Oxidative stress: What is it to do with me?
A whole lot! We all expose our bodies to influences that can cause oxidative stress - this nearly every day, to boot! Do you smoke, exercise frequently, or drink alcohol regularly? Then here is some information about what happens in your body every day.
Our body is composed of approximately 100 trillion cells involved in various metabolic processes. In order to remain healthy, the cells must remain functional and regenerate regularly. Pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, however, often disrupt cell function. In order to prevent pathogens from causing damage, our immune system is always working to disarm these intruders.
So-called free radicals are especially aggressive in these situations. They emerge both during respiration as well as through external influences such as UV light, air pollution, or recreational toxins such as alcohol or nicotine. Their binding partners have been lost (e.g., via oxidation) and they are thus extremely reactive: they aren’t selective in their when search for a new binding partner, but rather simply grab onto the next best option. This creates new free radicals that then seize upon the next ones - the start of a successive chain reaction.
If the body succeeds in producing/emitting radical interceptors proportional to the increase in free radicals, then everything is fine. If it is unable to do so, this will lead to an imbalance - the body enters into oxidative stress mode and falls out of rhythm! Once this happens, normal cellular processes can be severely inhibited, all the way up to a transformation of the genetic information in cell nuclei. This results in an increased risk of chronic degenerative diseases (e.g., diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular disorders).
In order to prevent a worst-case scenario, free radicals can be introduced via food. To this end, the immune minerals zinc and selenium as well as vitamin B2 contribute to protecting cells from oxidative stress.