Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress as a major cause of age-related diseases and cancer

This recent abstract succinctly sums up what Drs. Wentz, McNamara, Strand and others have long been telling us about free radicals as the source of disease. The study refers to our antioxidant system and the role that antioxidants play in disease prevention.

Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2009;3(1):73-80.

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress as a major cause of age-related diseases and cancer.

Khansari N, Shakiba Y, Mahmoudi M. Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. khansari@nematk.com

Chronic inflammation is a pathological condition characterized by continued active inflammation response and tissue destruction. Many of the immune cells including macrophages, neutrophils and eosinophils are involved directly or by production of inflammatory cytokine production in pathology of chronic inflammation. From literatures, it is appear that there is a general concept that chronic inflammation can be a major cause of cancers and express aging processes. Moreover, many studies suggest that chronic inflammation could have serious role in wide variety of age-related diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. Inflammatory process induces oxidative stress and reduces cellular antioxidant capacity. Overproduced free radicals react with cell membrane fatty acids and proteins impairing their function permanently. In addition, free radicals can lead to mutation and DNA damage that can be a predisposing factor for cancer and age-related disorders. This article reviews the antioxidant defense systems, free radicals production and their role in cancer and age related diseases and also some of the recent patent relevant to the field. Study of the role of free radicals in human diseases can help the investigators to consider the antioxidants as proper agents in preventive medicine, especially for cancer and aging processes.

There are many antioxidants and they all work in slightly different ways. Some like vitamin C will reactivate vitamin E and work together. So when you’re looking at your diet and supplements, don’t just take one antioxidant and think you’re good, take a wide range, and some of these are simple vitamins like A, C, E, etc.

Some companies have a single product, or juice, which they claim is all you need. Not that they are bad, but a fruit juice only provides a couple antioxidants and not the full spectrum of necessary antioxidant vitamins and other phytonutrients.