Oxidation, Anti-Oxidants and Aging

Is Your Body’s “Use-By” Date Past Due?

Anti-oxidants are in the news a lot the past few years. In fact, a recent search for the term online brought up 8,850,000 results!

But what exactly is oxidation, and why is it such a big deal?

Oxidation occurs as a chemical reaction of fats and oils when exposed to oxygen, heat or light. The easiest way to think about oxidation is to recall what happens when fats and oils go rancid. Rancid food smells and tastes awful. It becomes totally inedible. Oxidation in foods also destroys nutrients.

In a sense, oxidation inside your body is the same. It impairs your body’s ability to function normally. Oxidation leads to inflammation and outright tissue damage. Along the way it also speeds the aging process.

For example, oxidative damage in the energy factories (mitochondria) of the cells, reduces their efficiency, leading to lowered energy levels overall.

And then there is the fact that high levels of oxidation, also called oxidative stress, speed the shortening of telomeres in the DNA. The shorter your telomeres, the closer you are to death.

This applies in specific diseases as well. Research points to the fact that free radical damage is a major causative factor in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) and Parkinson’s Disease. And because of it’s relationship to inflammation, oxidative stress also contributes to arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

What this tells us is that the twin enemies of a healthy aging process are oxidation and inflammation. And they travel together. So unless you enjoy the idea of feeling painful, tired and sick as you get older, it pays to do something to reduce or eliminate this process now. The sooner, the better.

How to Reduce Oxidation & Inflammation

Here are the exact steps I recommend:

  1. Start by fine-tuning your diet. Food is the foundational basis of every single biochemical reaction in your body, including oxidation & inflammation. Without the right “fuel” going into the tank (food in your stomach), literally nothing else you do for your health will be as effective. In some cases it will not be effective at all.
  2. Next, identify and eliminate any blocking factors. These are factors preventing your body from functioning in the perfect way it’s designed to function. They include the accumulation of toxic heavy metals such as lead or mercury, as well as exposure to electromagnetic fields, pesticides, herbicides, stress (both physical & emotional), etc.
  3. Identify and eliminate any food sensitivity reactions. Certain foods can trigger reactions up to 3 days after eating them. These reactions range from digestive problems to migraines and joint pain.
  4. Bring your adrenals back up to snuff. Most of us who are older than 20 (and some who are younger!) have one degree or another of adrenal fatigue. Strengthening the adrenals supports your body’s ability to survive and thrive at multiple levels.
  5. Identify and correct any other systemic inefficiencies. These include weak immune responses, digestive system problems, neurotransmitter (brain chemistry) imbalances and inefficient detoxification capability.

There are ways to test all of these factors, but generally it makes sense to deal with these issues in the order given above. The reason is that each step supports the next.

Old age needn’t be filled with misery and pain. By addressing these issues before they become overwhelming, or by preventing them altogether, you have the very best chance at enjoying all of your remaining years.


von Zglinicki, T., et al. Intracellular interactions under oxidative stress and aging: a hypothesis. Gerontol. 26(4):215-220, 1993.

Kay, M. M., et al. Autoantibodies to band 3 during aging and disease and aging interventions. Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 719:419-447, 1994.

Saretzki, G., et al. Replicative senescence as a model of aging: the role of oxidative stress and telomere shortening – an overview. Z Gerontol Geriatr. 32(2):69-75, 1999.

Taylor, A. Jacques, P. F. Oxidation and Aging: Impact on Vision. In: Siels, H. Erdman, J., Williams, G. (editors). Proceedings International Conference on Antioxidants. Princeton, New Jersey University Press. 1992.

Hyperhealth Pro Database, In-Tele-Health, Hansville, WA, 2008.

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