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Article

Addressing Oxidative Stress

Friday, September 24th 2021 10:00am 6 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

We encounter this phrase throughout contemporary nutritional and medical articles: oxidative stress. It is implicated in an increasing number of diseases like cancer and other conditions. Health-conscious individuals can and should take actions to protect themselves against the damage of free radicals. These steps are simple, yet work as an effective defense against free radicals: a diet of whole, organic unprocessed foods, and supplemental anti-oxidants are available to everyone.

Oxidative stress (OS) is a condition rather than an actual disease. However, OS can lead to or accelerate a disease. OS happens when your body’s antioxidant supply is lacking and unable to neutralize free radicals. The result is cell damage that can lead to tissue breakdown, cellular mutations, or a compromised immune system.

Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that interact aggressively with other molecules in our systems that generate abnormal cells. They can penetrate the DNA of a cell and alter its blueprint. Then the cell will generate mutated cells that replicate quickly and without any normal controls. Their instability derives from unpaired electrons in their molecular structure, which cause them to negatively react to substances near them. Oxygen-free radicals, known as oxyl, are particularly bad.

Some free radicals are a part of normal life. When mitochondria burn glucose for fuel, they oxidize the glucose and produce free radicals. White blood cells may use free radicals to eradicate viruses and bacteria. Detoxifying your liver involves free radicals as well.

Still, free radicals are unstable and cause damage if not addressed. Free radicals destroy enzymes, cellular membranes, and DNA. They contribute to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. And, they accelerate aging.

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