Ever heard of 'catchy' words such as free radicals, oxidative stress, antioxidants and inflammation? some may said yes, I bet majority will say 'hardly heard of them'. I'm not suprised because I was like most of you- 2 years back. Being trained in medical field, you might wonder why so.The answer is becoz I was not thought about that in my medical school days! so what can I expect from the laymen?.
My 'new journey' started after I read a book by my idol/guru/mentor ie Dr Ray Strand who wrote an excellent book- "What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You".
Dr Strand in his simple plain English clearly explained what are meant by the words mentioned above, based on his experience in treating chronic diseases in his clinic in South Dakota, US.What I remember most from his book was his statement:
"Over the past 7 years, I have reviewed well over 2,000 medical and scientific studies in regards to nutritional supplements and their affect on your health. These studies appearing in medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, British Lancet, and Annuals of Internal Medicine report that beyond any doubt the "root" cause of well over 70 chronic degenerative diseases is "oxidative stress." These are the "who’s who" of diseases we all fear and want to avoid; diseases like heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s dementia, macular degeneration, lupus, MS, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue"
So dear readers, this might be my most important posting in my blog-understanding what is OXIDATIVE STRESS and how to 'firefight' it for it will become your basic in understanding my discussion of any diseases.
So what," you may be wondering, "is ‘oxidative stress’?"
Within every cell of the body is a furnace called the mitochondria. As oxygen is utilized within the furnace of the cell to create energy and life itself, occasionally a charged oxygen molecule is created, called a "free radical." This free radical has at least one unpaired electron in its outer orbit essentially giving it an electrical charge. If this free radical is not readily neutralized by an antioxidant it can go on to create more volatile free radicals, damage the cell wall, vessel wall, proteins, fats, and even the DNA nucleus of our cells.
free radicals damaging the surrounding structures
Chemically this reaction has been shown to be so volatile that it actually causes bursts of light within our bodies!
Imagine yourself in front of a crackling fireplace and I’ll give you the best illustration I have to explain the process of oxidation. The fire burns safely and beautifully most of the time, but on occasion out pops a hot cinder that lands on your carpet and burns a little hole in it. One cinder by itself doesn’t pose much of a threat; but if this sparking and popping continues month after month, year after year, you will have a pretty "ratty" carpet in front of your fireplace.
The fireplace represents the furnace of the cell (the mitochondria), the cinder is the charged "free radical," and the carpet is your body. Whichever part of your body receives the most free radical damage will be the first to wear out and potentially cause one of these degenerative diseases. If it’s your arteries, you could develop a heart attack or stroke. If it is your brain, you could develop Alzheimer’s dementia or Parkinson’s disease. If it’s your joints, you could develop arthritis.
Living a healthy life becomes a matter of balance. You must have enough antioxidants available to readily neutralize the number of free radicals your body produces. If you don’t, "oxidative stress" will occur. When this oxidative stress is allowed to persist over a prolonged period of time, you will most likely develop a serious chronic degenerative disease
Reference: 'What Your Doctor Doesnt Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You'.Ray D Strand.2003
army medical corps
cont in next posting-antioxidants