What is oxidative stress?
A reaction called oxidation happens continuously in our body and is the basis of our survival. Everyday oxidation generates, in our cells, free radicals of short life duration. These radicals get fixed on the oxygen we breathe to form oxygenated derivatives or reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are toxic for our organism. They destroy its lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, cells walls and even DNA.
In the normal case, or for a healthy organism, cells own the necessary armament, such as enzymes, to detoxify these species. However, like any other system, things may turn wrong making our antioxidant defense inefficient.
Here are small examples of how our antioxidant defense fails.
In case of infections, macrophages kill the stranger organisms by causing them an oxidative stress generating ROS. When the infections are repeated, the quantity of ROS surpasses our detoxification capacity.
Another case is a genetic defect leading to the absence or the deficiency of one of the detoxifying enzymes.
Oxidative stress and diseases
The oxidative stress is suspected in a large range of diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson, Alzheimer ...), cancer, cardiovascular diseases, pathologies caused by diabetes, aging process...
Whatever is its origin, there is not a definitive treatment against oxidative stress. However, it was proved that providing organism with antioxidants may be of a great help.
Fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants
Here are some examples of fruits and vegetables containing antioxydants:
A diet rich with antioxidants, and a life free of smoking, pollution and stress ensure a better future for everyone.