The silent damage from oxidative stress is an unseen, yet pervasive health menace that subtly chips away at our wellbeing. Often overlooked, this biochemical imbalance can lead to debilitating diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
But here’s the good news: We are not powerless and can stop and even reserve oxidative stress.
A mix of novel therapies, many of which have been used in Asia for decades, offer a solution to oxidative stress. For example, molecular hydrogen inhalation therapy delivers a boost of hydrogen – the most powerful antioxidant in the world – to the body, which removes free radicals at the cellular level.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember: That oxidative stress is not permanent. Taking steps to reverse its harmful effects now is an important first step in protecting your health and enhancing your longevity.
Oxidative Stress: What Causes It?
An imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body causes oxidative stress, which, when left unchecked, damages cells and tissues.
During normal metabolic processes and exercise, the body’s cells produce free radicals. Antioxidants, which neutralize these free radicals are also produced. Generally, the body maintains a healthy balance between antioxidants to free radicals. However, when antioxidant defenses are low, or free radical production becomes excessively high, oxidative stress occurs.
Oxidative Stress Risk Factors
What causes this imbalance? There are many factors that can lead to a proliferation of free radicals and, subsequently, oxidative stress. They include:
- Environmental Factors: Exposure to environmental pollutants, tobacco smoke, radiation, and certain pesticides and industrial chemicals can stimulate the excessive production of free radicals.
- Diet: Consuming processed, fried, and sugary foods that are high in “bad” fats and sugar can increase oxidative stress. Overconsumption of alcohol and caffeine can also lead to higher levels of free radicals.
- Physical Activity: While moderate exercise is beneficial for overall health, intense and prolonged physical activity can cause an increase in oxidative stress as it increases oxygen consumption, leading to the overproduction of free radicals.
- Chronic Stress and Sleep Deprivation: Both can alter the body’s normal functioning and cause an overproduction of free radicals.
- Aging: As we age, our body’s ability to produce antioxidants and repair oxidative damage decreases, which can lead to an increase in free radicals.
- Certain Medications and Treatments: Some drugs can cause the production of free radicals. For example, radiation and chemotherapy, while effective against cancer, can lead to oxidative stress.
- Inflammation: Chronic inflammation, often a symptom of an underlying health issue, can lead to excessive production of free radicals.
- Infections: Viral and bacterial infections can cause the body to produce more free radicals as it fights off the invaders.
Oxidative stress can be temporary, e.g. while fight an infection. Or it can be uncontrolled, if a variety of lifestyle factors increase our exposure. Uncontrolled oxidative stress has been linked to a range of conditions, including disease and male infertility, as well as the acceleration of aging.
Signs of Oxidative Stress
The following are some possible indications of oxidative stress:
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue
- Memory loss
- Signs of aging like gray hair and winkles
- Skin damage that was influenced by sun exposure and smoking
What Are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with unpaired electrons. These molecules are produced during normal bodily functions such as digestion and respiration, and they also form in response to environmental factors like tobacco smoke, radiation, and pollutants.
Free radicals are essential for certain bodily functions.
For example, when we consume food, our body’s cells break down the nutrients within food through a process known as oxidation. In this process, oxygen is used to break down substances, creating free radical by-products. Similarly, the immune system creates free radicals to neutralize viruses and bacteria, and studies suggest that free radicals may help with wound healing.
Ultimately, preventing or reversing oxidative stress requires managing the balance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body.
Healthy lifestyle choices, for example, can help to limit exposure or build-up. However, if antioxidant defenses are low, substances like molecular hydrogen can provide the boost that studies have shown reduce oxidative stress.
Do Antioxidants Help Reduce Oxidative Stress?
Studies suggest antioxidants give free radicals an electron. By donating an electron, antioxidants effectively neutralize the free radical and prevent it from seeking out another electron to stabilize itself. This process therefore thwarts potential damage to cells, proteins, and DNA.
This is why it’s believed that increasing the body’s antioxidant defenses has been shown to slow oxidative stress.
Once a free radical is neutralized by an antioxidant, it becomes a non-reactive compound and is eventually removed from the body. This neutralization process helps to maintain the body’s balance between free radicals and antioxidants, which is vital for health.
There are many different types of antioxidants, including:
- Vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin E
- Enzymes like superoxide dismutase and catalase
- Other substances like glutathione and coenzyme Q10
Each of these has unique properties and works in different parts of the body. Some antioxidants are produced by the body, while others are obtained through diet, particularly from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some types of meat and fish.
Molecular Hydrogen Therapy also has antioxidation properties, and research has shown that it can neutralize free radicals.
While antioxidants can help prevent damage from free radicals, they do not completely eliminate the risk. An overproduction of free radicals, or insufficient antioxidant defenses due to poor diet or other factors, can still lead to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can have a devastating impact on our bodies, leading to serious and life-threatening diseases, including:
- Cancer: Smoking-related oxidative stress has been connected to tissue damage that could result in cancer
- Cardiovascular Conditions: Research suggests that oxidative stress plays a role in atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
- Kidney Diseases: Kidney failure may result from oxidative stress’s impairment of kidney function
- Inflammatory Diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that damages and hurts joints. Free radicals may contribute to the development of this disorder
- Liver Disease: Research suggests that oxidative stress plays a role in alcohol-induced liver injury
- Neurodegenerative Diseases: Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease are two neurological diseases to which oxidative stress has been linked
- Respiratory Diseases: Oxidative stress has been linked to lung conditions, including asthma
Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers of this issue and consider making lifestyle changes to reduce our susceptibility. Eating an antioxidant-rich diet, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and managing stress appropriately all contribute toward preventing oxidative damage in the body.
Ready to begin your health journey with Hue Light USA? Get in touch with us today to learn more about our array of devices that can be with you every step of the way, including our photobiomodulation bed, nanobubble hydrogen generator, and molecular hydrogen inhalation device.