Oxidative Stress Is Everywhere- What It Is And How To Fight It!
Many of us have heard that oxidative stress, or oxidation, is all around us. Just what is it?
If you are looking for technical chemistry definitions, this refers to a redox reaction or gets into balancing redox equations and understanding our antioxidant defense system.
But for most of us, we can understand it like this: It is the rust on metal, like the rusty nails below. How would you like to step on one of those? Ouch!
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Or it is like the brown discoloration on an apple left on the counter too long, or in this case, an apple that becomes thoroughly rotten. Eww! Which apple looks to be in better shape to you?
Which one would you rather look like?
In the human body, oxidation is a byproduct of living and what causes us to age. If we are wrinkling up on the outside, like the man in this photo below, the same damage is going on internally, we just can't see it. Biology news articles contain lots of current information and research on this subject that affects all of us.
This explains why this baby's skin has such a radiant glow, and as we age, we see this damage in our skin, our body's largest organ.
But what we can't see is the damage that is going on inside, to our internal organs, causing a dramatic impact on our health. Think about that for a minute!
The difference between the baby's skin and the old man's is oxidative stress! And that makes all the difference in your health as well.
In the human body, each day that we as humans live and breathe, eat and drink, we place continuous stress on every cell in our bodies. Every cell in turn must protect itself or suffer damage.
Each and every cell in the body is a biological machine, and with each passing day, the cells become worn down by trying to stay alive.
Just like all machines, our cells get their energy from the consumption of fuel, like the food we eat and the air we breathe, but in so doing there is a price to pay.
In this redox reaction, which is short for reduction and oxidation, there are waste products produced, which are referred to as free radicals or free radical damage.
If you think of a match lighting up a piece of timber, you get heat and flame, but ash is produced as a byproduct or waste. Oxidation is necessary for us to process nutrients and function, but free radicals are the waste that is generated in our bodies as a result.
Our cells have a tall order- to neutralize and remove these wastes on an ongoing basis in order to stay healthy. If your cells are healthy, then you too are healthy!
What Are Medical Professionals Saying About Oxidative Stress?
Note what medical doctors are now saying about oxidation and antioxidants:
"Glutathione (GSH) deﬁciency contributes to oxidative stress and therefore appears to play a key role in the pathology of many diseases… "
Glutathione in Health and Disease. Dr. Patricia Kongshavn, MSC, Ph.D. January 2005
"Each and every cell in the body is a biological machine that is gradually worn down by the work of staying alive... Like all machines, cells derive their energy from the consumption (oxidation) of fuel - nutrients and oxygen - but at a price.
This process produces harmful waste products (free radicals and oxyradicals). One of our cell's most routine tasks is to neutralize and remove these wastes, and the key substance it uses is glutathione. Glutathione is the body's principal antioxidant."
Glutathione- Your Key to Health Dr. Jimmy Gutman, M.D., FACEP
So there you have it! Medical experts are now weighing in on the subject of oxidation and how dangerous it is to our health. The good news is we have antioxidants and glutathione to fight it!
And Pubmed, which is the online Medline resource for published medical journals from around the world, has made medical headlines about the role of oxidative stress in several disease states, including
, gulf war syndrome, brain disease,
chronic fatigue syndrome
, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, fibromyalgia, heart disease, stroke, and
just to name a few.
Now that we have defined oxidative stress, and what we can we do to stay in the driver's seat, fight it, and keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy? Got your roadmap handy?