Oxidative stress is something that we all are exposed to on a daily basis.
- What causes oxidative stress?
- Why should I care?
- How can I help reduce oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress happens when free radical species, also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and anti-oxidants, become out of balance within the cells of our body. The ROS’s contain an uneven number of electrons that cause them to react with other molecules. This may lead to chemical reactions leading to oxidation.
We are constantly bombarded with free-radical sources in our environment. Some we can eliminate, but others are part of everyday life. Here are some examples:
- Cigarette smoke
- Some pesticides and cleaning agents
- A poor diet
Remember the last time you cut up an apple. If you leave the apple segments on the cutting board, they will turn brown. This is an example of oxidation. If you soak the apple slices in lemon-lime soda for 10-15 minutes, they will remain their original color.
Why is this?
Carbonated drinks contain citric acid, which is an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants inhibit oxidative reactions.
What does this have to do with our health?
Too many free radicals start to cause damage to DNA, proteins, and fatty tissues within the body. This damage is believed to be responsible, in varying degrees, for the onset and progression of many diseases. See the diagram below.
The Nrf2 Pathway
Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) is a key modulator of the primary defense mechanism of mammalian cells.
The primary function of Nrf2 is to activate the anti-oxidant response. This, in turn, fights the harmful effects caused by oxidative stress.1
It is beyond the scope of this article to explain this complex pathway. I have included a diagram obtained from “Frontiers in Pharmacology” for illustrative purposes.
Figure 1. Schematic representation of Nrf2 signaling in homeostasis and a deregulated environment. (A) Oxidative molecules (e.g., ROS and RNS) produced by cellular respiration or neurotransmission activate the protective anti-oxidant pathway by dissociation of the Nrf2/KEAP1 complex. When dissociated from the cytosolic protein KEAP1, Nrf2 translocates to the cell nucleus, triggering the expression of several homeostatic genes with the ARE sequence in their promoters, including GPx, SOD, HO-1, GST, and CAT. When inactivated, Nrf2 is sequestered by KEAP1 and targeted for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. (B) Altered homeostasis promotes excessive ROS/RNS production that can activate glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) that release proinflammatory and danger molecules patterns, which disrupts neuronal communication and the nature of glial activities. Green arrows represent activation and truncated red lines, inhibition (abbreviations: ACh, acetylcoline; DA, dopamine; CAT, catalase; Glu, glutamate; GPx, Glutathione Peroxidase; GST, glutathione S-transferase; HO-1, heme oxigenase 1; RNS, reactive nitrogen species; ROS, reactive oxygen species; SOD, superoxide dismutase; Ub, ubiquitin; ATP, adenosine triphosphate).2
Anti-Oxidants from Food Consumption
It is well known that many foods contain varying levels of anti-oxidants. Many studies have found blueberries contain the highest amount of anti-oxidants of all fruits and vegetables.3
Other foods that are high in anti-oxidants include:
- Dark Chocolate
- Goji Berries
- Red Cabbage
Eating these foods on a regular basis can help protect your body from free radical damage. As stated in previous posts, I recommend eating whole foods whenever possible and avoid fast food and processed foods that contain unhealthy chemicals. Unfortunately, these foods do not provide enough anti-oxidants to keep up with the free radical onslaught experienced by our bodies as we age.
Activating the Nrf2 Pathway
It is not surprising that several companies have attempted to create a product capable of activating the Nrf-2 pathway.
The product ProtandimTM, by LifeVantageTM, has been extensively studied. This product has been shown to provide a synergistic interaction with the Nrf2 pathway. Each ingredient of ProtandimTM has anti-oxidant properties, but when combined, the effect is much more pronounced.4
Think of ProtandimTM as a nutritional product capable of activating your body to be more efficient at neutralizing free radicals.
Our body becomes less able to fight oxidative stress as we age. This product has the following benefits.
- Reduces oxidative stress by an average of 40% in thirty days.
- Helps to regulate survival genes.
- Produces enzymes capable of neutralizing more than one million free radicals.
- Supports the body’s natural ability to repair and rejuvenate its own cells.
- Helps the body detoxify genes.
ProtandimTM stimulates proteins, causing our bodies to produce protective anti-oxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), heme oxygenase (HO), and glutathione peroxidase and catalase.
Although many studies have been conducted using ProtandimTM, this product is classified as a nutritional supplement and not a drug. Therefore, ProtandimTM has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
I have been interested in bio-hacking for many years.
The research I have done regarding anti-oxidants has helped determine which products will be offered by Sunshine Nutraceuticals. I have always been open to offering products made by other companies as long as they are safe to consume.
When I learned about ProtandimTM and read the studies, I felt the need to educate as many people as possible. I joined LifeVantageTM as a distributor and only wish I would have learned about this product earlier.
I believe this is a medical breakthrough that many have never heard of.
Sunshine Nutraceuticals has been an incredible journey that has improved my health and knowledge. We never know what tomorrow will bring. My hope is that you will learn as much as you can about ways to improve your health and happiness.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. If you would like to join LifeVantageTM as a distributor, I can help with that as well. Simply send me an email.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.
Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP
Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.
Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.