Oxidative Stress: What Is It And What Does It Do?

When the mitochondria in our cells produce energy, they produce waste products called free radicals. It’s kind of like the exhaust produced by an engine. These free radicals are usually highly reactive oxygen compounds, and they can cause a lot of damage to our cells if they are not neutralized by special molecules called “antioxidants”. When the levels of antioxidants in our body are not high enough to counteract the damaging effect of free radicals, this is known as “Oxidative Stress”.

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress has been identified to have a link to almost every known health condition! Oxidative stress is also thought to be a major contributor to the aging process itself, including reduced energy levels, wrinkled skin, brittle bones and loss of fertility. Many, but not all, of the more serious health conditions linked to oxidative stress are most often seen in older people.

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Free Radicals

Free radicals are a by-product of food and oxygen being converted into energy our cells can use. They are extremely reactive molecules which “oxidise” almost any other molecule they meet. Normally, our body keeps the level of free radicals under control with natural antioxidants such as glutathione and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

As we age however, the gradual damage that does occur, and our exposure to environmental toxins, all contribute to reduce our natural supply of antioxidants. This allows further free radical damage creating a vicious cycle. If free radicals are not neutralized they can begin to inflict damage on whatever cellular component they encounter. This can include the mitochondria themselves, proteins, cell membranes and even DNA.

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Lipids (fats) are particularly susceptible to attack from free radicals. As well as being a major source of energy storage, lipids are also crucial in the production of hormones and vitamins and make up the outer membranes of mitochondria and cells. When free radicals attack the lipid molecules in membranes, it makes it much easier for foreign substances to enter and for more free radicals to leak out. This disrupts many vital biochemical processes within the cell and can eventually lead to cell death.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Free radicals can break the vital bonds that hold these amino acids together which can change the structure and function of the proteins. Free radicals can even attack the enzymes which are responsible for building proteins. This affects proteins in the skin (such as collagen and elastin), muscle, blood and all other vital organs. When free radicals attack DNA, they make small changes to its structure. When our cells divide to form new cells, copies of this damaged DNA are made. Over many generations of cells, this cycle repeats and the DNA can eventually become full of “errors”. This can lead to health issues or can cause the cells to die off.

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We can limit the amount of oxidative stress placed on our body by eating a healthy balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise and avoiding toxins such as smoking and pollution where possible. We can also take antioxidants to supplement our diminishing natural reserves. MitoQ is a true breakthrough in antioxidant technology, as it is taken up directly into the mitochondria of the cell where over 90% of free radicals are formed.

Until now, no other antioxidant supplement has been able to effectively penetrate the mitochondrial membrane and stop free radicals from getting out. MitoQ helps neutralize free radicals and helps to prevent them from leaking out in to the cell where they can wreak havoc on our health. Your body has trillions of cells, and that’s trillions of reasons to complement a healthy, balanced lifestyle with MitoQ.

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Topics: All Blog Articles, Mitochondrial Health

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