WHAT IS OXIDATIVE STRESS?
Oxidative stress! Free Radicals! Antioxidants!………These are words that we increasingly hear or read, but what do they mean??? What do they have to do with our health as we age? I know that Oxidative Stress in NOT good, Free Radicals are NOT hippies, and Antioxidants prevent diseases! After that, it gets a bit confusing, so here is the simple version for you!
Let’s start off with a basic understanding of what Oxygen does in our body first. We need Oxygen to live! After we breathe it into our lungs, it travels through our bloodstream to every cell in our body. Inside our cells, it fuels something called the Mitochondria, also known as the powerhouse of the cell. Simply put, the Mitochondria is like an engine, and Oxygen the fuel. We need to give the Mitochondria enough fuel or Oxygen to make energy for our cells to work properly. Simple enough?
You’re doing great, let’s keep going! There is a byproduct of this Oxygen-to- energy process that is similar to a car engine creating exhaust. In our body’s cells the ”exhaust” that is produced, when oxygen is converted to energy, is called ”Free Radicals”. The colorful fruits and vegetables we eat, and yummy dark chocolate we have for dessert, contain Antioxidants, substances that hunt for Free Radicals to scavenge or “eat for dinner”!
As we age, our bodies produce more and more Free Radicals, while our intake of Antioxidants can’t keep up with them. It’s like going to a smorgasborg after we have had an open buffet! When our cells have more Free Radicals, or “exhaust”, than Antioxidants, this is known as Oxidative Stress. We can understand it best as “exhaust overload”!
These Free Radicals are highly charged Oxygen molecules that cause damage to our cell’s DNA/genes, proteins, and fats. If we experience Oxidative Stress for a long time, our genes in our cells change, or mutate, sending a different message along to the new cells that are formed. These mutations create the signs of aging we experience on our skin, the stiffness we feel in our bodies, and are also the cause of many degenerative diseases.
Let’s take a moment to go over what we have learned! Oxygen is changed to energy in our cells’ Mitochondria. Some Oxygen is left over as Free Radicals. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals. As we age, we create more Free Radicals and don’t have enough Antioxidants to control them, causing Oxidative Stress and diseases. We’ve got it!
I’m already seeing the effects of Oxidative Stress in my skin, and feeling it in my body, and BOY I DO NOT LIKE IT ONE BIT!!! Wrinkles…age spots…. my face was drooping like a wrinkled, old dog!!! We know what happens to an apple when it is cut it open and left to sit for a while, right? It turns brown and gets all wrinkly! What we see are the effects of Oxygen on the apple. That’s what Oxidative Stress is doing to us. Our hormone levels are decreasing, thus slowing down collagen and elastin production, and we get hot flashes. Our skin becomes thinner and drier, losing its vibrant glow. Our Mitochondria don’t work as efficiently, and energy production decreases, making us feel sluggish. Our genes become damaged over time, shortening our cells’ life and encouraging disease formation.
So what do can we do to slow down this process??? Eating rainbow colored fruits and vegetables and that “wonder food”, dark chocolate, is a very good start! It will take a LOT of them to keep up with all the Free Radicals our bodies make. But this is only one part of a proactive approach to targeting the causes and symptoms of aging. Addressing all four core influences of aging, starting with Antioxidants, is essential!!
We also need to include Mitochondrial Energy Activators (to keep the amount of free radicals in check), Endocrine System Modulators (remember those sluggish hormones?), and Longevity Gene Modifiers (helping our healthy cells live longer)!
It is important to have these nutrients applied directly through our skin care systems, and consumed in a dietary supplement mixture of a variety of Antioxidants and Phytonutrients. Something NEW that I have found and LOVE is Apriori Beauty’s Celloxylin Skin Care with a Nutrient Reservoir in each of the five steps, and Lifeloxylin Elixir, containing a bountiful blend of ingredients that nourish, protect and prolong the life of our cells and defies aging!! Since I started using this internal/external system in June, my wrinkles are better, my visiual clarity has improved, my age spots are disappearing…and I’m looking softer, more like a cute little Beagle pup! When we add to this performance ingredients that help reduce the visible signs of aging, you’ve got a systemic, “whole body” approach to anti-aging and the Cellular Age Advantage!
Harvard Medical School (2006, June 2). Free Radical Cell Death Switch Identified: Molecular Pathway May Contribute To Age Related Diseases. “Science Daily”. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060601220956.htm
Oregon State University (2009, September 7). Oxidative Stress Is Underlying Cause Of Huge Numbers of Genetic Mutations, Study Finds. “Science Daily”. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907162318.htm