I will explain the answer to what is oxidative stress is in terms so that you will understand its background and will know how to combat it!
Later on in the article you will understand why you will want to, and how you can reduce this cause of pre-mature aging and degenerative diseases.
Source: Alzheimer's Disease Unraveling the Mystery. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, NIH Publication Number: 02-3782, 2002;36.
Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals. OK . . . what are free radicals? These are molecules that have an unpaired electron. So what? Well, they are in search of another electron and will take this from another molecule, which results in considerable damage to the cell. So when this molecule gives up its electron, it is said to be oxidized.
Trying not to complicate this, oxidation is a natural occurrence where molecules are broken down into water and carbon dioxide and this releases energy. We get into trouble, though, when these mis-fire. Think of the often used example of these molecules as little sparks that burn holes in your carpet. They harm the cells in your body. These molecules can create havoc in our bodies. To go back to a few other articles, the havoc they create is aging and degenerative diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and cancers.
Remember that oxidation is a normal process. It is caused by the oxygen that we breathe in. However, it is not only oxygen, or the process of respiration, that causes oxidation in your body. There are many pollutants in our environment. This would be why it is recommended to use water filters for drinking. In addition, our bodies take in air pollution, pesticides found in foods we purchase at the grocery store, cigarette smoke, mercury and lead.
Does this all seem like bad news? If so . . . read on so that you will understand how to fight this reoccurring reaction in your body.
You may be surprised to find out the you really can't live without free radicals. They do help fight infection and serious inflammation takes place from these when they rush in to aid us in times of need!
The whole idea in maintaining good health is to create a balance. Usually, cells get rid of free radicals by donating an electron to them so that they will become more stable. However, if you are not creating enough endogenous antioxidants (made within the body) and/or not consuming a good supply of dietary antioxidants, oxidative stress will take over.
Stay away from as many pollutants as possible, eat foods high in Antioxidants (especially organic), and supplement your diet with a good Vitamin Supplement that includes antioxidants!
Get serious about counting your servings of fruits and vegetables and remember to include at least five of these in your diet per day. You can never have too many antioxidants! Knowing that our foods no longer have the same nutrient value as they did in the 1930's, reminds you that you also need to use a good Supplement that includes these antioxidants.
The scientific evidence continues to prove that oxidative stress is one of the major causes of chronic disease and biological aging, so heed this advice to prevent these incidences and not only have a longer life, but increase your quality of life as well.