What is oxidative stress?
- Oxidative stress represents a state of imbalance between the production of reactive species, called free radicals, and the body's defenses.
- This state of oxidative stress exists when at least one of the following three conditions is present: excess of free radicals, insufficient defenses and insufficient repair mechanisms (Source: Dr Dany MERCAN).
- It is at the origin of the production of free radicals, unstable molecules derived directly from respiration, approximately 2% of the oxygen consumed produces these free radicals (Source: study by Camille Migdal from the University of Lyon).
- It is a physiological mechanism essential to the life of the human being, it allows the individual to defend himself against many viruses, inflammations, bacteria ...
- Poorly controlled, it spreads, attacks cellular components (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, etc.) and promotes the onset of diseases (diabetes, Alzheimer's, cataracts, etc.) or even the loss of functions, i.e. accelerated aging (Source: theory of aging by free radicals from Dr Denham HARMAN).
- Diet and lifestyle influence oxidative stress: it seems important to avoid sources of free radicals such as pollution, smoking, alcohol consumption, UV rays, malnutrition (pesticides, additives, etc.), stress, physical inactivity, intensive physical activity ...
Oxidative stress and physical activity
- The practice of sport induces a significant consumption of oxygen at the origin of oxidative stress.
- The more intense the effort, the greater the presence of free radicals.
- An excess of free radicals can alter the immune defenses and their effectiveness.
- The swallowed air attacks the cells of the athlete's body leading to damage to muscle cells, therefore a decrease in muscle strength and the early onset of fatigue.
- Optimal nutritional status allows cells to control oxidative stress and thus promote cellular adaptation to exercise. Namely that the increase in performance is based on this adaptation of cells to effort.
Antioxidants: defenses against oxidative stress
- Antioxidants are agents that slow down or even prevent oxidation caused by free radicals and the harmful reactions that result from them.
- We have antioxidant enzymes which are activated by the consumption of trace elements: zinc, copper, iron, selenium and manganese.
- There are other antioxidants naturally produced by the body: uric acid and lipoic acid.
- Antioxidant agents can come from food through the supply of vitamins (vitamin A, C, E), minerals (selenium, copper, zinc, etc.) or even through plant dyes (flavonoids, carotenoids, etc.).
- Fruits (nuts, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, prunes, mangoes, etc.) or vegetables (red beans, beets, artichokes, red cabbage, carrots, etc.) are rich in antioxidants, to be consumed organic preferably to avoid pesticides, additives or other sources of free radicals (Source: study by Professor LEIFERT of the University of Newcastle).
- Certain herbs are rich in antioxidants such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, curry, thyme, pepper, parsley….
- La ATLET range : the ATLET brand attempts to fight against the phenomenon of oxidative stress. In its range of 100% organic energy products, it incorporates antioxidants: acerola powder, ginger, almond, pistachio, or even phycocyanin and beta-carotene present in 100% pure organic spirulina.
How to detect oxidative stress?
- Physical signs can appear: inflammation, aging, infections, stress, fatigue, etc.
- It is possible to detect oxidative stress by carrying out a specific assessment, the oxidative stress assessment, offered by various laboratories.
Source: Article published on the website of our partner ATLET