Health & Wellness: Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress represents an imbalance in the body. This imbalance is between reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and our body’s natural ability to detoxify these species, resulting in damage. Free radicals are a normal by-product of biochemical pathways that occur in the body, an example being the body’s energy-generating process, specifically the electron transport chain. However, these species are highly reactive with other molecules found in the body and can lead to damage in the DNA, inflammation, proteins, and cellular membranes.
In order to obtain optimal health, the balance between oxidation and anti-oxidants is highly important. Anti-oxidants can be obtained through proper dietary support like vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and polyphenols. These foods interact with the free radicals and ensure they are no longer a reactive molecule.
Research has shown that our genes play a role in how we break down free radicals and how susceptible we are to them. Using the DNA Health test from DNA Life we are able to see the genotype we process and the genetic impact we are predisposed to. A sample of a DNA Health report is shown below:
eNOS encodes the nitric oxide enzyme that is derived in the endothelium. This enzyme is responsible for uncoupling nitric oxide as well as plays a role in regulating vascular tone and peripheral resistance. If you have the wild type, GG, there is no impact. The heterozygote GT genotype shows a moderate impact and the homozygotes TT genotype shows a high impact.
In this case, the T allele is what affects the proteolytic cleavage of the enzyme which reduced nitric oxide. We use nitric oxide to vasodilate. As a result, we see an association with hypertension. The main goal is to decrease inflammation. This can be done by avoiding sugars, processed foods, sodas, MSG, and fried foods. Additionally, mouthwash has been shown to be less helpful with this genotype. If you use mouthwash, it gets rid of the bacteria needed to properly convert our vegetables for optimal benefit. For more information regarding the eNOS gene, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene Database.
SOD destroys the free radicals that are produced inside the cells and that have the potential to damage our natural biological systems. This enzyme is highly important when it comes to anti-oxidant activity. Those who have the wildtype, CC, have the highest impact. The CT heterozygote type have a moderate impact. Lastly, those with the TT homozygote type have no impact.
In fact, in this situation, the T allele is protective. If you have the C allele, it is best to increase your amount of vegetables to make sure you are giving your body an adequate amount of antioxidants. For more information regarding the SOD2 gene, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene Database.
This enzyme is expressed in almost all tissues throughout the body. It holds the responsibility of converting hydrogen peroxide into water and reducing fatty acids to maintain redox balance. The CC wildtype shows no impact. However, the CT heterozygote shows a moderate impact and the TT homozygotes show a high impact.
It has been shown that the T allele leads to decreased enzyme function. This meaning that there is a disturbance in the anti-oxidant balance. Those who have a low fruit and vegetable intake and have the T allele are more susceptible to coronary artery disease and breast cancer. It is best to increase the number of fruits and vegetables obtained through the daily diet and get rid of food products containing preservatives. For more information regarding the GPX1 gene, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene Database.
The catalase gene encodes the antioxidant enzyme CAT which is expressed in the liver. This enzyme is important because it concerns hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. If you have decreased CAT activity, you have increased hydrogen peroxide levels and increased overall oxidative stress. With this, we see the low impact in the CT heterozygote genotype. The wild type, TT shows a moderate impact and the CC homozygote genotype shows a beneficial impact.
The C genotype has been linked to higher levels of CAT activity which offers more protection against redox imbalance. For those who have a T allele, it is best to limit your exposure to smoke and change your dietary habits to include more vegetables and less processed foods. For more information regarding the GPX1 gene, please refer to GeneCards, The Human Gene Database.
Considering the fact that oxidative stress is a natural byproduct of the electron transport chain and other energy-making processes in the body, it is best to pair with a micronutrient test. A micronutrient test from Spectracell not only tells us the micronutrients we are deficient in but it also shows us how and where those deficiencies come into play when it comes down to our energy cycles. A sample of the test is shown below:
If you are confused about your health, start by taking this metabolic assessment below:
We have always known that genetics plays a role in our health, but uncovering their true potential and how they can be influenced by the environment is truly remarkable. We have the ability to make healthcare personal and to better benefit you. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
Kolberg C, Horst A, Moraes MS, et al. Peripheral oxidative stress blood markers in patients with chronic back or neck pain treated with high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2015;38(2):119-129. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.11.003
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