What is Oxidative Stress? The Role of Oxidative Stress in Mental Health Disorders
What is oxidative stress? A recent study from an international team of researchers in Granada (UGR) shows that depression is more than a mental disorder. Their research shows that depression causes alterations in oxidative stress levels and should be considered a systemic disease. The study of nearly 4,000 subjects shows a correlation between measurable oxidative stress levels and presence or absence of antioxidants in the body.
What is Oxidative Stress?
Oxidative stress is a major factor in several mental health disorders. About 25% of our body’s total oxygen consumption is inside the brain. Oxygen is needed in the body to support life, but it also contributes to the creation of free radicals. These are molecules that destroy cell membranes and speed up the aging process. The brain is lipid-rich environment that is highly susceptible to oxidative stress or redox imbalances, and can easily be damaged or compromised. Anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia are all affected by oxidative stress in the body. These conditions improve with our antioxidant rich advanced nutrient therapy protocol.
Inflamed tissues cause fluid to spill out of blood vessels. This fluid goes into the space between cells and begins to pile up. Inside the piles of fluid are tiny molecules that bounce around. These tiny molecules carry an unbalanced electrical charge and are called free radicals. Free radicals alter lipids, proteins, and DNA. When the free radical population becomes so large it can’t be regulated, oxidative stress will set in. Free radicals need to consume fresh electrons to keep their momentum, so they target our tissues and cells, causing disease states in the brain as well as the body.
In our research we have found antioxidants to be a powerful weapon against free radicals and oxidative stress. Antioxidants act like sponges, soaking up free radicals. Antioxidants work because they are more electrochemically attractive to the free radicals than our body’s fats and proteins are. They recharge each other and reduce each other when they accept electrons. Once the antioxidant is reduced it’s ready to go out and soak up additional free radicals. The most proficient antioxidant for this job is vitamin C.
Over time antioxidants in the body will make DNA transcription a possibility. This is the first step in gene expression. DNA is responsible for creating proteins that are vital ingredients in the creation of hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters.
When our bodies are biochemically out of balance due to free radical damage and oxidative stress it affects our gene expression.
Antioxidants for Oxidative Stress
Common antioxidants that combat oxidative stress are vitamin C, D, E, and selenomethionine. It should be noted that selenomethionine is often misperceived as methionine, but it is not. Selenomethionine is actually selenium.
All these are antioxidants are very powerful agents for reducing oxidative stress.
But be careful. Patients need to consult their physician before beginning an antioxidant regime to reduce oxidative stress.
For example, people with bleeding disorders, certain heart conditions, and coagulation problems should minimize their use of vitamin E. Please consult us or your physician before using any antioxidants or supplements on your own.
Any individually prescribed dosage of our Advanced Nutrient Therapy is based on a patient’s diagnosis and their age, weight, past health challenges, as well as our future anticipated development. Our oxidative stress reducing protocol is highly individualized. We take into consideration additional conditions present that need to be supported by an additional nutrient so that our protocol works synergistically to heal the body.
Depending on the diagnosis, your child’s 500 mg of vitamin C may have a totally different functionality than your neighbor’s child on the same dose. Vitamin C can be prescribed for entirely different reasons and with different outcomes. It is a potent antioxidant. Likewise, the dosage may vary depending on the individual and their diagnosis. Older individuals are typically given less than the standard dose amount. For example, patients ages 65 and up, are not going to get the same dosing regiment as the average 40 year old with similar chemistry and symptomatology.
Albert Mensah, MD
As a physician in this specialized field since 2005, Dr. Mensah, board certified in integrative pediatrics by the American Association of Integrative Medicine, has treated over 3,000 patients with advanced targeted nutrient therapy. He serves on the board at Walsh Research Institute and serves as a clinical instructor for WRI’s international doctor training programs around the world. Dr. Albert Mensah received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) and his medical degree from Finch University of Health Sciences-Chicago Medical School. Dr. Mensah’s residency was in Family Medicine at Swedish Covenant Hospital (Chicago). Following residency, he completed additional fellowship training in academic development at JHS Cook County Hospital (Chicago). From 2005 to 2008, Dr. Mensah treated patients at the former Pfeiffer Treatment Center, a not-for-profit organization and outpatient clinic specializing in the treatment of biochemical imbalances including children with autism. Prior to joining Pfeiffer, Dr. Mensah was a physician at Melrose Park Clinic in Illinois. Dr. Mensah co-founded Mensah Medical in 2008 with Dr. Judith Bowman.