What Is Oxidative Stress?
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development and progression of numerous diseases, even psoriasis. Below figure illustrates the importance of oxidative stress that can affect all organs in our body and contribute to multiple health problems.
Your body constantly reacts with oxygen as you breathe and your cells produce energy. As a consequence of this activity, highly reactive molecules are produced known as free radicals. Free radicals interact with other molecules within cells. This can cause oxidative damage to proteins, membranes and genes. You have probably seen some rusty metal for example, like a tin can. I remember well when I used to spray paint cars for a living many years ago, how easily a steel car door panel would develop a fine film of rust even within hours. This is called “oxidation”, or the process of oxygen reacting with the bare metal. Oxidative stress is similar, the meal you had just a few hours ago is probably oxidizing in your digestive system and cells right now. Wouldn’t it be great if we could slow this “rusting” down inside our bodies? Well we can – with antioxidants. Thank goodness we get plenty of antioxidants from a healthy diet like The Psoriasis Diet, if we didn’t, we would literally “rust to death” in next to no time. In your body, the antioxidant process is similar to stopping an apple from browning. Once you cut an apple, it begins to brown, but if you dip it in orange juice, which contains vitamin C, it stays white. And some people actually do this, by eating junk and crappy diets until they literally develop accelerated aging, and ultimately death. An eating plan containing plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts can supply all the antioxidants your body needs, or does it? Are you getting enough in your diet?
Oxidative Damage Causes Disease
Oxidative damage has been implicated in the cause of many diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s and has an impact on the body’s aging process. External factors such as pollution, sunlight and smoking also trigger the production of free radicals. The presence of too many ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) otherwise known as “free radicals”, leads to oxidative damage to the molecules in our cells including lipids, proteins and DNA, and this in turn can destroy cell function. In this situation our body is under oxidative stress. Oxidative stress leads to loss in cell function and eventually to cell death, and contributes to loss in organ function. This process leads to the development of most chronic diseases and exacerbates existing chronic conditions like psoriasis.A free radical begins to search out other free radicals and then starts a chain reaction that occurs at a frightening speed. In a recent publication by Caroline Bay who worked for the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science of the Royal Society in the UK, the author states that some free radicals react at a rate of more than 6 x 1021 billion molecules per second. Our bodies can, therefore, be exposed to billions and billions of damaging free radicals on a daily basis. No wonder that people who live for many decades start to develop degenerative diseases and other negative effects of aging.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
OK, so here comes some technical information you may find interesting. Some people who read this will probably “switch off”, and click to another page, whereas others will find the information most useful.
- Damage of DNA.
- Oxidations of polydesaturated fatty acids in lipids (lipid peroxidation).
- Oxidations of amino acids in proteins.
- Oxidatively inactivate specific enzymes by oxidation of co-factors.