Oxidative stress is implicated in a long list of diseases, and you should take steps to protect yourself from the damage that free radicals may cause. Your options are simple to follow, yet powerful in the fight against free radicals. Avoid the factors that contribute to OS and switch to a diet of whole, organic, unprocessed foods, and add supplemental anti-oxidants for the best protection against this serious condition.
Oxidative Stress (OS) is a condition that can lead to or accelerate disease. OS occurs when the available supply of the body’s antioxidants is insufficient to handle and neutralize free radicals of different types. The result is massive cell damage that may result in compromised immunity, tissue breakdown, and cellular mutations.
Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that interact quickly and aggressively with other molecules in our bodies to create abnormal cells. They are capable of penetrating into the DNA of a cell and damaging its “blueprint” so that the cell will produce mutated cells that replicate without normal controls. Free radicals are unstable because they have unpaired electrons in their molecular structure. This causes them to react almost instantly to any substance in their vicinity. Oxygen free radicals are especially damaging.
Still, free radicals are involved in other normal cellular functions. For instance, when mitochondria within a cell burn glucose for fuel, the mitochondria oxidize the glucose resulting in free radicals. White blood cells use free radicals to attack and destroy bacteria, viruses, and virus-infected cells. The liver needs free radicals to help with detoxifying actions.
However, in an uncontrolled state, free radicals destroy cellular membranes; enzymes and DNA. They accelerate aging and contribute to the development of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
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