What is stress?
Stress is emotional, physical, and cellular with effects on all systems of the body. We feel stress in our temples, in our shoulders, in our low backs, in our gut, and in our disrupted cognitive patterns (loss of sleep, imbalanced emotions, brain fog). However, did you know that we also feel stress way down in our cells? Stress actually effects the efficiency of our cells. You may be thinking, “yes girl! I feel that stress deep down in my soul”, and I am here to tell you that you are not wrong! The physical expression of stress effects your ability to thrive, overcome and live healthier and longer at even the basic cellular level. In this post, we are going to dive into the way stress affects your cells and how to decrease the effects so that you can add QUALITY years to your life.

If you suffer from expressions of stress including brain fog, poor sleep quality, weight gain, chronic illness, and anxiety, then you may want to consider trading in your old multi-v for an antioxidant. I recently discussed this topic with a group of doctors in Phoenix, Arizona.

During rehabilitation for a car accident, I began to talk to Dr. Scott Hatzenbeler, Chiropractor at Advanced Physical Medicine about the importance of nutrition and exercise for wellness and disease reduction. He introduced me to a group of wellness-minded doctors, including Dr. Rodarte, a local internal and obesity medicine physician who shares many values with me. Her passion is keeping patients healthy through preventative medicine and decreasing the effects of the aging process. Naturally, the topic of stress came up, and I had the opportunity to learn some amazing things about stress and cellular damage that I am excited to share with you now.

Here is small interview I did with Dr. Rodarte about the idea of oxidative stress, aging, and overcoming stress.

SSOHealth: What is Oxidative stress?
Dr. Rodarte: Oxidative stress is the natural wear and tear that cells go through during aging as a result of free radicals, or substances that accelerate aging (tobacco, alcohol, stress, pollution, food toxins). A great visual example of the oxidative process is the apple. When cut in half, the apple starts to brown. That is oxidation, and it is also happening in our bodies. As we age, we cannot clean up the

SSOHealth: How does Oxidative Stress harm the body?
Dr. Rodarte: Oxidative stress causes damage to the cells as we age and is the root cause of over 200 diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Caners, Arthritis, and Diabetes. When there is oxidative stress in the heart and blood vessels, the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke goes up. When there is oxidative stress in the brain and the nervous system, the risk for Dementia, Parkinson’s, Depression and other neurodegenerative disorders goes up.

SSOHealth: How can we reduce oxidative stress?
Dr. Rodarte: In the past, we thought that eating well, getting the right amount of exercise, hydrating, getting sleep and taking a multi-vitamin would do the trick. These things are essential in reducing the effects of oxidative stress, but research has emerged in the past ten years that has uncovered a new and more effective solution called the Nrf2-antioxidant response. Simply put, taking a specific blend of antioxidants will trigger the activation of a cellular response called the Nrf2 activation pathway. When this happens, the bodies’ ability to get rid of free radicals improves, reducing oxidative stress in the cells. Activating this pathway allows the body to release more powerful antioxidants than we can ingest or infuse into our bodies alone. Studies have hailed this pathway in major US universities as potentially the most potent preventative and therapeutic pathway in the history of medicine.

SSOHealth: It seems like taking an antioxidant supplement is the way to activate this anti-aging response, is that safe to say?
Dr. Rodarte: yes, but not all antioxidants activate the Nrf2 pathway, so it is essential to do your research and talk to a professional before purchasing any supplements.

In summary, if you want to live longer and healthier, you need to reduce your oxidative stress by living a healthy lifestyle and taking the right Nrf2 pathway-stimulating antioxidant. Contact SSOHealth or Dr. Rodarte for recommendations on how to reduce your oxidative stress and improve your Nrf2 Pathway activation to live healthier and longer lives with less physical and non-physical expressions of stress.