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Do I Have Oxidative Stress?

What Is Oxidative Stress?

As long as you are breathing, oxidation is taking place. The process of oxidation is an essential chemical reaction that happens when free radicals form within our cells. Essentially, oxidative stress is “… an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body which leads to cell and tissue damage.” (1) When our oxidative stress levels are too high, our cells and genes are being destroyed by an unhealthy amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals.

What Causes Oxidative Stress?

If you are experiencing a lack of sleep, emotional stress, or job stress, or are not getting enough exercise, have poor diet habits, or are exposed to pollution or radiation, you may be experiencing unhealthy levels of oxidative stress. This begs the question: are there any benefits to high levels of oxidative stress? The answer is: Yes! When there is an infection or injury, oxidative stress rises, causing mild inflammation until the immune system fights off the infection or injury. Short-term oxidative stress is then an important physiological response. However, it is the long-term oxidative stress that damages the body’s cells, proteins, and DNA, which promotes aging and leads to a range of diseases.

Instructor teaching about DNA with a model
What Are Free Radicals?

Our bodies are constantly being attacked by oxidative stress. Because of this, the oxygen in our cells split, leaving unpaired electrons. These unpaired atoms are called free radicals. Because electrons like to be in a pair, the free radicals act like scavengers, causing damage to our cells, proteins, and DNA in their relentless search for a partner. Free radicals are perpetuated by cigarette smoke, pesticides, pollution, alcohol consumption, certain medications, and diets that are high in fat, sugar, and processed foods.

What Does Oxidative Stress Do to My Body?

Diagram taken from Paul Barattiero’s webinar,
“How Hydrogen (H2) Affects Oxidative Stress And Inflammation.”

How to Prevent Long-Term Oxidative Stress
  1. Take antioxidants: Antioxidants (like fruits, vegetables, hydrogen water, and vitamin A, C, and E) remove free radicals by donating an electron. 
  2. Limit intake of high-sugar, high-fat, processed foods.
  3. Exercise: This will stimulate the production of antioxidants.
  4. Reduce stress.
  5. Avoid exposure to pollution and harsh chemicals.
  6. Quit smoking.
  7. Maintain a healthy weight.
Can Drinking Hydrogen Water Reduce My Oxidative Stress?

Hydrogen water promotes healing on a cellular level, which is exactly where oxidative stress is taking place, so the short answer is yes! Hydrogen water can help reduce your oxidative stress. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study on the benefits of hydrogen water and found the following: (3)

    1. Hydrogen has antioxidant properties and can prevent inflammation.
    2. Because the hydrogen molecule is so small, when you drink hydrogen-infused water, the hydrogen easily moves throughout the body and brain. This supports the central and peripheral nervous systems, increasing brain function and energy.
    3. Drinking hydrogen-rich water (HRW) was shown to positively impact patients with a variety of conditions: 
      1. Patients with metabolic syndrome experienced a reduction of oxidative stress. 
      2. Patients with type 2 diabetes experienced an improvement in their lipid and glucose metabolism.
      3. Patients with mitochondrial myopathies had an improvement in their mitochondrial dysfunction. 
      4. Patients with polymyositis or dermatomyositis experienced a reduction in their inflammatory processes.
    4. Elite athletes who took hydrogen-rich water were less prone to exercise-induced declines in muscle function.
The Takeaway

While free radicals and short-term oxidative stress are natural physiological responses, long-term oxidative stress is the leading cause of aging and disease. However, these diseases may be prevented. By eating antioxidant-rich foods, exercising regularly, and avoiding exposure to pollution, the free radicals in our body are neutralized and oxidative stress decreases to a healthy level. Hydrogen water has also been found to act as a selective antioxidant that promotes healing on a cellular level and has been proven to help reduce oxidative stress. 

For more information on hydrogen water, visit:

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