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This is part 1 of a series of articles we are posting on Oxidative Stress covering assessing oxidative stress, the importance of glutathione, antioxidants inside and out, the antioxidant effects of cholesterol, and more.
Every single one of your 30 trillion cells is exposed to oxidative stress by the minute and they all need help counteracting it.
Oxidative stress occurs when oxidation from free radicals outweighs antioxidant activity in the body, resulting in damage to cells, cell membranes, tissues, and organs. This damage translates into dysregulation of crucial regulatory systems including immune, endocrine, and nervous systems. Over time, oxidative stress can contribute to chronic conditions and disease including:[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi]
External sources of free radicals include pollution, industrial solvents, radiation, heavy metals, medications, cigarette smoke, alcohol, cooking, and toxins.[vii] For example, mercury can contribute to increased intracellular oxidative stress because it displaces selenium in crucial antioxidant enzymes (e.g. glutathione peroxidase).[viii] Internal sources of free radicals include routine metabolic processes, especially the oxygen-dependent conversion of food to energy.
No matter the source, oxidative stress can damage important molecules including lipids, carbohydrates, protein, and DNA and increase risk of dysfunction and disease.
Key points to remember about oxidative stress:[ix]
Image reproduced from the following article: Saha, Subbroto Kumar et al. “Correlation between Oxidative Stress, Nutrition, and Cancer Initiation.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 18,7 1544. 17 Jul. 2017,
So, in closing, be sure not to stress your cells by overeating junk food, exposing them to toxins and pollution, and by having a deficit of antioxidant compounds. Be sure to check out our related posts on assessing oxidative stress, the importance of glutathione, antioxidants inside and out, the antioxidant effects of cholesterol, and more!
Up Next - Oxidative Stress part 2 - Blood Biomarkers
[i] Liguori, Ilaria et al. “Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases.” Clinical interventions in aging vol. 13 757-772. 26 Apr. 2018
[ii] Vasdev, Sudesh et al. “Modulation of oxidative stress-induced changes in hypertension and atherosclerosis by antioxidants.” Experimental and clinical cardiology vol. 11,3 (2006): 206-16.
[iii] Cross, C E et al. “Oxidative stress and abnormal cholesterol metabolism in patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome.” The Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine vol. 115,4 (1990): 396-404.
[iv] Girao, H et al. “Cholesterol may act as an antioxidant in lens membranes.” Current eye research vol. 18,6 (1999): 448-54.
[v] Zhang, Bing, and James L Zehnder. “Oxidative stress and immune thrombocytopenia.” Seminars in hematology vol. 50,3 (2013): e1-4.
[vi] Lee, Sun Min et al. “Urinary Malondialdehyde Is Associated with Visceral Abdominal Obesity in Middle-Aged Men.” Mediators of inflammation vol. 2015 (2015): 524291.
[vii] Liguori, Ilaria et al. “Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases.” Clinical interventions in aging vol. 13 757-772. 26 Apr. 2018
[viii] Spiller, Henry A. “Rethinking mercury: the role of selenium in the pathophysiology of mercury toxicity.” Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.) vol. 56,5 (2018): 313-326.
[ix] Saha, Subbroto Kumar et al. “Correlation between Oxidative Stress, Nutrition, and Cancer Initiation.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 18,7 1544. 17 Jul. 2017 This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ().