Oxidative Stress: Effects, Symptoms, Risk, and Management

Read on to learn more on ‘Oxidative stress: its effects, symptoms,risk and management

What is oxidative stress?

Simply defined as exhaustion inside your body resulting from an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidants.

The production of free radicals and antioxidants helps the body’s homeostasis.

Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven variety of electrons that easily react with other molecules.

Large chains of chemical reactions can be triggered by these free radicals.

These chemical reactions are called oxidation.

On the other hand, antioxidants can easily donate molecules to an electron without resulting in an unstable state.

This effect makes free radicals stabilize and become less reactive.

What are the symptoms of oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress occurs due to an imbalance in the free radicals and antioxidant activities.

When the level of free radicals is higher than the number of antioxidants present in your body, the free radicals begin to cause damage to fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins in your body.

These damages can lead to a vast number of diseases over time. Some possible symptoms of oxidative stress include;

  • Headaches
  • Glaucoma
  • Muscle cramp
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Tiredness
  • Heart diseases
  • Neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Aging
  • Fertility issues
  • Decreased memory, etc

When you start manifesting one or more of these symptoms oxidative stress is likely already advanced.

Hey! Before you start a panic, there is good news. By decreasing oxidative stress, you can feel better naturally.

What are the risk factors of oxidative stress?

We all produce free radicals in our bodies naturally through exercise or inflammation. Sometimes, our bodies struggle, and what we want is a quick fix to come save the day.

It is very vital therefore to realize that our body is overwhelmed with stress and inflammation.

Some environmental risk factors that may expose you to oxidative stress include;

  • Radiation
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Ozone
  • Certain pesticides and cleaning agents
  • Pollution
  • High sugar diet
  • Fat
  • Alcohol

How to manage and prevent oxidative stress

It is impossible to avoid free radicals and oxidative stress from occurring. In managing and preventing oxidative stress, the main thing you can do is to increase your level of antioxidants and decrease your formation of free radicals.

The major source of obtaining antioxidants is through healthy diets. We are what we eat. Foods that increase oxidative stress include; sugar, fried food, non-organic foods

Healthy diet

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will best provide your body with what it needs to produce antioxidants.

Examples of such fruits and vegetables include;

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Olives
  • Leafy greens
  • Cherries
  • Prunes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Others such as Tumeric, fish, nuts, Vit C, Vit E, garlic, onion, green tea, cinnamon, melatonin

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Moderate, regular exercise: this will help to increase antioxidant levels and reduce damages resulting from oxidative stress.

Exercise is also linked to increased lifespan, lower effects of aging, and decreased risk of diseases.

  • No smoking: also avoid exposure to secondary smoking.
  • Caution with chemical use: avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation, cleaning chemicals, some pesticides used on foods, and gardening
  • Use sunscreen to protect your skin
  • Decrease alcohol intake
  • Get adequate sleep and rest
  • Avoid overeating
  • Be environmental friendly

Antioxidant supplements:

  • Vitamin C: It acts as immune support, antihistamine, and antioxidant. It is best absorbed in the liposomal form.
  • Vitamin E: Natural Vitamin E helps provide cell-protective effects.
  • Vitamin D: Helps boost the immune system, protect the skin.
  • Glutathione: It has great antioxidant properties, the liposomal form ensures easy absorption into the body for optimal effect.
  • COQ10: It is a well-known antioxidant, and the recent mitQ form of COQ10 gets into the cell and mitochondria better.
  • Selenium: Helps support the immune system and is a potent antioxidant.

You should always remember when choosing supplements, especially antioxidants, ensure to pick the highest quality products to give you maximal benefits.


Oxidative stress does occur when there is an imbalance in the free radicals and antioxidants.

However, there is help to reduce it. This is not a quick fix, but once the need is identified it can be a guide towards your path to wellness and good health.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle choice can help keep your body balanced and prevent damage and diseases.