Oxidative stress describes a chemical imbalance in the body that has the potential to damage healthy cells and tissues. According to an American study, vitamin C has a protective effect. Continue reading and find out how easily you can help safeguard your body from oxidative stress.
Whilst most of us are all too familiar with stress, ‘oxidative stress’ is something slightly different. It occurs in the body when reactive ‘free radical’ particles outnumber our protective ‘antioxidant’ nutrients such as vitamin C and E. Many conditions are characterised or exacerbated by oxidative stress, and scientists from Oregon State University have now demonstrated that you can effectively lower levels of this oxidative stress with vitamin C.
Reduced after a few weeks
In the new study, a group of participants were given a high daily dose of vitamin C. After just three and a half weeks, the researchers were able to measure and observe how the blood levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) plummeted in the participants. MDA is an indicator of oxidative stress, and lower MDA levels indicate that there is less oxidative stress in the body.
Better utilisation of vitamin E
The researchers also observed that vitamin C supplementation improved the study participants’ ability to utilise vitamin E from their diets. Like vitamin C, vitamin E helps protect against oxidative stress. The synergistic effect between the two vitamins gives even better free radical protection. .
What is oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress is naturally occurring and can occur briefly as a normal body response without posing a health threat. As well as a response from our own metabolism, free radicals may come from other sources such as infections, exposure to UV radiation and environmental pollutants. It is when oxidative stress persists, becomes permanent or in excess that it may result in the destruction of cells and tissues. Another feature of oxidative stress is that it may induce low-grade chronic inflammation which many people suffer from (sometimes without knowing about it). That is why we depend on a highly effective antioxidant defence and should also try to limit our exposure to free radicals.
Found in many types of food
We can obtain vitamin C from a variety of foods such as fruit (especially citrus fruit), rosehips, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. However, one would have to consume relatively large quantities of these foods in order to reach the vitamin C doses that were used in the American study.
Vitamin C in supplement form
Another option is to take a vitamin C supplement. Bio-C-Vitamin is a nutritional supplement with 750 mg of vitamin C in each tablet. It contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress (which is advantageous in situations with excessive free radicals and/or oxidative stress). The product contains vitamin C in the form of calcium ascorbate, which is non-acidic and therefore gentle on the stomach.