Your cells help your entire body function – so if they’re not running optimally, neither are you. One of the most common causes of cellular stress is oxidative stress, a process that occurs when there’s an imbalance between the levels of antioxidants and free radicals in your body. When this happens, you might experience cellular stress symptoms such as a dip in energy, brain fog or an array of other signals that your cells just aren’t functioning at their best. The good news is, there are so many things you can do to help protect your cells from stress – helping your mind and body to function optimally.
What helps to protect the cell from stress?
Antioxidants help protect your cells from stress – especially antioxidants that reside within your mitochondria. Your mitochondria are the power packs that live within your cells, providing them with all the energy they need to power... well, you! Your mitochondria are also where the vast majority of your body’s free radicals are produced, which is why it pays to have antioxidants nearby – so they can quickly neutralize those pesky free radicals before they can do too much damage.
While life is all well and good when you have optimal antioxidant levels within your mitochondria, cells stress occurs when these natural antioxidant levels decline. This can happen as a result of aging, lifestyle factors or environmental pollutants.
The good news is that, as science advances, so too does our understanding of cell stress. Below are five things that you can start doing today to protect your cells from stress.
Support your cells as they age
An unfortunate truth is that, regardless of how much you try to control external causes of cell stress, your body will experience more of it as you age. This is where MitoQ can be hugely beneficial. Our advanced cellular health technology can dive deep into your cells and help to restore the balance between your body’s antioxidants and free radicals.
“As your cells age, levels of endogenous antioxidants that protect them also decrease as well”, explains Kai Man Yuen, MitoQ’s Research & Development Project Manager. “Without these antioxidants, free radicals produced within the mitochondria can cause havoc which can lead to cell stress. This is where MitoQ can come in and help support them. MitoQ is able to get into your mitochondria and help neutralize the free radicals at the source.”
By combating cell stress, MitoQ helps you to function at your best again. Several MitoQ clinical trials support this - so far, researchers have found that:
- MitoQ fights oxidative stress
- MitoQ improves vascular function in healthy older adults
- MitoQ improves time trial performance in middle-aged, trained cyclists
- MitoQ attenuates exercise-induced mitochondrial DNA damage
- MitoQ improves leg extension power in healthy older adults
While a little bit of sunlight is good for you, too much sun exposure can cause cell stress – so it’s important to wear sunscreen. Researchers believe ultraviolet radiation is a major cause of stem cell DNA damage and, consequently, skin aging.
“Free radicals can come from the internal environment (produced inside mitochondria when ATP is produced) or external”, explains Kai Man. “The UV rays from the sun can cause free radicals in your skin. This is why it is so important to wear sunscreen when you’re out in the sun – or to not have too much sun.”
Your skin is your largest organ – so protecting it from free radical damage should be a priority. Particularly during the summer months, take these steps to protect your skin cells from stress:
- Wear sunscreen
- Try to avoid taking in too much sun during the hottest parts of the day
- Make sure you’ve got access to shade when you’re out and about
- Keep a sun hat with you
- Have clothing layers on hand that can protect your skin from UV rays
We all know smoking cigarettes is bad for us – particularly for our lungs – but what many people might not realize is that the health effects of smoking extends to our cells. Multiple studies have concluded that smoking is closely associated with oxidative stress, among a wide range of related health concerns.
“Chemicals in tobacco smoke can cause inflammation and cell damage”, tells Kai Man. “Research has shown that white blood cell counts in smokers are high, as the body is constantly fighting off the damage caused by smoking.”
Experts will tell you that one of the single best things you can do for your health is to quit smoking. If you’re yet to pick up your first cigarette – endeavor to keep it that way. But if you’re having trouble giving it up, the CDC website has multiple resources available to support you.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
The World Health Organizations' guidelines surrounding alcohol consumption can be simply put as: less is better, and not drinking at all is ideal. Alcohol consumption is related to approximately 60 different health issues, and the health risks surrounding alcohol consumption are greater for women than men. While there’s a popular belief that red wine is good for you, the WHO encourages a healthy lifestyle over sipping on Pinot Noir.
In terms of alcohol consumption and cellular health, Kai Man says “Chronic alcohol intake reduces mitochondrial glutathione, which makes them more susceptible to oxidative damage. This could lead to the development of mitochondrial dysfunction.”
The main takeaway? When it comes to drinking alcohol, less is best. And if you can go without – your health and cells will thank you for it.
Take a look at your diet
The food you eat and your caloric intake are directly linked to the health of your cells. Your diet fuels the energy produced by your mitochondria: so, if your diet is healthy, your cells will have more energy to run on. Likewise, if your diet isn’t so great, it will be more difficult for your cells to keep your mind and body powered to their full potential. When managed properly, fasting can also be used as an approach to support mitochondrial health and can help to clear out non-functioning cells. So, if you’re looking to keep your cells healthy, fasting and healthy eating should be high on your list of priorities.
“Healthy eating is good for cells because it can provide nutrients for your mitochondria to create energy - but there are other added benefits as well”, shares Kai Man. “Certain foods contain antioxidants or other nutrients that your body just does not make, so eating a variety of healthy foods - and not junk - can be very beneficial. Fasting can also be beneficial because it can improve overall health, especially for the mitochondria.”
If you often find yourself getting lost in the overwhelming amount of diet information available to you, we don’t blame you - there’s a lot of contradictory advice out there. If you have specific dietary needs, a qualified dietitian will be able to provide you with personalized advice. Otherwise, the WHO’s healthy diet guidelines are a great place to start:
- Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- Include legumes, such as lentils and beans, in your meals
- Opt for wholegrains (e.g. oats, wheat and brown rice)
- Lean toward unsaturated fats e.g. avocados, nuts, olive oil
- Limit your intake of salt and added sugars
The main takeaway: focus on living a healthy lifestyle
For the most part, taking care of your cellular health is a no-brainer. If you stick to healthy environments and put healthy foods in your body, your cells are more likely to thrive. But for anyone wanting to protect their cells from unavoidable stress – like UV exposure, aging and environmental pollutants – MitoQ provides a simple way to support them on an ongoing basis, regardless of what life throws your way.
How to support damaged cells naturally
Nov 19, 2023|