Category: Healthy Living

Dangers of Oxidative Stress and How to Prevent them?

Published:13 Feb, 2017     By: Salan Khalkho     3 min read

Free radicals not only damage our cells or tissue, but they even have potential to damage our DNA and cell membrane. Studies have shown that they are the key reasons behind almost all of our chronic disease.


oxidative stress accelerates aging

In the last four decades, oxidative stress has been increasingly recognized as a contributing factor for various forms of pathophysiology generally associated with aging. Just as iron rod rust when exposed to air and moisture in the atmosphere, our cells also face oxidative stress when we breathe.

Free radicals are unstable molecules

Free radicals are unstable molecules

This process is more commonly caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules present in our body. As they move throughout the body they damage cells (oxidize cells) along the way. This process is called oxidative stress and as a result, damaged cells and tissues are unable to function properly.

    Free radicals damage DNA

    Free radicals have the potential to damage our DNA and cell membrane

    This poses serious threat to your health. According to Dr. Catherine Waller, free radicals not only damage our cells or tissue, but they even have potential to damage our DNA and cell membrane. Studies have shown that they are the key reasons behind almost all of our chronic disease.

    minimizing the impact of free radicals

    Preventing or minimizing the impact of free radicals

    Free radicals are contributing factors for several diseases, hardened arteries and wrinkles. These adverse impacts of free radicals are often intertwined with health problems that are most commonly associated with age. There are two ways in which you can safeguard your health and prevent oxidative stress, they are - avoiding the cause of free radicals and adopting lifestyle that encourages recovery from oxidative stress.

    Cause of free radicals

    Cause of free radicals

    Majority of free radicals in our body are the byproduct of energy consumption by our mitochondria. Mitochondria are like small factories that produce energy in our cells. Each time we breathe we end up producing some free radicals.

      mitochondria produce higher levels of free radicals

      However there are other factors also that leads to production of free radicals in our body such as:

      • Foods fried at extremely high temperature. Heat changes the texture, taste, color and even the nutritional properties of the oil. Majority of oil after reaching smoking point lose plenty if nutrients and sometimes become potential form of harmful compound. At temperature close to or beyond 180C or 356F, the molecular structure of fats and oils change and this process is called oxidation.
      • When we eat too much of sugar, calories and refined carbohydrates, we leave mitochondria exhausted. As a result mitochondria produce higher levels of free radicals during the process of burning fuel from food for energy.
      • Exercise is critical to healthy living, but when you exercise too much or too little you end up increasing oxidative stress in your body.
      • Drinking alcohol increases the level of cytokines and inflammatory molecules, leading to oxidative stress.
      • Tobacco contains over 4,000 toxic chemicals. Smoking or chewing tobacco leads to oxidative stress.
      • Exposure to industrial pollution and allergens increases oxidation in your body.
      • Excessive stress leads to production of hormone called cortisol which enhances free radical production.
      • Charbroiled food contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which lead to oxidative stress.
      • When the liver becomes overwhelmed with toxins from food, it becomes inflamed and produces more free radicals.
      • Lack of sleep increases oxidation.


      Important Note: Medical and health related information given in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This article is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.



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