Oxidative Stress is the body’s inability to readily detoxify or repair damage from toxins. When your body breaks down food, or is exposed to environmental toxins, it produces free radicals which can cause DNA and Cellular damage.
Chronic oxidative stress can lead to a number of inflammatory reactions and eventually diseases such as Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, and several neuro-degenerative diseases. When you try to picture what oxidative stress looks like, think of apple slices that has been left sitting for several days. The fruit turns brown, dries up and wrinkles and will eventually rot because it is oxidizing.
Oxidative stress on a cellular level is not much different. If you do not have sufficient anti-oxidants through your diet or supplementation, too many free radicals will be created as a result of the oxidation process in the body.
Let’s focus on how Oxidative Stress has an impact on Breast Cancer specifically.
In the course of everyday life, free radicals are produced as a result of detoxification of pollutants, immune reactions and metabolism. These free radicals are parasitic molecules that steal healthy factors from neighboring molecules, causing damage everywhere they go. Too many free radicals in the body accelerate aging and dis-ease.
Oxidative stress can damage DNA and the cell membrane. DNA is responsible for healthy replication of the cell, while the cell membrane protects the nucleus and mitochondria from toxins.
Put the two together and you have a formula for increased risk for developing Breast Cancer.
In order to effectively eliminate carcinogenic hormone metabolites, and to activate protective hormones against cancer, it is critical to know if your liver detoxification pathways are properly breaking down aggressive hormones. If this process (methylation) does not occur, a buildup of the more aggressive estradiol estrogen can lead to Breast Cancer.
The key to vibrant health and protection from oxidative stress is to provide ample anti-oxidants to “put out the fire” that the free radicals are creating. Anti-oxidants are classified as either water soluble or lipid (fat) soluble. Both are extremely important as the water soluble anti-oxidants react with free radicals inside the cell and in the blood, while the lipid anti-oxidants protect the cell membrane.
Antioxidant enzymes such as SOD (superoxide dismutase) and Glutathione Peroxidase also provide important defense against oxidative stress and in the prevention of estrogen-mediated Breast Cancer.
Examples of Antioxidant substances are:
Beta Carotene, Lutein, Lycopene
Vitamin A, C and E
Specific minerals like selenium and zinc are required for the activity of some antioxidant enzymes.
Thanks to advances in laboratory methods, we can now measure oxidative stress and our antioxidant reserve in the blood. To determine the balance between oxidative damage and our antioxidant reserve, it is necessary to address the following:
What is the RESERVE capacity that provides protection?
Are there enough ENZYMES in action to quench the free radicals?
Evaluate the present DAMAGE that the free radicals production has caused.
If you are on the Breast Cancer healing journey or you simply want to be proactive with prevention, a simple blood serum test can measure the anti-oxidant reserve and enzyme function including:
Whole blood Glutathione
Total Antioxidant Capacity
Enzymes like Superoxide Dismutase and Glutathione Peroxidase.
Additionally, blood markers of damage can be measured by lipid peroxides (oxidative damage to cell membranes).
Reduce your oxidative stress by applying the principles in the 7 Essentials for Healing and Preventing Breast Cancer Naturally. Doing so may very well reduce your risk for Breast Cancer and other stress related dis-eases.