How to Reduce Oxidative Stress

Last Updated on: September 7, 2022

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You can’t avoid free radicals, but exposing yourself to too many can lead to oxidative stress and disease. If you want to help your body stay healthy, there are some simple things you can do to help reduce oxidative stress in your life.

Oxidative stress has been linked as a leading cause in many different diseases, and while most people have at least heard of oxidative stress, odds are it isn’t something that you think about too often — but maybe you should. (1) Because oxidative stress plays such a key role in disease and aging, it’s important that you do all that you can to reduce the amount of oxidative stress that’s happening inside of your body. By doing so, you can improve your chances of living a healthier, longer life.

What Causes Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the amount of free radicals and antioxidants within your body. Here’s how it works: 

Free radicals are atoms that lack an electron. This makes them unstable and highly reactive as they seek other atoms or molecules to pair with. (2) When free radicals pair with other atoms, they can cause large chemical chain reactions called oxidation. This process is normal and can have both good and bad effects. (3

As free radicals form inside your body through natural processes and external factors, your body activates its antioxidant defense system. Antioxidants are molecules that donate an electron to free radicals to make free radicals more stable. However, if you have too many free radicals inside your body, your antioxidant defenses can become overwhelmed and lose their ability to fight off all of the free radicals. As a result, you can experience greater cell damage and begin to experience oxidative stress. (2)

While normal levels of oxidative stress are nothing to worry about, an excessive amount of free radicals and the resulting overwhelming amount of oxidative stress can contribute to a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and immune dysfunction. (4

For more information about oxidative stress and its effects, check out this blog post.

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Oxidative stress occurs when you have too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants.

How Can I Reduce Oxidative Stress?

Although you may not think about it too often, oxidative stress is something that everyone could use a little less of. While you cannot completely eliminate oxidation and free radicals, there are some things you can do to help bring the amount of free radicals down to where your body can regulate them on its own and establish homeostasis. 

Here are some tips to help you reduce oxidative stress (5): 

  • Lower your exposure to external sources of free radicals, including air pollution, cigarette smoke, and pesticides. 
  • Eat a healthy diet that has an appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables, many of which happen to be good sources of antioxidants. For a list of foods that are rich in antioxidants, check out this blog post
  • Exercise regularly. While single exercise sessions stimulate the production of free radicals, regular and moderate exercise has been shown to help increase antioxidant activity and reduce oxidation. 
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats, refined sugars, and processed foods. If your body is breaking down a larger amount of sugars, you are more likely to experience an increase in oxidation. (6
  • Reduce the stress in your life by taking time to relax, meditate, or talk to others. 
  • Get enough sleep. Melatonin is produced mainly during the dark hours of the day, and it is a strong antioxidant that can help reduce the amount of free radicals inside your body. By giving your body the time it needs to sleep and produce melatonin, you can help fight off excess free radicals. 
  • Be careful with antioxidant supplements. Generally speaking, a healthy person with a well-balanced diet should not need antioxidant supplements. There are also limited studies and minimal evidence to support that antioxidant supplements actually help. In fact, some supplements, if taken too often, can end up causing more harm than good to your health. (7)

Hydrogen Water to Reduce Oxidative Stress

Hydrogen water is water that is infused with hydrogen gas. Molecular hydrogen has been shown to have a wide variety of benefits, including reducing oxidative stress. In fact, one study found that mice who ingested hydrogen-rich water had 27.2% less superoxide (the primary oxygen free radical and a common reactive oxygen species free radical). (8, 9)

How does molecular hydrogen reduce oxidative stress? Many studies support the finding that hydrogen gas is a powerful antioxidant. Not only that, but molecular hydrogen is a selective antioxidant, meaning that it specifically targets certain free radicals, particularly the hydroxyl radical. 

The hydroxyl radical is one of the most toxic and reactive free radicals, and it often damages a variety of cell processes and even induces apoptosis (cell death). Because not every antioxidant can combat every free radical, it is important that your body produces and you ingest a variety of antioxidants to combat all of the different types of free radicals. However, studies have found that the body’s natural antioxidant defenses cannot neutralize the hydroxyl radical. (10) This means that if you want to reduce the amount of hydroxyl radicals and other dangerous reactive oxygen species (ROS) in your body, you need to get specific antioxidants into your body some other way. 

You need molecular hydrogen. 

When you drink hydrogen-infused water, you are giving your body the antioxidant it needs to fight against hydroxyl radicals. Not only that, but molecular hydrogen has been shown to enhance your body’s levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is an enzyme produced as part of your body’s natural antioxidant defense system. (10) By both targeting the hydroxyl radical and stimulating the production of more antioxidant enzymes, molecular hydrogen is the extra boost everyone needs to help reduce oxidative stress.

All of our Echo™ Water Machines produce filtered, hydrogen-rich water. With options to install a machine in your home or take one with you on the go, all of our Echo machines make it easy for you to enjoy hydrogen-rich water and fight oxidative stress anywhere, anytime. 

Living a Healthier, Happier Life

Odds are that you will experience oxidative stress at some point in your life, but unless you keep it in check, you can end up suffering from one or more of its associated diseases. By living a healthy lifestyle and doing the things that will help increase your antioxidant count, you may reduce the amount of oxidative stress you experience. And less oxidative stress can make for a healthier, happier you.

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