What are Free Radicals?
Everyone knows that antioxidants are good for your health however, most people do not know what antioxidants are in the first place. Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is caused by free radical formation in the body. Free radicals are vital to our health but are also implicated in the disease process. Any molecule can become a free radical when it loses or gains an electron thus making it very reactive in the body. This can happen due to stress, toxicity and nutrient deficiencies in the body. Once a molecule becomes a free radical it can cause a chain reaction with other less reactive species causing cellular damage. Think of a free radical as a car that goes out of control hitting into other cars around it causing damage to those cars.
Free radicals have 3 stages:
- Initiation stage where the free radical is produced
(ex. A car going out of control)
- Propagation stage where the free radical causes cellular damage
(ex. The car causing damage to other cars as it moves out of control)
- Termination stage
(ex. The out of control car finally coming to a stop.)
Free radicals are terminated or neutralized by antioxidants, enzymatic reactions or by re-combining with each other.
Free Radicals and our Health
Our body is under constant assault from environmental toxins, food additives and preservatives, lack of water, fruit and vegetable intake, excessive sugar and meat intake and chronic stress which causes free radical formation. This creates oxidative damage on the body reducing our capacity for health. Signs and symptoms of oxidative damage can be seen in chronic conditions such as fatigue, fibromyalgia, headaches, PMS, cancer, arthritis, heart disease, inflammation, allergies, bowel and skin conditions.
The Oxidata Test assesses the amount of free radical activity and monitors cellular oxidation-reduction trends. Basically the test is a marker of how much cell damage is occurring in the body and measures actual levels of damage done. High stress, poor diet, lack of exercise and toxicity can all reduce the body’s antioxidant stores leading to dysfunction. Oxidative stress is also a marker of how well your body will age. With the results of this test, I will be able to offer suggestions on how to alter your diet and lifestyle to reflect what is going on in your body to better fight off the aging process as well as track to see how your body is improving.
The Oxidata Test is a technological breakthrough which was developed by researchers in a major university hospital for quick and reliable assessments of oxidative status. The test measures the distant end of the polyunsaturated fat chain where Aldehydes form as a result of free radical attack. It is particularly valuable because it tests urine where Aldehyde activity is much more concentrated and can provide a more accurate representation of cell damage. The test specifically measures a chemical by-product of free radical activity called malondialdehyde (MDA). The test was further scientifically validated by the means of the Conti Flurometric assay in a laboratory which is a highly sensitive test measuring minute quantities of MDA in body fluids.
Urine Malondialdehyde (MDA) measured by Flurometric and visually read colorimetric assay. R. Hubbard, R. Iacono, J. Westengard and T. Schoonenberg Depts. Of Path., and Neurosurg. Sch. Med., Loma Linda Univ., Loma Linda, CA 92350.