There are a variety of ways that chronic pain, DNA damage, aging , inflammation, oxidative stress , the role of antioxidants, our metabolism and immune systems are connected . A good starting place for looking at those connections would be the one that ties the prevention of oxidative stress and the avoidance or at least later development of some degenerative and often chronic illnesses that we associate with aging.
Oxidative stress can be a killer – even though it doesn’t sound like one as well it’s associated with many illnesses and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease , myocardial infarction (a heart attack that prevents the blood flow to a part of the heart muscle ,killing it ) other forms of heart failure and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Oxidative stress is the resulting condition when there is either an uncontrolled increase in free radicals/oxy-radicals/peroxides (collectively referred to as reactive oxygen species) or a significant shortfall in the body’s antioxidant resources , one example is l-glutathione.
When the human body can’t effectively use its supply of antioxidants to defend itself- at the cell level- from oxy-radical damage, you end up with oxidative stress.
Reactive oxidative species (ROS) originate indifferent ways – externally or internally .
Externally, oxy-radicals are caused by ; exposure to pathogens, toxins , tobacco smoke , pollution , chemotherapy , UV damage , radiation, strenuous workouts and good old stress .
Internally, free radicals are a normal product of your metabolism . Even our own immune system use free radicals to defend us against toxins and pathogens . Nature’s plan is that , our own supply of antioxidants will scavenge these internally created free radicals . However , when age and/or weak health and lousy diet interfere with our usual ability to prevent oxidative stress the damage accumulates and our defenses are eventually defeated . When you think of antioxidants – think anti aging
Oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species oxyradicals are also responsible for DNA damage which can lead to cell death or mutation. Typically , just as our manufacturing ability of antioxidants like glutathione decreases with age, (and you can’t take an oral glutathione supplement ) so also does our natural ability to keep our DNA in functioning condition . One clear example of the physical degradation brought about by oxidative stress is the wrinkled appearance (at best) to the skin of people who have not protected themselves from the sun’s UV rays .
According to the Free Radical Theory of Aging, the accumulation of dead cells from the chain reactions of free radicals is a key contributor to age related conditions and although we cannot stop time , no one will argue that good health practices can deliver a higher quality of living through what are supposed to be the golden years.