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Reference Guide
Oxidative Stress

Oxidative Stress

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Oxidative Stress
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Oxidative stress has been associated with aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, respiratory disease, renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and can evoke the immune response and allergic conditions. The National Institute of Health identifies a number of influences leading to oxidative stress such as obesity, poor diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, and exposure to radiation, toxins, pollution, and pesticides.

Testing for oxidative stress aims to assess for factors that indicate the body has been impacted by an overabundance of free radicals such as with 8-OHdG (an indicator of cell damage to DNA), or identify the presence of antioxidants such as glutathione. There are also Oxidative stress tests that determine the body’s state of balance of radicals and antioxidants including Cell Science Systems' Cellular Nutrition Assay, Doctor's Data's DNA Oxidative Damage, and Precision Point's Advanced Ox Stress

Oxidative stress is a physiological condition when there are more unstable free radicals than there are enough antioxidants to eliminate them in our body. Oxidation is a naturally occurring chemical change in a cell where oxygen molecules lose electrons and become free radicals. As they have an unpaired electron, they are unstable and highly reactive, and seek to steal an electron from other molecules in the body such as from skin cells or blood cells resulting in cell damage and inflammation.

Antioxidants are substances capable of stabilizing these radicals by giving them one of their electrons. Some examples of naturally occurring antioxidants in the body include glutathione and alpha lipoic acid. Antioxidants can also be obtained from foods such as with the following examples:

  • Carotenoids in fruits and vegetables like cantaloupe, kale, carrots
  • Vitamin E in avocados, almonds, leafy greens
  • Vitamin C in brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries
  • Phenolic compounds in grapes, berries, blueberries, cocoa
  • Astaxanthin in krill, salmon, plankton
  • Many spices and beverages are also packed with antioxidants.

Patients with oxidative stress concerns may present with symptoms such as:

  • Confusion
  • Memory changes
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Changes to eyesight
  • Wrinkles and gray hair
  • Headaches
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Increased susceptibility to infections

What do Oxidative Stress Tests measure?

Oxidative Stress Tests analyze blood and urine samples for the presence of indicators of free radicals, antioxidants, and their balance in the body. A variety of tests are available through Rupa Health including examples such as:

A physical assessment, healthy history, and a list of symptoms along with the oxidative stress test results can help identify cause of patient health concerns. Depending on test results and patient presentation, additional investigation might be necessary. This could include assessment of the gut microbiome, testing for relevant disease conditions associated with oxidative stress, and exploring the possibility of a genetic component.

Treatment Plans

Identifying the body’s oxidative stress status along with additional testing and diagnostics can help rule out or determine risk for developing potential illness.

Proactive treatment plans can be beneficial in protecting the body against oxidative stress and potentially decreasing the risks for the development of certain inflammatory and chronic conditions.

Some treatment plans can include:

  • Diet and lifestyle to incorporate physical exercise, adequate sleep, stress reduction, eliminating alcohol, not smoking, and consuming high antioxidant-rich foods (preferable to synthetic supplements)
  • Assessment of environment for toxins, pollution, metals
  • Oral health as oral infections have been linked to oxidative stress and certain related diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative conditions

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Oxidative Stress


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