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Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Molecules generally have paired electrons, and when any molecule loses one of its electrons, it becomes a free radical with an unpaired electron in its outer orbital. These free radicals with an unpaired electron are highly reactive. Free radicals attack other molecules such as proteins and lipids making them unstable and creating secondary free radicals. Free radicals are harmful to cells as they damage the cells by oxidising proteins, lipids, and DNA.
Free radicals are neutralised by antioxidants that lend an electron to free radicals to stabilise them. Antioxidants prevent oxidative damage to various cells and tissues. Antioxidants can be found in foods rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Our body synthesises antioxidant enzymes such as catalase and oxidase to keep the number of free radicals in check.
Our body produces free radicals during normal metabolic processes, and it can stabilise these free radicals naturally by producing antioxidants. Cells protect themselves from damage induced by free radicals with the help of enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.
An imbalance occurs when huge amounts of free radicals and not enough antioxidants stabilise them. This imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants leads to oxidative stress. Lifestyle choices such as overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can also increase oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can give rise to several chronic metabolic conditions.
Many factors contribute to free radical production resulting in oxidative stress:
Metabolic health means having optimum blood sugar levels, HDL (High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, and waist circumference without the help of medications. Oxidative stress affects the body’s natural defence mechanism, causes cell damage, and affects your metabolic health. It modifies proteins, affects enzymes, breaks DNA strands, and causes mutations in DNA strands that can increase cancer risk. Oxidative stress also affects the functioning of the nervous system resulting in neurological disorders.
Oxidative stress leads to many chronic metabolic conditions such as:
It would be impossible to eliminate oxidative stress. However, you can reduce the effects of oxidative stress. An increase in antioxidant levels can help to reduce the formation of free radicals in the body. Due to a shortage of antioxidants, free radicals accumulate and cause cellular and tissue damage. Cells can protect themselves by deploying a defence mechanism with enzymes such as catalase and oxidase. You can reduce the accumulation of free radicals in the body by practising the following simple tips to promote your metabolic health:
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Free radicals are produced during regular metabolic processes in the body. These free radicals are highly reactive. This reactive nature of free radicals can lead to cellular and tissue damage that cause various metabolic conditions. Many factors such as overeating, inflammation, smoking, exposure to UV rays, and pollution increase the production of free radicals in the body. Antioxidants help in stabilising free radicals. When there is a shortage of antioxidants in the body, free radicals accumulate and cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can give rise to various metabolic disorders, including diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular issues.
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