect can also help in some liver diseases.
2. Co Q10
Coenzyme Q10 neutralizes free radicals to prevent or reduce the damage it can cause in your cells. CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant that improves energy levels and augments your immune system. That will make your body have more ability to fight diseases. It can inhibit the oxidation of fat, protein, and DNA. As well as suppressing lipid peroxidation.
3. Lysine Ultra
This is a type of lysine supplement that will support the synthesis of proteins as well as collagen in your body. It is responsible for forming the cartilage and skin which are also known as connective tissues. Taking it regularly will promote the absorption of calcium for muscle growth and bone development. It's an essential amino acid that fights cold sores and promotes better immunity function.
4. Branched Chain Amino Acids
BCAAs are a group of essential amino acids. These are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are called essential since they can't be produced inside your body. You need to get them from food or supplements. They can build your muscles, decrease muscle fatigue, as well as alleviate muscle soreness.
What are the Risk Factors
Due to an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants, you will experience oxidative stress. It can lead to cell and tissue breakdown which will develop negative health conditions. This can cause you to develop diabetes, heart conditions, liver, and kidney issues, and more. Premature aging is also an additional effect of oxidative stress. So, it's advisable to take antioxidants supplements to avoid these conditions.
Ways to Limit Oxidative Stress
There are many ways to limit oxidative stress in your body. Although it may require a change in your lifestyle, it will be worth it. Below are some things that you should try to avoid having harmful effects
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables.
- Limit consuming processed foods.
- Exercise regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Destress regularly.
- Avoid getting exposed to pollution and harsh chemicals.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Oxidative stress is a natural occurrence in the human body. But it doesn't mean that you will just allow it to take over. If that happens, prepare to suffer from illnesses it provides. Thankfully, you can control it by supplying more antioxidants to your body. If you're not into vegetables and fruits, you can always take supplements instead. That way, you can fight the free radicals that will cause diseases and premature aging.
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does exercise increase oxidative stress?
Doing acute exercises can increase oxidative stress. That's why you need to do it regularly for your body to adapt. Regular exercise will create a resistance to oxidative damages. So if you're worried about it, just exercise regularly. Avoid doing strenuous exercise since it will do your body more harm than good. Doing so will increase your body's oxidative stress.
2. What drinks are high in antioxidants?
Antioxidants are easy to find in food and even drinks. If you want to reduce your oxidative stress, having drinks that are high in antioxidants will help you fight oxidative stress. Below are some drinks that are high in antioxidants.
- Herbal tea
- Green Tea
- Beet juice
- Pomegranate juice
- Acai juice
- Flavored water
- Coconut water