Oxidative Stress

What Is It? What Does It Do? How is it Defended?

Oxidative stress is the burden on cells that result from exposure to free radicals. This is a normal process in the life of each cell. Cells are exposed to numerous stressors including toxins, radiation, poisons, metals and chemicals that are destructive to the cell.

What is Oxidation?

Oxidation in chemist terms, is the process of removal of electrons from a molecule. The result of the removal is destructive. Many times rusting pipes are used to illustrate this. They do not appropriately describe the process in cells however. Oxygen is essential to life. Oxygen also is corrosive to the cells.

Consider what happens to an apple when it is exposed to oxygen. In cold pack, apples stored in a gas free of oxygen, apples remain fresh for a considerable time. This is how you get fresh apples in the middle of winter.

Once oxygen hits the apple, a process starts, cells start to break down. Cut the apple and the process happens faster. The process is exponential.

Although the oxygen is only bathing the outside cells, as the cells start to break down, the inner cells break down even with out the exposure to oxygen. This illustrates the process of free radicals. They start grabbing electrons from the healthy cells in order to stabilize themselves. Their hunger is insatiable.

This is how a rotten spot on an apple will cause the whole apple to start to rot. Then the apples next to the rotten one will start to rot as well.

This is the process that happens in the human body. Instead of cells rotting, the process results in disease. The destruction of cells produces other chemicals that are toxic to the healthy cells next to the damaged cells.

For all the damage they do, they can also be beneficial. They can attack and destroy diseased cells and obliterate them.

Moderate oxidation can trigger apoptosis or natural cell death (also called programmed cell death).

Severe oxidative stress can cause cell death and lead to necrosis (death of most or all of the cells in an organ).

Oxidative Stress and the Apple

These are two halves of the same apple. One was protected with a plastic food wrap. The other open to room oxygen for a few days.

Even with a little oxygen, the protected half is showing signs of oxidative stress. The open to the air half is starting to show the extreme oxidization from exposure to room air.

Now imagine this happening inside our cells. Imagine the apple as being a single cell. Even with out cutting it, oxidization begins the process of breaking down the cell.

apple-half, oxadized apple, oxidization in an apple

Defenses Against Oxidative Stress

We have several defenses. Some are naturally within our bodies and our cells, others are part of our diet.

The defenses can be likened to the Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marines. Each system has their unique way of defending cells against oxidative stress.

Some foods provide antioxidants for our bodies. These give up electrons en-mass, flooding the free radicals and in effect drowning them.

These external dietary antioxidants can only work if the internal antioxidants, the ones naturally inside our bodies are working well.

The result is cutting off the chain reaction (think one rotten apple resulting in the whole bunch rotting).

There are also repair systems. If a cell cannot repair itself, it may commit cellular suicide to protect the neighboring cells.

Aging management involves balancing oxidative stress and our antioxidant defenses. People who have long lives with out disease usually have strong antioxidant defense systems.

Of the natural antioxidants naturally occurring inside our body, the master is Glutathione or GSH.

Oxidative-Stress and Disease

Here is a list of the diseases that are associated with oxidative stress and disease.

atherosclerosis

Parkinsons disease

Heart failure

myocardial infarction

Alzheimers disease

Fragile X syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Somatic Pain

Visceral Pain

Neural Pain

Oxidative Stress Suspected Involvement

Lou Gerigs disease

Huntingtons disease

cardiovascular disease

ischemic cascade (heart attacks and strokes)

chronic fatigue syndrome

Some antioxidant use is controversial. Some studies indicate that in some circumstances cancers get worse. In others the study results are mixed. In yet others, the results are very positive.

Of all the studies on glutathione, the majority of the studies show positive benefits.

Antioxidant Supplements

Many are aware of vitamin antioxidants.

There are naturally occurring antioxidants inside our body. The most important of all is Glutathione or GSH. We cannot take it as a supplement (at least very well). We do best by making it.

Another important antioxidant is Co Q 10.

The Solution

Treating Oxidative Stress by Boosting Glutathione? Learn more about GSH, what it is, what it does.

Increase Glutathione Naturally Home


Visit our sister site: WaterCures.org This will not only help you build glutathione, it is practically free and is essential to boosting glutathione in your body.

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Need To Know



The Way to Make More GSH For Free

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