Oxygen is often called the Janus gas by medical professionals, referring to a god with two faces. While it has mostly positive benefits on the human body, it also has potentially damaging side effects on some biological systems.
Our body is constantly being attacked by reactive oxygen species (also called free radicals); to balance these out, a complex system of antioxidants is always active.
An imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals causes oxidative stress to occur in the body. Mild forms of oxidative stress can cause inflammation that triggers the immune system. In most cases, the immune system can easily fight off this inflammation.
However, uncontrolled oxidative stress can cause various medical conditions, while also accelerating the aging process in cells.
What Are The Causes of Oxidative Stress
Free radicals are naturally produced in the body, and in the right quantities, keep it healthy. We are also exposed to free radicals in the environment through various sources, such as:
- Certain pesticides and cleaners
- Cigarette smoke
Other factors that contribute to excessive production of free radicals include a high-sugar diet, excessive consumption of fatty foods, and alcohol intake.
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Effects of Oxidative Stress on the Health
As stated before, the impact of oxidative stress on the body depends on the number of free radicals we produce. According to a study, mild oxidative stress might even protect the body from certain diseases and infections.
However, long-term oxidative stress can damage the proteins, DNA, and cells in the body. It can also lead to the development of health conditions and neurodegenerative diseases, such as:
- Chronic inflammatory conditions
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure/hypertension
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessels)
- Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Cannabidiol and Oxidative Stress
CBD oil has emerged as a revolutionary therapeutic strategy for reducing the impact of oxidative stress. Cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which is responsible for regulating biological functions such as the immune system, cognitive processes, appetite, and the production of proteins, tissues, and cells.
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