Do EMFs Cause Oxidative Stress?
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have been a hot topic of study over the past several decades, especially as our world becomes more technologically focused. With mobile phones, tablets, laptops, televisions, cell towers, and more, there is an increasing number of people who are exposed to EMFs on a daily basis. As a result, many people express symptoms of EMF sensitivity, including headaches and disrupted sleep.
But did you know that EMFs can also reduce your antioxidant production and contribute to greater oxidative stress?
What Are EMFs?
EMFs are forms of invisible energy, or radiation, that come from a variety of natural and man-made sources. They range from extremely low frequency (ELF) wavelengths all the way up to gamma rays. (1)
There are two main types of EMFs: ionizing and non-ionizing. Generally, EMFs with wavelengths shorter than visible light (such as UV light and X-rays) are ionizing, meaning that they can strip electrons from atoms. This makes ionizing, or shorter wavelength EMFs, more dangerous to humans and other living things; however, that doesn’t mean that EMFs with longer wavelengths (non-ionizing EMFs) are safe. In fact, they can still easily damage tissue, such as that within the body. (2)
Most of us are exposed to long wavelength EMFs on a daily basis. These can come from sources such as computers, mobile phones, smart meters, cell towers, power lines, and Wi-Fi. As we increase our exposure to EMFs by using more electronic devices and expanding mobile networks, we increase our risk of damaging our bodies, including the risk of increasing oxidative stress.
EMFs and Oxidative Stress
While there are only a handful of studies that focus on how EMFs affect your health, the findings thus far show that EMFs can damage your health in a variety of ways and degrees. In fact, some studies have found that your skin and other superficial tissue just beneath the skin’s surface can absorb the radiation from your cellphone. As a result, your organs, brain, and tissue can increase in temperature, resulting in a variety of health concerns. (3)
Other studies have looked at how EMFs can increase the production of free radicals within the body, while also suppressing your body’s natural antioxidant defense systems. As a result, you can experience greater oxidative stress, which has been shown to play a major role in various diseases, including cancer and diabetes. (3)
The Role of Free Radicals in the Body
“Free radicals are reactive molecules produced during the conversion of foods into energy through oxygen.” (3) Free radicals are unstable because the outer shell of their molecular makeup contains unpaired electrons. As a result, free radicals take electrons from other atoms. (4)
The formation of free radicals is completely natural and safe — as long as your body doesn’t produce too many free radicals and your natural antioxidant defense system remains strong. However, external factors such as pollution and EMF radiation can increase free radical production within your body, particularly reactive oxygen species (ROS). (3)
ROS are free radicals that specifically contain oxygen atoms, and they can be extremely toxic to the cells within your body. This toxic effect typically comes from peroxidation of membrane phospholipids. This process results in the rapid destruction of cell membranes in phospholipids that contain fatty acids. As a result of this process, there can be cellular disruptions in the membrane transport, structure, membrane fluidity, and enzyme activity. (3)
If your body ends up with too many ROS and other free radicals for its antioxidant defense system to handle, you will begin to experience oxidative stress. As a result, you may experience cell and tissue damage, both of which can contribute to a wide variety of health issues, including heart disease, cancer, aging, and diabetes. (5)
EMFs Can Contribute to Oxidative Stress
Some studies have found that EMFs can promote free radical activity within cells and that EMFs may trigger the formation of ROS in cells exposed to the radiation. Such an increase in ROS may lead to cellular death or damage due to its effect on gene expression and enzyme activity. Such effects on your cells can eventually lead to a variety of diseases, including sleep disorders, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. (3)
An uncontrolled increase in ROS can also cause lipid peroxidation, which is a process where cell membranes rapidly deteriorate due to the oxidation of various components that contain unsaturated fatty acids. When this process occurs continually due to excess oxidative stress, lipid peroxides build up and transform polyunsaturated fatty acids into active substances. As a result, the cell becomes damaged. Studies have found that such a harmful increase in ROS and the causation of lipid peroxidation can happen after someone is exposed to EMF radiation. (3)
EMFs Can Hinder Your Body’s Antioxidant Defense System
In addition to increasing the amount of free radicals in your body, EMFs have also been shown to hinder your body’s natural ability to fight off free radicals. With an antioxidant defense system, your body can control the formation of free radicals and thus help minimize and prevent the damage they cause.
By sending out free radical scavengers that target these specific molecules, your antioxidant defense system helps keep your body healthy. However, if the system itself becomes impaired, you can quickly experience an abundance of free radicals, including ROS, and experience oxidative stress. (3)
Your body uses a variety of antioxidants to fight off free radicals. Studies have found that EMF exposure can affect several of these antioxidants and thus weaken your antioxidant defense system.
One study looked at how EMFs affect glutathione, specifically GSH-peroxidase (which is glutathione after the oxidative process).This study found that EMFs from cellphones can correlate with reduced levels of GHS in both the blood and brain tissue. Another study found that extremely low frequency (ELF) EMFs significantly decreased levels of glutathione-S-transferase (multifunctional enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of various compounds). (3) (6)
Other studies looked at how EMFs affect catalase (CAT), a common enzyme that all oxygen-exposed organisms — like us humans — have. Catalase plays a critical role in protecting cells against damage caused specifically by ROS, with one of its basic functions involving the removal of the hydrogen peroxide and peroxide ROOH found within oxygen to help prevent permanent cell membrane damage. (3)
However, studies found that increased levels of ROS and its associated oxidative stress decreases CAT levels within tissue. Another study found that cellphones specifically trigger oxidative cell damage by both increasing xanthine oxidase (which accelerates oxidation) and decreasing CAT activity. (3) (7)
A third antioxidant that EMFs can suppress is superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is an enzyme that accelerates the reaction where the superoxide radical is divided into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. As a result, the superoxide radicals become inactive, thus allowing SOD to protect cells from harmful damage. (3)
While studying the effects of EMFs on antioxidants, researchers found that EMF exposure might change the antioxidant levels in the brain, reducing specifically SOD and CAT. Another study looked at the effects of being exposed to EMFs for 50 days and found that such exposure caused oxidative stress by both reducing SOD and increasing malonaldehyde (a common marker of oxidative stress). (3) (8)
How to Reduce Oxidative Stress Caused by EMFs
Due to the findings of various studies, there is great concern about the relation between EMFs and greater oxidative stress. Because EMF exposure can both increase free radical production and hinder your body’s natural antioxidant defense system, it is more important than ever to protect yourself from EMFs as we continue to increase the use of EMF-emitting devices.
Qi Devices™ are specifically designed to depolarize EMF radiation, thus lessening their effects on your body. Each Qi Device™ uses proprietary technology to create a protective area around you and others to safely and effectively reduce your EMF exposure from a variety of frequencies, including 3G, 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi. These benefits have been studied and proven so that you can know with certainty that your Qi Device™ is keeping you safe.
With a variety of Qi Devices™, you can enjoy EMF protection for all of your needs! The Qi Me™ and Qi Shield™ are perfect for those who live busy, on-the-go lives or who want to protect a small area. For those looking to protect their homes or larger buildings, the Qi Home Cell™ and Qi Max™ are perfect. No matter your needs, however, you can go about your daily life knowing that you and your family are protected.