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This Is How Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Lead to Neurodegeneration

By Adam Trainor February 14, 2020

You can ask anyone and they’ll tell you that oxidative stress is never good. The word stress in its name should be a dead giveaway.

Its association with inflammation is well-documented, and it could quite possibly lead to several types of cancer, including but not limited to cancer in the breasts, lungs, and colon.

Oxidative stress isn’t one of those health concerns that will go away by itself. Without proper management, the very organ that actively made the decision to ignore the condition could very well suffer from it.

That’s right, folks. I’m talking about the brain.

 

via GIPHY

 

First Things First: What Exactly Is Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative stress (OS) occurs as a result of an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants where the former outnumbers the latter.

During normal, healthy metabolic processes, our body’s cells naturally produce free radicals– chemically reactive molecules with one or several unpaired electrons–that travel through the body in hopes of finding other atoms to bond to. This, in turn, leads to uncontrolled havoc on cells, DNA, and proteins.

But our bodies also produce antioxidants to keep free radicals in check by lending them a spare electron without destabilizing themselves.

The result?

Suppressed reactivity that turns the free radicals into alcohol (you don’t get drunk) or water.

Of course, this is assuming that your body produces and obtains enough antioxidants from food and/or supplements to latch onto every free radical in your systems.

If an unhealthy balance between free radicals and antioxidants is left untreated by maintaining an unhealthy diet, an unhealthy lifestyle, and/or living in heavily polluted or irradiated areas while actively not seeking help, then you’re only putting yourself at high risk of chronic inflammation.

 

via GIPHY

 

OS-Induced Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is an immune response to dealing with injury, infection, or an immune disorder.

When you’re cut or if you’ve “successfully” popped a zit, the red, hot feeling you get on the affected area becomes inflamed. That’s nature for ya.

But if we leave nature to her own devices, things can quickly go wrong.

Free radicals are both a cause and a result of inflammation. If you were at risk of OS beforehand (remember: bad lifestyle habits), then your overall health may begin to spiral out of control.

OS-induced inflammation can become chronic which triggers overly active immune responses that potentially cause white blood cells to attack healthy tissue

Over time, chronic inflammation becomes a good host and graciously opens the door for a  wide variety of severe health problems to come in, including neurodegenerative disorders.

Inflammation-Induced Neurodegenerative Disorders

Neurodegenerative disorder is a blanket term used to describe a multitude of conditions that affect the neurons–the building blocks that make the nervous system, including the spinal cord and brain.

 

via GIPHY

 

Neurons don’t reproduce after we’ve hit the ripe old age of 18 months. As a toddler, whatever neurons you have at that point, that’s what you have to live with for the rest of your life.

The most commonly known neurodegenerative diseases are Parkinson’s disease and types of dementia including Alzheimer’s. And as we already know, there is no cure for either one. As soon as a person begins showing signs of these neurodegenerative diseases, there’s little anyone can do to reverse or stop the effects.

Even though aging is the number one risk factor for certain neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation could be a precursor for deficits in cognitive and motor skills during later stages in life. Several studies have shown that a frightening link between the two conditions exists and living in an OS state induces inflammation in the nervous system.

So now we know that OS can trigger inflammation that possibly leads you down the path to short-term memory loss, increased confusion, apathy, and the inability to perform simple everyday tasks.

Also, for now, there is no cure.

What can we do about it?

Are we destined to accept fate or can a preemptive strike against harmful free radicals keep our neurons intact for longer?

Molecular Hydrogen: A Powerful Antioxidant Supplement

Whatever we can do to combat inflammation, aging, and neurodegenerative diseases can have long-lasting beneficial effects. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.

For instance, living a physically active life has the potential to fight against negative changes in the brain associated with dementia. Watching your diet could help keep inflammatory processes at bay. And if you’re a smoker or heavy drinker, you should think about ditching your bad habits for good (pun intended!)

If not for your lungs and liver then for your brain!

But if you’re looking for an extra boost... Molecular Hydrogen supplementation could be worth considering!

Molecular Hydrogen is a relatively “new” type of antioxidant that has the therapeutic potential to deal with inflammation and aging at their roots (OS). And if the science is correct, then Molecular Hydrogen may also hold the answer to preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

The greatest thing about Molecular Hydrogen is that it is a selective antioxidant. Unlike certain other types of antioxidants like Vitamin C (which can also help in the fight against dementia), it doesn’t do a clean sweep of all free radicals (good along with the bad), but instead, it targets only the harmful reactive oxygen species that interfere with normal cellular functions.

Molecular Hydrogen is considered a safe way of  potentially supporting numerous health problems (male infertility, effects of aging), and even boosting athletic performance, but if you're concerned, you should ask your doctor for his or her opinion on whether taking these supplements is the right course of action for your unique situation.

OS-Inflammation-Neurodegenerative Diseases: The Bottom Line

The effects of the effects of OS are just plain awful.

Today, we’ve learned that OS-induced inflammation can lead to inflammation-induced neurodegeneration which can be awful to live with.

But hope isn’t lost yet.

Making the right corrective lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent heartbreaking mind-impairing diseases. Your older self will thank your present self for making the right decisions sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, antioxidant supplements like Molecular Hydrogen may hold the key to stopping OS in its tracks, thereby limiting inflammatory responses to only when needed and resulting in a healthier mind well after retirement. 

A tiny boost in the right direction never hurts, even a molecular one.


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1 comment


  • I remember learning the term ‘oil rig’, oxidation is losing, reduction is gaining. Yet I still get confused. Is oxidative stress caused by an ion stealing an electron from a molecule, thus the affected molecule is reduced? Which implies that anti-oxidants neutralize the ions by supplying electrons before the ion can do any damage. Is this correct?

    Thanks.

    Jeff Walker on

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Free Radicals Cannot Be Eliminated — But They Can Be Limited

Free radicals are generated naturally — and inevitably — deep within our cells. They are a natural byproduct of the fundamental processes that enable us to generate energy from the foods we consume. There’s a reason we say we are “burning calories.” This energy-generating process literally uses oxygen to “burn” the molecules obtained from the food we ingest for fuel.

This process generates free radicals. In some instances, the immune system uses these highly reactive and potentially damaging molecules to attack foreign invaders and maintain robust immune function — so free radicals are not entirely negative.

As always, though, balance is everything. Many lifestyle activities — ranging from inactivity, to consuming fried foods, to avoiding fresh fruits and vegetables, to breathing polluted air — can affect one’s balance of antioxidants and free radicals.

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