Are Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress Aging You?

There’s quite a bit of hype out there about toxins these days. You may hear reports about how toxic buildups in the body can lead to cellulite, constipation, fatigue, and even autoimmune disease. Any number of horrible illnesses and health conditions have been attributed to toxins of late.

Even more publicity is swirling about the need to detoxify, cleanse, or purify your body. Some of this is pure propaganda created by people and companies just looking to profit off your fears, however not all of it is untrue.

I will concede the fact that your body and all its systems may be affected by the current levels of pollution, pesticides, contaminants and artificial substances in processed foods. Especially in high doses, toxins have the ability to speed up the aging process, disrupt hormones, suppress your immune system, mangle your memory, and can sometimes even lead to cancer.

How Toxins Can Speed Up The Aging Process

Exposure to environmental toxins have been pinpointed as one of the causes of aging, according to a recent article in Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. When regularly exposed to environmental toxins – which we all are – your body can get bogged down with chronic oxidative stress, and free radicals may go on a rampage.

Most organ systems can be harmed, but it is the brain that is perhaps most vulnerable. In fact, scientists believe that oxidative stress caused by toxins could be a major cause of Alzheimer’s disease, other types of dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

Control Oxidative Stress

Have you ever noticed how iron rusts so quickly? The reason for that rust is a chemical process called oxidation, which means electrons are being removed from an atom or molecule in the iron. Now, oxidation itself isn’t a bad thing–it goes on around us and in our bodies all the time. But too much oxidation is called oxidative stress, which essentially means the cells in your body are being damaged.

Prolonged oxidative stress causes free radicals to accrue, which can ultimately contribute to serious illness including cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Oxidative stress intensifies with exposure to environmental toxins, so take measures daily to stamp this stress out.

If you are exposed to above-normal amounts of toxins, I want you to think about adding one more supplement to help your body fight free radicals and oxidative stress: glutathione. Glutathione is a tripeptide, a protein made from three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine. It protects cells against the damaging effects of oxidative stress and toxins and is particularly helpful in eliminating mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, formaldehyde, pesticides, and other toxins from the body. Under oxidative stress, glutathione levels sharply decline, compromising your liver’s ability to detoxify harmful substances. My recommendation: two to five grams daily.

Detoxing to Rid Yourself of Free Radicals

There are a lot of products, diets, juices, and clinics out there these days that claim to have the definitive answer on how to rid your body of all the toxins we encounter daily in order to reverse aging. But many of these trends can be dangerous. Here are some examples of potential dangers. Consider yourself warned!

Colonics: This is a type of “detox” that is essentially like getting a massive enema. During the procedure, the technician will pump up to 20 gallons of water into the colon to “clean” out the rectum. It really scares me to think about people having this done, especially patients who have any type of digestive disorder. So much can go wrong! The risks include perforation of your bowel wall, electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, infection from virus or bacteria, and the list goes on. Bottom line: In my medical opinion, colonics are not a smart idea.

Juice fasts: These may be all the rage, but I have my reservations. Simply put, if you’re only consuming juice, with no solids at all, you’re not getting the nutrients and enzymes your body needs. Therefore, you probably won’t feel very good, and if you lose any weight, you’re likely to gain it back relatively quickly. If you ask me, in general, whether I think juicing is a healthy way to consume fruits and vegetables, my answer is yes and no. If fresh juice is your only source of fruits and veggies, then you are missing out on most of the fiber because juicing removes the pulp, where much of the fiber comes from. But if fresh juice is part of your overall healthy diet and lifestyle, then I think it can be a terrific supplement. However, your body does not need you to do a juice fast for a week, or even a day.

Starvation diets: Do I really even need to comment on these? Any “detox” program that severely limits your caloric intake to let your organs “rest” is not going to be something I ever recommend. These can really mess around with your metabolism and other bodily functions. We were built to require fuel in the form of food. As for folks who think if they have a “bad eating day” filled with fast food, pizza, soda, or the like and then just starve themselves for a day or two afterward to make up for it…you know who you are…this is a terrible idea. If you screw up and detour a bit from your overall healthy lifestyle for a day or a weekend, just get back in the saddle the next day by returning to your normal, healthy diet. Starving yourself only makes matters worse, often forcing your body to store more fat.

So, you may ask, what do I think is the hottest, most revolutionary detoxification system in the world? Are you ready for this? It’s the human body! That’s right, folks, you were born fully equipped with a very powerful waste management system. When it’s functioning properly, you are naturally able to rid yourself of most of the toxins you encounter as each system can adequately dump its waste into the urinary and digestive systems, which then release them out of your body. Your skin also acts as a way for your body to flush out waste—in the form of sweat! So, to help your body filter and release toxins before they accumulate, it is important to stay healthy and keep all of your systems functioning properly.

How You Can Slow Down The Aging Process

There are other anti-aging strategies, in addition to diet, that you can follow on your journey. You can find more strategies in my newest book, The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging. My book explains that it is totally within your power to prevent and even reverse these symptoms of aging and proposes a 4-cycle plan that uses nutrition, physical fitness, and mental exercise to get you ready for longevity.

Please visit this page to learn more about the 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging: CLICK HERE!

Topics included in this article are:

Oxidative Stress

Free Radicals

Indoor Air Pollution

Aging Process

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Dr. Mike Diet
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