The subject of oxidative stress is complex.
We know that when iron oxidizes it turns to rust. It is noted in studies that oxidative stress has similiar effects to ionizing radiation. In simple terms it is described as an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants. To understand free radicals we must take a look at how they are formed in the human body.
- The human body is composed of cells.
- Cells are composed of molecules.
- Molecules consist of one or more atoms of one or more elements joined by chemical bonds.
- Atoms consist of a nucleus, neutrons, protons and electrons.
- The atom’s nucleus contains positively charged particles called protons.
- Surrounding the atom are negatively charged particles called electrons.
- Shells contain electrons that orbit atoms.
- The chemical behavior of an atom is determined by the number of electrons in its outer shell.
- The stability of a molecule is satisfied by the bonding together of atoms, which is accomplished through the sharing of electrons to fill the outer shell.
- If a weak bond splits leaving a molecule with an unpaired electron, free radicals are formed.
- The unstable free radical will attack a molecule in order to steal an electron, turning the molecule into a free radical itself. The process continues and eventually disrupts the cell.
Though the immune systems cells will sometimes create free radicals to neutralize viruses and bacteria, they can also be created through contact with pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke, herbicides, pesticides, etc. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, to stop the stealing of electrons. The most abundant antioxidants in the body are vitamin E which is fat-soluble, and vitamin C which is water-soluble. The best food sources for antioxidants are fruits and vegetables such as purple, red, and blue grapes, blueberries, red berries, nuts, sweet potatoes, orange vegetables. The role nutrition plays in our health is grossly understated in the medical industry today. It is crucial if we want to get healthy and stay healthy we stop starving our bodies with junk imitation foods and give the body what it is desperately screaming for. Our bodies are at “Dis-Ease” and therefore are “Diseased.”