Health and Fitness - Fighting Oxidative Stress
Oxidative Stress - Impact on Health and Aging
Oxidative stress is a "silent condition" which leads to the onset and progression of various diseases. Identifying the presence of oxidative stress and its causes is essential before even think about fighting it.
This evaluation help determine which measures will strengthens the body's defenses and avoiding the damage caused by free radicals.
It is impossible to prevent some associated diseases, early aging and counteract the normal course of chronic diseases (thereby preventing its complications) without studying the oxidative stress levels.
How does oxidative stress occurs?
The oxidizing agents (mostly free radicals) are inevitably produced in our body as they are the result of normal cellular metabolism.
However, this production can be influenced by numerous factors like eating habits, region where you live (pollution, radiation, etc.), as well as the presence of certain diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc.) and lifestyles (smoking, stress, excessive sun exposure, drugs, intensive physical exercise, etc.).
Health implications of oxidative stress
Oxidative stress has no symptoms and do not have a clear cause-effect relationship.
However, high levels of free radicals are easily associated with the onset and progression of cardiovascular diseases, arteriosclerosis, neurological diseases, cancer, diabetes, lung diseases, infertility and even the aging process itself.
High levels of oxidative stress can also lead to the development of inflammatory reactions thereby contributing to the worsening of pre-existing illnesses such as respiratory diseases or other illnesses.
How to assess oxidative stress levels?
The best way to determine oxidative stress and body`s defense levels is undergoing both FORT and FORD tests. This evaluation is performed with a single drop of blood through which you can determine the balance or imbalance of free radicals and the antioxidant defense system of each individual.
This assessment is recommended to athletes who exercise strenuously, women taking contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, chronically ill patients (hypertensives, diabetics, asthmatics, atc.), poly-medicated patients or people who care about health and well-being in general.
The amount of free radicals can be determined by the FORT test (Oxygen Free Radicals Testing). Moreover, by using the FORD test (Oxygen Free Radicals Defence) is possible to measure the antioxidant capacity.
The combination of the two results allows for a more comprehensive and accurate perspective about each organism`s oxidative state.
According to the FORT test the amount of oxidative stress is characteristic for each individual and should not exceed 310 units.
The higher the value the higher the level of oxidative stress.
Antioxidant capacity is also an individual characteristic marked by genetic
factors, lifestyles and the environment.
Knowing oxidative stress values allows us to better adopt healthy lifestyles and preventive measures which will reduce the destructive action of free radicals.
Healthy people who want to minimize the chance of developing some disease and perhaps being able to delay as much as possible the aging process and start to adopt early healthy lifestyles.
You can increase body resilience against oxidative stress by adopting healthy lifestyles, avoid polluted places and excessive exposure to sun, and of course keeping a balanced diet.
It is also advisable to:
- practice a healthy and balanced diet giving preference to fresh fruit and vegetables such as citrus fruit, kiwi, mango, papaya, melon, grapes, tomatoes, carrots and spinaches;
- drink at least 2 liters of water per day, refrain sugar and salt consumption, avoid drinking alcohol;
- replace saturated oils and fats with olive oil or other vegetable oil;
- follow an exercise program tailored for your physical condition and sleep enough hours recommended for each stage of life.
Both results (from FORT and FORD tests) must be construed together and contextualized with the individual's condition by a doctor to determine the best treatment for each case.
Antioxidants may be advised as well as changes in lifestyle and nutrition, cosmetics, etc.
The assessment should be repeated with frequency to monitor the treatment results.
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