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What is Oxidative Stress and What Causes it in The Body?

Oxidative stress occurs when there is a disparity between antioxidants and free radicals in the body. This imbalance can hasten tissue and cell damage in the body. Naturally, oxidative stress is a by-product of the body’s aging process.

What are Antioxidants?

Molecules that can donate an extra electron to a free radical without becoming unstable themselves are known as antioxidants. To aptly put, antioxidants help neutralize free radicals by donating an electron to make them stable.

Some common examples of antioxidants are vitamins A, C, and E. Both free radicals and antioxidants can emanate from different sources. For example, glutathione is an antioxidant that can be naturally produced in the body’s cells. Fruits and vegetables contain minerals and vitamins required by the body to form antioxidants.

What are Free Radicals?

Molecules that contain oxygen but an uneven number of electrons are known as free radicals. Since molecules are groups of bonded atoms, a free radical has one or several single or unpaired electrons.

Some examples of free radicals include nitric oxide radical, superoxide, and hydroxyl radicals. Due to their very reactive or unstable nature, free radicals can prompt significant chemical reactions in the body when they combine with other molecules. When a free radical reacts with other molecules, the process is known as oxidation. When oxidation occurs, the unpaired electron combines with another molecule.

Free radicals are generally a by-product of energy production in the body. Similarly, certain substances, such as ozone, cigarette and cannabis smoke, can increase free radicals in the body.

What Does Oxidative Stress Do to The Body?

As mentioned earlier, oxidation is a completely normal process that your body must undertake. However, oxidative stress only happens when there is a sizable difference in the ratio of free radicals and antioxidants.

What is Oxidative Stress?

Normally, your body needs free radicals because they help to fight pathogens. If left unchecked, pathogens can make you sick. Your body naturally produces free radicals when you engage in any form of engaging physical activity. However, when these free radicals outnumber the antioxidants that are supposed to keep them in check, they can wreak havoc in your body, causing damage to your DNA, proteins, fatty tissues and even accelerate the aging process.

Since lipids, DNA, and protein make up a sizable amount of your body, that damage can have very adverse health consequences, including:

  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
  • Asthma
  • Accelerated aging

What Increases the Risk of Oxidative Stress?

Free radicals are not inherently harmful – the body makes free radicals naturally in response to exercise and inflammation – it is a healthy part of the body’s natural function.

However, you may be exposed to free radicals from the following:

  • Some cleaners or pesticides
  • Pollution
  • Obesity
  • Ozone
  • Radiation
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cannabis smoke
  • A diet unusually high in alcohol, fat, and sugar

Preventing Oxidative Stress in The Body

Keep in mind that the body cannot do without antioxidants or free radicals. But it needs to maintain an even balance between both.

Certain changes to your diet and lifestyle can help reduce the likelihood of oxidative stress in the body. Some of these changes include:

  • Limiting the consumption of heavily processed food
  • Avoiding a diet high in added sugar and fat
  • Eating a nutritious and balanced diet, including vegetables and fruits
  • Reducing stress
  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing stress and exercising regularly
  • Reducing the consumption of alcohol
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Avoiding harsh chemicals and pollution

A study conducted in 2015 revealed that maintaining a healthy weight may also be vital to preventing oxidative stress. Excess fat cells are known to produce inflammatory substances that can prompt the production of free radicals by the immune system.

Final Words

Oxidative stress is a result of the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. While free radicals and antioxidants are necessary for your body to function, they have to be in a balanced ratio. Oxidative stress is known to hasten aging and harm your DNA and protein cells.

It’s almost impossible to limit your exposure to sources of free radicals. However, a healthy lifestyle, combined with good environmental and dietary changes, can help keep this delicate mix of free radicals and antioxidants in your body in balance, and ultimately prevent oxidative stress and its effect. Furthermore, one proactive action that can be taken is IV therapy with Glutathione and other powerful antioxidants. An IV therapy immunity boost ensures the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are 100% absorbed into the body, whereas oral supplements only absorb up to 20%. This means you are supplying your body with powerful antioxidants that can help with the body’s oxidative stress.