Oxidative Stress And Free Radicals

Oxidative stress has been identified and proven to be the root cause of more than 70 chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration and other serious ailments, according to Dr Ray D. Strand, an expert on nutritional medicine.

Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals, which are not neutralized by antioxidants, go on to create more volatile free radicals and damage cell walls, vessel walls, proteins, fats and even the DNA nucleus of our cells.

The part of the body which receives the most free radical damage will be the first to wear out and potentially cause a degenerative disease. The type of disease will depend on which part of the body is affected.

“Imagine yourself in front a crackling fireplace. The fire burns safely and beautifully most of the time, but on occasion, out pops a hot cinder that lands on your carpet and burns a little hole in it. One cinder by itself doesn’t pose much of a threat, but if this sparking and popping continues month after month, year after year, you will have a pretty ‘ratty’ carpet in front of your fireplace,” Dr Strand explains.

Refering to his analogy, Strand says that the fireplace represents the furnace of the cell (mitochondria), the cinder is the charged ‘free radical’ and the carpet is one’s body.

The part of the body which receives the most free radical damage will be the first to wear out and potentially cause one of these degenerative diseases. If it is our arteries, one could develop a heart attack or stroke. If it is our brain, one could develop Alzheimer’s dementia or Parkinson’s disease. If it is our joints, one could develop arthritis.

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Factors that can increase the number of free radicals produced in the body include excessive intake of medications, sunlight, cigarette smoke, radiation, enormous stress, pesticides in food and air pollutants.

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress and its effects.
Oxidants contained within cigarette smoke irritate epithelial cells (1), releasing activating cytokines that prompt the recruitment of neutrophils and the release of cell derived oxidants (2) and proteases (3). Antioxidants inhibit oxidant mediated damage to the lung (4), but when an imbalance arises (perhaps because of gene polymorphisms) oxidative stress results (5). The consequences of oxidative stress include activation of macrophages (6), leading to the production of more proteases, mucus hypersecretion, epithelial cell apoptosis, inflammation and inhibition of the action of antiproteases.

Strand believes that in preventing oxidative stress, balance is the key. One must have enough antioxidants available to readily neutralize the number of free radicals our bodies produce.

The number of free radicals we produce everyday is never the same. All the pollutants in our air, food and water dramatically increase that number.

“All of us simply want to live until we die. That is why I recommend preventative rather that post-problem medicine – empowering people to avoid getting major diseases in the first place”, Strand adds.

Essentially, there are three-fold approaches to health:

  • eating well
  • practicing a consistent exercise regime
  • daily consumption of high quality nutritional supplements

Antioxidants derived from fruits and vegetables today are just not enough for our body to win the war within from the many pollutants we have in our environment. The best defense system is our own body. And the answer to having the best defense system is nutritional food.

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In order to choose to choose nutritional supplements of high quality, his advice is to check out the products’ pharmaceutical grade manufacturing, ensure they are complete, convenient and balanced.

The goal is to prevent oxidative stress or bring it back under control.

Strand recommend his patients on cellular nutrition which comprises antioxidant tablet, mineral tablet, essential fats, additional calcium or magnesium or vitamin D. To ensure there is balance, add additional potent antioxidants and other natural nutrients such as grape seed extract, saw palmetto, glucosamine sulfate and vitamin E or vitamin C.

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