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What are Free Radicals & How to Combat Oxidative Stress

Holtorf Medical Group

Cellular health is becoming an increasingly popular phrase in the health and wellness world. This is because studies continue to show that one of the main contributors to aging to cellular health. As our cells age, cellular communication becomes suboptimal, contributing to signs of aging such as less energy, less mental clarity, low libido, hair loss, weight gain, and more.

But what causes our cells to age?

One of the main contributors to cellular aging is free radical damage. Below we explain what free radicals are, their connection to oxidative stress, and how we can combat this:

Free Radicals

Free radicals are unstable molecules that are missing an electron. The body naturally produces free radicals during natural bodily processes such as cellular reactions, food metabolization, and even breathing. Free radicals are also produced from environmental toxin exposure, poor diet, chronic stress, and other lifestyle factors that will be addressed later in this article.

Free radicals attempt to steal electrons from other cells in order to complete their structure. When an electron is stolen, the victim of the theft becomes unstable which causes it to become unstable. Furthermore, the damaged cell also attempts to steal electrons from other cells resulting in a chain reaction and proliferation of free radicals. This disruption of cellular function can build over time and cause serious damage. Ultimately, free radicals harm the body by damaging DNA, cell membranes, fats stored in blood vessels, and enzymes. This damage is known as oxidation or oxidative stress.

Oxidative Stress

As touched on above, oxidative stress is the result of free radical damage. Excessive oxidative stress can cause significant health issues and accelerate aging. This is mainly because oxidative stress results in inflammation. When left unaddressed, such inflammation can become chronic and systemic, leading to a variety of symptoms including: Fatigue Joint pain Brain fog Low libido Decreased athletic performance Headaches and migraines Gray hair Wrinkles

Combatting & Reversing Oxidative Stress

Thankfully, there are ways to combat and even reverse cellular damage due to oxidative stress. By improving your cellular health, you can alleviate the symptoms listed above and enhance your overall sense of well-being.

Here are some effective ways to combat free radical damage and oxidative stress:

Antioxidant-Rich Diet: Antioxidants are our body’s natural remedy to oxidative stress (hence, anti-oxidant). However, problems develop when the number of free radicals exceeds the number of antioxidants in the body. Supplementing your body’s levels of antioxidants with antioxidant-rich foods can effectively combat oxidative stress. Consider incorporating the following foods into your diet to minimize oxidative stress:

  • 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 all around us: in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we use. Toxins are one of the main contributors to oxidative stress as they can easily compromise the health of our cells. Consider minimizing your plastic use, opting for clean beauty products, and purchasing an air filter for your home and office. Learn more ways to combat environmental toxins here

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 practice self-care here

Exercise Regularly: Research shows that a lack of daily movement is linked to increased levels of oxidative stress. Exercising regularly (at least 30 minutes a day four to five times per week) can help improve the health of your cells.

Supplementation: Supplementing with high-quality ingredients such as resveratrol, glutathione, and quercetin can support antioxidant production and combat oxidative stress. Age Well, which contains a powerful collection of antioxidants including resveratrol, quercetin, pterostilbene, and others, can help restore antioxidant levels and combat free radical damage. High-quality ingredients in Age Well can help improve the aging process and overall wellness.

NAD+ Therapy: NAD stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and this molecule reacts with oxygen in every cell of the body, specifically in the mitochondria. NAD+ is required for several cellular functions, particularly those involving the Krebs cycle conversion of nutrients. In short, because NAD+ is necessary for the conversion of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals to ATP, it is vital for energy production.

By supplementing your levels of NAD+ with NAD+ IV Therapy, you can improve the health of your cells and alleviate many of the symptoms associated with oxidative stress such as brain fog, low energy, joint pain, and more. Book your NAD+ Therapy appointment by contacting our patient coordinators at: (844)-844-2981

Final Thought

If you are suffering from chronic inflammation and other symptoms due to oxidative stress, contact Holtorf Medical Group today. At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to provide you with cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to properly diagnose and treat your condition, optimize your health, and improve your quality of life.


Holtorf Medical GroupThe Holtorf Medical Group specializes in optimizing quality of life and being medical detectives to uncover the underlying cause of symptoms, rather than just prescribing medications to cover-up the symptoms. We are experts in natural, prescription bioidentical hormone replacement and optimization, complex endocrine dysfunction, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease. We’ve dedicated our practice to providing you the best in evidenced-based, integrative medicine that’s not only safe and effective, but provides measurable results.


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