Detox 101: What are Free Radicals & How to Combat Oxidative Stress

Detox 101: Learn about free radicals, oxidative stress, and their impact on health. Explore effective ways to combat oxidative damage and achieve good health.

Detox 101: What are Free Radicals & How to Combat Oxidative Stress
Next Health Staff
January 8, 2024

Free radicals and oxidative stress are both buzzwords often used interchangeably when discussing detoxification in health and wellness communities, but what do these terms really mean?

What are Free Radicals?

Free radicals have a dual role in our bodies- they can be helpful or harmful. Our bodies produce free radicals naturally and are a necessary output during processes such as food metabolization, exercise, and even breathing. Such mechanisms only produce a small amount of free radicals that the body can typically process and eliminate.

Free radicals can also be a result of environmental factors such as:

  • Toxin exposure from air pollution and city life
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Travel
  • Poor diet (high in processed foods)
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Chemical exposure from makeup, deodorant, perfume, cleaning products, & more

Problems begin to occur when the number of free radicals exceeds what our bodies can process naturally, resulting in an increased presence of free radicals that can damage cells and compromise bodily functions.

Why Do Free Radicals Damage Cells?

Free radicals are called such because they, in short, are “missing” an electron and steal electrons from other cells in order to complete their structure. When an electron is stolen, the cell that loses said electron becomes unstable. Thus, the now damaged cell also attempts to steal electrons from other cells, causing a chain reaction and a proliferation of free radicals.  

When left unaddressed, free radicals cause harm by damaging cellular DNA, membranes, blood vessels, enzymes, and more critical components of the body (more on this below).

What is Oxidative Stress? 

The terms free radicals and oxidative stress are so commonly used together because free radical damage results in oxidative stress. This is because free radical damage  causes oxidation or oxidative stress to our cells.

Oxidative stress is one of the main contributors to cellular dysfunction and accelerates mental and physical signs of aging.

Excessive free radical damage and oxidative stress can cause:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Cataract
  • Cancer
  • Accelerated aging

It is also important to note that oxidative stress is directly linked to higher levels of inflammation. Inflammatory diseases are responsible for 50% of annual deaths, highlighting the importance of maintaining low inflammation levels.

Read more about reducing your inflammation levels here

Signs of Oxidative Stress

When left unaddressed, such inflammation can become chronic and systemic, leading to a variety of symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Brain fog
  • Low libido
  • Mood swings
  • Digestive issues
  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Gray hair and hair loss
  • Wrinkles and accelerated signs of aging

Combatting & Reversing Oxidative Stress

Our bodies are naturally designed to work to combat oxidative stress and we can help support this process to reduce inflammation, cellular damage, and promote optimal health and longevity:  

Make Sure You Are Getting Your Antioxidants

Antioxidants are just that- anti-oxidation compounds that are one of the most effective ways to reduce oxidative stress. Consider incorporating the following foods into your diet:

  • Berries: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries, acai berries, and more
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Oranges
  • Bell peppers
  • Artichokes
  • Red cabbage
  • Pecans
  • Dark chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Parsley

It is equally important to avoid inflammatory foods and substances that elicit an inflammatory response such as trans fats, refined sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.

Limit Toxin Exposure

Environmental toxins are an inevitable part of everyday life but they are not present without consequence. Toxins are one of the main contributors to oxidative stress as they can easily compromise the health of our cells. Consider avoiding plastic containers, opting for clean beauty and skincare products, utilizing air filters in your home, and checking that the ingredients in your household products are not loaded with harmful chemicals.

Ensure you are not unintentionally exposing yourself to unwanted toxins by testing your toxin levels with our Total Tox Burden Package.

Practice Stress Management

According to the American Psychology Association, more than 75% of Americans report physical or emotional symptoms of stress. Stress can significantly compromise cellular function and cause free radical damage.

Learn ways to reduce stress and practice mindfulness here.  

Exercise Regularly

A lack of daily movement is linked to increased levels of oxidative stress. With more of us working from home or spending our days commuting and working in office, it is important to make an effort to exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes a day four to five times per week).

Consider Cryotherapy

As a 3-minute whole-body advanced cold therapy, Cryotherapy is the fastest way to combat inflammation and lead to benefits such as enhanced energy, immunity, collagen production, circulation, and so much more.

Support Your Glutathione Levels with IV Therapy

Nicknamed, “The Master Antioxidant,” glutathione is naturally produced in the liver and combats free radical damage as well as renders existing free radicals ineffective. By delivering glutathione to your bloodstream intravenously, you can absorb 100% of this powerful nutrient and effectively combat oxidative stress.

IV Therapy at Next Health is truly a relaxing experience as you can choose an IV to target your specific health goals whether that be stress relief, energy support, detoxification, or just promoting overall longevity. From there, you can also enjoy a glutathione push or add-on to enhance your IV experience.

We offer regular and high-dose glutathione (600 mg vs 2,000 mg) to optimize your potential health benefits, leaving you feeling totally restored.

NAD+ Therapy

Nicknamed, “The Fountain of Youth,” NAD+ is one of the most advanced protocols for anti-aging methods available today. NAD+ promotes accelerated recovery, improves cellular health, and can even reverse signs of aging.

This is because NAD+ recharges your mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of each cell and are responsible for producing energy. Mitochondrial function declines with age, leaving us with lower energy levels, less mental clarity, and suboptimal wellness. By improving mitochondrial health, you can experience the mental and physical reboot you need.

We know now that as we age, our levels of NAD+ decline, which results in signs of aging due to cellular dysfunction. In fact, we lose approximately 40% of our NAD+ by age 40. This is one of the main reasons we feel increasingly tired and sluggish as we age: our cells simply have less energy to function properly. Restore your NAD+ levels with NAD+ Therapy and experience benefits such as:

  • Enhanced energy
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Supported detoxification
  • Boosted athletic performance
  • Elevated Mood
  • Reversed Signs of Aging  

Stem Cells & Exosomes

Stem cells are called the “conductors” of cell communication. According to research, they may help orchestrate and improve cell communication, optimizing the efficiency of a variety of bodily processes, which may improve overall vitality.

Stem cells have been shown to have the potential to improve new blood cell formation, alleviate cellular damage due to oxidative stress, and improve patients’ overall vitality and quality of life. When your cell communication is improved, you are left feeling restored and more like yourself again.

Exosomes are proteins that are considered “the brain” of stem cells. These powerful proteins are vital in cell communication, meaning they may help improve a variety of bodily functions. Optimized cell communication may produce feelings of rejuvenation and readiness to take on any challenge.

Potential benefits may include: boosting energy, elevating mental focus, improving male fertility, combating inflammation, and more.

Learn more about these next-level services here

Combat Oxidative Stress, Reduce Inflammation, & Feel Like Your Best Self

Interested in combatting oxidative stress and boosting cellular health? To find out which services are best for your and your unique needs, request a complimentary consult here

Call or text us at: (310) 295-2075


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