Vivoo Oxidative Stress Box

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Free Radicals 

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules produced in the body naturally as a byproduct of metabolism (i.e., oxidation) or by exposure to environmental toxins such as ultraviolet light and tobacco smoke. Excess amounts of free radicals in the body can damage the membranes of healthy cells through a process known as oxidative damage. As MDA is the end product of lipid peroxidation (i.e., the process where free radicals attack fat molecules in the body), urinary MDA levels could be used to determine your current oxidative stress levels. 

Related: Look After Yourself During Stress Awareness Month

Malondialdehyde

Malondialdehyde (MDA) is a lipid peroxidation biomarker generated during the oxidative degeneration of fat molecules. In other words: an increase in free radical activity is often associated with the overproduction of MDA. 

The biomarker (i.e., MDA) can be detected in most biological samples – including serum, plasma, tissues, and urine. The compound’s easy detection explains why it’s now one of the most reported analytes for evaluating oxidative stress effects’ on lipids. MDA is employed as an oxidative stress biomarker in various disorders, including psychiatry, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.

Possible Results

sport to reduce stress

Free radicals can cause irreversible damage to the body. More specifically, when the balance between free radicals and antioxidants present is disrupted, the former can cause oxidative damage to cells in the body (a phenomenon known as “oxidative stress”).

Thankfully, Vivoo helps you keep an eye on your urinary MDA levels – offering you the opportunity to adopt necessary nutritional and lifestyle changes needed to achieve oxidative equilibrium (i.e., optimal health). 

Score: 10/10, Label: Great, Value: Negative

Optimal oxidative stress level: if Vivoo measures a negative urine MDA value, it means that your body is maintaining the necessary balance between free radicals and antioxidants. 

Score: 7/10, Label: Weak, Value: Positive

Too many free radicals in comparison to antioxidants: if Vivoo measures a positive urine MDA value, it means that your body contains way too many free radicals compared to antioxidants – and is thus subjected to oxidative stress. Chronic oxidative stress could potentially contribute to rapid aging and the development of certain diseases.

Factors that may increase an individual’s level of oxidative stress include:

  • Lifestyle
  • Diet
  • Environmental conditions such as pollution, radiation
  • Alcohol consumption and tobacco products
  • Some medications
  • Exposure to  hazardous chemicals and pesticides

Oxidative stress can physically manifest as:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss 
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Wrinkles and gray hair
  • Decreased eyesight
  • Headaches and sensitivity to noise
  • Susceptibility to infections 

sportive

Diseases associated with oxidative stress

A disruption in the oxidative equilibrium (i.e., when free radicals overwhelm antioxidants) can change the way cells in the body code genetic information. This, in turn, can lead to errors in protein synthesis – potentially altering protein structure. Unfortunately, the immune system may mistake altered proteins as foreign substances and attempt to eliminate them. In other words: this leads to a situation where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body. Imaginably, this could contribute to the development of several diseases, including:

  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity-related disorders
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
  • Cardiovascular conditions 

Ways to reduce oxidative stressors

The body needs both free radicals and antioxidants. The important thing is to maintain the balance between them. The key to doing so lies in preventing the formation of free radicals in the first place – which means you need to find ways to reduce exposure to various oxidative stressors. Below, find a list of nutrition and lifestyle recommendations that’ll help you lower your oxidative stress:

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits
  • Limit consumption of processed foods, especially foods high in sugar and fat
  • Regular exercise
  • Meditation
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce stress
  • Prevent or reduce exposure to pollution and chemicals
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

healthy person

Urinary MDA levels are indicative of your oxidative stress levels. Given this, you’d do best by striving for minimal amounts of the compound in your urine. Chronically elevated levels of urinary MDA could potentially lead to rapid aging and the development of various diseases. Changing your lifestyle habits is key to preventing these conditions from occurring in the first place. In addition to quitting unhealthy and harmful practices, you should also treat chronic infections – as they’re also known to be a significant cause of oxidative stress. Also, consider adopting other healthy habits, like heading out for a walk a few times a week; these habits could help lower your stress levels and, in turn, reduce oxidative stress in the body. 

The crucial role antioxidants play in oxidative stress

Antioxidants play a crucial role in the human body. More specifically, antioxidants protect your body from free radicals – which are known to both contribute to and exacerbate oxidative stress. In light of that, antioxidants may assist with cell protection. Antioxidants can also play a crucial role in preventing and treating heart disease, along with many other lifestyle disorders.

Antioxidants found naturally in foods include vitamins C, E, flavonoids, and carotenoids. It’s worth noting that plant-based foods are particularly rich in phytonutrients, which are often also antioxidants (e.g., flavonoids, flavones, catechins, polyphenols, and phytoestrogens). Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and spices are also good sources of natural antioxidants. Other antioxidant-rich food sources also include cocoa, tea, and coffee.

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