Oxidative Stress

  Oxidative Stress


When you bite into an apple and then you let it sit, what happens to it? It starts to turn brown. It's tissues are breaking down by combining with oxygen in the air, and free radicals in the rot are increasing the degenerative process.

Free radicals are scavengers that are looking for a partner, specifically looking for a partner that is an electron. They damage tissues by taking electrons away. Thus free radicals cause lots of tissue damage.


In the human body, oxidation is a normal process and necessary for certain functions. But high amounts of free radical production accelerate cellular aging and degeneration, and thus make the body more susceptible to illness. For example, cigarette smoke contains a lot of free radicals, and a smoker may look older than their actual age.

The body counters oxidation by producing antioxidants, molecules that act as free radical scavengers. Antioxidants also come from the diet. Some foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables are higher in antioxidants.

Antioxidants protect every cell of the body against damage caused by free radicals, and a lack of antioxidant reserves and/or an over-abundance of free radicals can lead to many types of dysfunction, including (but not limited to) fatigue, weakness, headaches, compromised lymphatic function, cognitive impairment, inflammatory conditions, accelerated aging, infections, respiratory disorders, arthritis and other auto immune diseases, and increased risk of cancer. In particular mitochondria DNA are very susceptible to oxidative damage, resulting in decreased vitality. 

Some people need to take additional antioxidants to regain metabolic balance, although taking high amounts of some antioxidants may be contraindicated. The Wellness Biomarkers Assessment measures is an indirect method of assessing the free radicals in the body and evaluating the level of oxidative stress.


Key Causes of Oxidation


* adrenaline shifts

* radiation stress

* insulin shifts

* viruses/yeasts/bacteria

* petrochemicals

* low anti-oxidant diet

* heavy metals

* mental-emotional stress

* drugs of all kinds

* poor food-combining

* AGE's (advanced glycation end products)

* inflammation

* Ischemia, restriction of blood supply (pH)



Adapted from Dr. Ryan Bentley, The Wellness Prescription