Many interesting processes happen in the body. If you take an in-depth look at many of the processes in the body, you would be fascinated as to how everything works. One of the interesting processes that happen in the body is aging. It is one process that no one can escape. At one point in our lives, aging would set in. And the truth is that we have very little control over what happens. Many people claim that aging is a result of different factors. And one of the factors is oxidative stress. That’s why today we’ll be looking at oxidative stress and aging.
As mentioned before, aging is one of the interesting processes in the body. And there are different causes of aging for different people. As you already know one of them is oxidative stress. What are the rest? So some of the other causes of aging are glycation, inflammation, and stress. You must know that for different people, the cause might be different. But the result happens to be quite similar. When it comes to aging, there are so many symptoms that follow aging. Changes would happen in different parts of the body. All in all, your body wouldn’t be what it used to be before. Anyway, that’s not our focus for today. Let’s go to our focus, which is the relationship between oxidative stress and aging.
What is Oxidative Stress?
Oxidative stress is an imbalance in the body. There is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in the body. And this can lead to damage of cells and tissues in the body. It occurs naturally in the body.
So when the body undergoes metabolic processes free radicals are produced. But at the same time, the body produces antioxidants. And the role of these antioxidants is to help neutralize the free radicals that are produced. Normally, the body can maintain a proper balance when it comes to free radicals and antioxidants. But then again, certain factors can cause an imbalance, thus leading to oxidative stress.
These are some of the factors that can cause oxidative stress in the body.
- Environmental factors such as radiation and pollution
- Certain conditions
Also, the immune system of the body can trigger oxidative stress for a short time. This leads to mild inflammation. Once the body can fight against the infection or cause injury repair it ceases. When oxidative stress becomes uncontrolled it leads to certain conditions in the body.
So let’s take a look at the culprits behind oxidative stress. These are free radicals. They are molecules that have unpaired electrons. It could be one or more. Some free radicals are:
- Hydroxyl radical
- Nitric oxide radical
Let’s also take a look at how these free radicals are formed in the body. So there’s a very important organelle in different cells. And that’s the mitochondria. This organelle is responsible for producing energy in the body. And the energy produced is in the form of ATP. It produces energy by combining oxygen with glucose to give ATP together with water and carbon dioxide. It is in this process that free radicals are produced as byproducts.
Other external substances can cause the production of free radicals in the body. Some of these substances are pesticides, cigarette smoke, and ozone.
Let’s also look at antioxidants. These are substances that help out with neutralizing free radicals. And they do this by actually donating an electron. Some of the vitamins are great antioxidants. Also, you can get a good amount of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables.
Oxidative Stress and Aging
When free radicals aren’t neutralized in the body and they begin to have an effect it could lead to aging. That’s because they damage our DNA and also attack our cells. And this is believed to be the reason why it speeds up the aging process in the body.
The sad thing though, is that free radicals can’t be completely avoided. That’s because the air we breathe and the foods we eat contain these free radicals. So what’s the best thing to do to avoid oxidative stress? Find out as we go on.
How to Deal with Oxidative Stress
So these are some of the tips that can help out with dealing with oxidative stress. You can make dietary and lifestyle changes that can help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Some of the tips are:
- Eat a balanced meal, opt for more vegetables and fruits: Studies have found out the brightly colored foods are rich in antioxidants. When the levels of antioxidant increases in the body you can be sure that the level of free radicals would reduce in the body. And with that oxidative stress reduces as well.
- Reduce your consumption of processed foods especially foods that are high in fats and sugars
- Quit smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress
- Reduce exposure to pollutants and chemicals: There are different sources of pollutants and chemicals in our environment. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Pollutants in water
- Chemical products used at home and cosmetic products
- Overuse of antibiotics and medications
- Aerosols used in homes
Well, now you know that oxidative stress causes aging. But there’s more to oxidative stress. There are so many conditions that arise in the body because of oxidative stress. That is why it’s important to watch you’re constantly being exposed to it. Also, make sure that your diet is really good. And there are many foods in your diet that contain antioxidants. With this, you would be able to avoid oxidative stress in your body. We hope by now you now fully understand the relationship between oxidative stress and aging.