We Humans are constantly being exposed to varied exogenous factors such as radiations, smog and tobacco smoke which cause oxidative stress. In addition to those exogenous sources, endogenous sources of oxidative stress include those derived from activities of mitochondria or microsomes and peroxisomes in the electron transfer system and those from the enzyme NADPH present in macrophages and neutrophils as a mechanism of protection against infection. It is clear that injuries to cells by such stresses are too significant to be ignored.
Now, you might ask me, what is oxidative stress? It is a phenomenon which causes polarity between the assembly and accumulation of Reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cells and tissues, the potentiality of our biotic to deck up these reactive products.
What are Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)?
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated from the metabolism of oxygen that occurs within the mitochondria of cells. This is a healthy process that occurs every day. ROS are small oxygen-derived molecules that include:
Singlet Oxygen (O2)
Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)
When the level of ROS in the body are steeper, it allows the intercellular signalling processes and thus homeostasis can be maintained. However, when the levels of ROS inside the body is high it can significantly damage Proteins, lipids and DNA.
How does ROS affect?
The cell components which gets affected by oxidative stress include DNA, phospholipids, proteins, and carbohydrates on the cell membrane. The oxidized and damaged DNA potentially leads to Genetic mutation wherein some telomere genes are highly susceptible to mutation in the presence of free radicals, is now apparent and it is known that tumor suppressor genes such as p53 and cell cycle-related genes may suffer DNA damage.
The most prominent and evident results of oxidative stress are injury to cells, it induces gene mutation and is involved in carcinogenesis by influencing intracellular signal transduction and transcription factors directly or indirectly through antioxidants.
Cancer cells generally manifest high levels of ROS, reasons for which can be listed here, including internal factors such as hormones, immune-specific conditions, and environmental factors (tobacco use, exposure to radiation, and infection). The role of ROS in cancer has been shown to be important to cancer cell survival, tumor cell proliferation, and invasion of surrounding tissues and distant metastasis.
Invariably, oxidative stress had been attributed to pathology of most of the neurological disorders. The brain tissue contain large amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and are vulnerable to free radical induced lipid peroxidation which will generate MDA; considered as specific and sensitive marker of lipid peroxidation.
How to minimize the risk?
Now, considering all these catastrophic conduct of ROS molecules, it has to be removed out of the body which is generally accomplished by two different methods, one with the help of enzymatic reactions or through antioxidants.
Normally, cells are rig out with copious innate antioxidants to remove ROS from the body. For example, glutathione is an intracellular molecule that can protect cells against the deleterious effects of ROS.
Propitiously, we have list of foods containing chief antioxidants that helps to protect our body from deface effects of ROS. Quite a few clinical studies have found that a high intake of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants not only protects cells from cancer development but also reduce mortality in healthy persons.
Currently, recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for various nutrients suggests that high intake of such antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables by virtue of their ability to function as a potential free radical scavengers. Some antioxidant rich diet would help in improvement of White Blood cell functionality.
Major class of nutrients which helps in removing ROS are:
· Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
· Beta Carotene (Provitamin-A)
· Vitamin E
Some readily available fruits and vegetables rich with the mentioned nutrients are:
· Sweet potato
· Bell Pepper
· Papaya and Kiwi
To be continued...
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