Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are widely believed to cause or aggravate many human pathologies such as neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, stroke and many other ailments.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a generic term used for a variety of molecules derived from oxygen that react with most biomolecules by oxidizing them, a destructive process. ROS include free radicals such as hydroxyl radical (OH.), superoxide anion radical (O2.-) and nitric oxide (NO.) as well as non-radicalic molecules such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-).
Free radicals are atoms or molecules with one or more unpaired electrons that are capable of independent existence (reason of term “free”). The unpaired electrons make free radicals extremely reactive towards other molecules including DNA, RNA, protein and other cellular components. Free radicals are not always “bad”: they are also involved in important physiological processes. For example, nitric oxide (NO) is protective in vasculature and is an important neurotransmitter in the nervous system and oxygen free radicals are vital to the immune system.
Oxidation is a chemical process that involves gain of oxygen or loss of electrons. Oxidation of biomolecules causes them to become damaged and then degraded by physiological processes or malfunction. An analogy is rust: oxygen, in the presents of water, oxidizes iron in steel causing it to rust, the product of oxidation.
Since we are in constant contact with oxygen, ROS are continuously produced in our body , but they are always kept under control and their effect is counteracted by physiological antioxidant defense mechanisms that intercept the ROS, or repair the damage that has already occurred by them. Under normal conditions, the potentially harmful effect of the ROS is successfully restrained by the defense mechanisms. However, the balance between ROS production and antioxidant protective mechanisms may be disturbed in favor of the ROS creating a situation called “oxidative stress.“
Oxidative stress is now widely believed to be involved in the cause of major age-related diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and a long list of other human diseases such as stroke, hypertension, diabetes, rheumatic diseases and multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, oxidative stress is now determined to be highly associated with most major psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression. The brain is especially susceptible to oxidative stress because it is metabolically active, possesses high levels of pro-oxidant iron, and is composed of unsaturated lipids (prone to lipid peroxidation). Furthermore, the blood–brain barrier prevents many exogenous anti-oxidants from quenching reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the brain.
An antioxidant has been defined as “any substance that delays, prevents or removes oxidative damage to a target molecule.” Antioxidants are believed to counteract the harmful effects of ROS and therefore prevent or treat these oxidative stress-related diseases.
Antioxidants can be divided into “endogenous” molecules that are naturally synthesized in the human body or “exogenous” compounds that are mostly produced in plants (fruits and vegetables) and ingested as part of the diet. Large research studies have shown that higher intake of antioxidants in the diet is associated with lower risks of coronary heart disease, certain cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Hence current recommendations for the Mediterranean Diet and the Paleo Diet.
There has been much enthusiasm in the field of free radicals. Antioxidants have been advocated for therapy of a vast range of serious diseases in the 1980s and 1990s, however, in the light of recent research findings, many doubts have now been raised about the usefulness of taking antioxidant supplements. This has given rise to a pessimistic view of antioxidant therapy. However, the evidence from human research studies about the beneficial effects of dietary antioxidants is still compelling.
Recent clinical evidence supporting the use of antioxidants and the antioxidants that are more likely to be effective:
- Antioxidant therapy- current status and future prospects – 2016
- Antioxidant Capacity of Selected Foods – 2007
NRF2 Activators – Commercial Products
- Curcumin (Meriva)
- Green Tea Phytosome
- Meriva (Curcumin)
- Milk Thistle (Siliphos – Silybin Phytosome)
- PolyResveratrol SR
- Siliphos (Silybin Phytosome)
Nutritional Supplements – Overview:
Nanoformulations – Overview
- Blood–brain barrier – a real obstacle for therapeutics – 2012
- Natural product-based nanomedicine – recent advances and issues – 2015
- Particle size reduction to the nanometer range – a promising approach to improve buccal absorption of poorly water-soluble drugs – 2011
Nanoformulations – Phytosomes
- A Review on Phytosome Technology as a Novel Approach to Improve The Bioavailability of Nutraceuticals – 2012
- Bioavailability and activity of phytosome complexes from botanical polyphenols – the silymarin, curcumin, green tea, and grape seed extracts – 2009
- Phytosomes – A New Herbal Drug Delivery System – 2012
- Phytosome – A Novel Revolution in Herbal Drugs – 2012
- Phytosome – Phytolipid Drug Delivery System for Improving Bioavailability of Herbal Drugs – 2013
Emphasis on Education
Accurate Clinic promotes patient education as the foundation of it’s medical care. In Dr. Ehlenberger’s integrative approach to patient care, including conventional and complementary and alternative medical (CAM) treatments, he may encourage or provide advice about the use of supplements. However, the specifics of choice of supplement, dosing and duration of treatment should be individualized through discussion with Dr. Ehlenberger. The following information and reference articles are presented to provide the reader with some of the latest research to facilitate evidence-based, informed decisions regarding the use of conventional as well as CAM treatments.
For medical-legal reasons, access to these links is limited to patients enrolled in an Accurate Clinic medical program.
Should you wish more information regarding any of the subjects listed – or not listed – here, please contact Dr. Ehlenberger. He has literally thousands of published articles to share on hundreds of topics associated with pain management, weight loss, nutrition, addiction recovery and emergency medicine. It would take years for you to read them, as it did him.
For more information, please contact Accurate Clinic.
Supplements recommended by Dr. Ehlenberger may be purchased commercially online or at Accurate Clinic.
Please read about our statement regarding the sale of products recommended by Dr. Ehlenberger.
Accurate Supplement Prices