The reason behind several chronic disorders like Arthritis, Heart attacks, Cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more.
Do you realize the very thing that gives us life, the very reason for our existence, is also slowly killing us?? Yes, I am talking about Oxygen, which most of us believe to be one of the reasons for life on Earth.
But how is this possible?? Am I bluffing? The answer is here!!
So, read on folks!!
The Dark Side of Oxygen
SIT BACK, CLOSE YOUR EYES FOR A MOMENT, AND FOCUS ON YOUR breathing. Relax your shoulders and breathe in as deeply as you can, and then slowly release the air from your lungs. Do this several times. Feels great, doesn’t it? The air that enters our lungs brings life. We feel invigorated and may even experience a feeling of euphoria.
I like to imagine what happens inside our body on a cellular level as oxygen enters and travels throughout my body. I fill my lungs with fresh air rich with oxygen. The molecules of oxygen then pass through the thin walls of the alveoli in the lungs into the blood that is passing by. Here it attaches itself to the hemoglobin in my blood, and my beating heart pumps this newly oxygenated blood back out to all parts of my body. The hemoglobin then releases the oxygen so it can enter the cells of my body, where it gives energy and life itself.
The mitochondria present within our cells, popularly known as its powerhouse, reduces oxygen by the transfer of electrons to create energy in the form of ATP with water as a byproduct. This process goes on without a hitch at least 98 percent of the time. But the full complement of electrons needed to reduce oxygen to water does not always happen as planned and peroxides and free radicals are produced. They are collectively known as Reactive Oxygen Species. They are high-energy particles which damage our cells. The internal stress caused by them is termed as oxidative stress.
Imagine yourself in front of a crackling fire with a carpet on the floor. The fire is warm and quiet. Occasionally, some cinders fly out of the fire and land on the carpet. They don’t pose much of a threat. But if this sparking continues over a period of time, month after month, year after year, you would end up with a pretty ragged carpet.
The cinder from the fireplace represents a free radical, and the carpet represents your body. Whichever part of the body receives the most free radical damage is the first to wear out and potentially develop a degenerative disease.
Perhaps this will give you more clarity-:
- If it is your eyes, you could develop macular degeneration or cataracts.
- If it is your blood vessels, you could have a heart attack or a stroke.
- If it is your joint space, you could develop arthritis.
- If it is your brain, you could develop Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
- If it is your skin then premature aging or skin cancer.
Pollutants in our air, food, and water, poor nutrition, excessive stress, poor exercise habits, and so on increase the number of free radicals, thus worsening our situation.
How can we protect ourselves??
God did not leave us defenseless against the onslaught of free radicals. We actually have our own army of antioxidants, which are able to neutralize free radicals and render them harmless. They are like glass doors or a fine-wired mesh screen that we place in front of the fireplace.
An antioxidant is any substance that has the ability to give up an electron to a free radical and balance out the unpaired electron, thus neutralizing it. Our body even has the ability to create some of its own antioxidants, while some of it has to be taken through our food.
As long as adequate amounts of antioxidants are available for the amount of free radicals produced, no damage is wrought to our bodies. But when more free radicals are produced than there are antioxidants available, oxidative stress occurs. When this situation persists for a prolonged period of time, we can develop a chronic degenerative disease and begin to lose the war within.
Balance is the key to winning this ongoing war!!
That wraps up my article. I hope this helps you in the right direction!
I’m a passionate health coach and member of a community known as Biomarked. We aim to educate and empower people about lifestyle issues like Diabetes Type 2, PCOS, Thyroid, Fatty Liver, etc. If you are on Instagram, I have been sharing regular health nuggets and several success stories of my friends and families I have been able to help.
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