Obesity is a global epidemic
Obesity is a global epidemic primarily impacting populations of industrialized countries. In the US, obesity rates exploded after the “cola wars” of the late 1970’s and coincided with dramatic increases in sugar consumption, especially among children. Excess calorie consumption leads to weight gain and for most adults, losing the pounds can be a significant challenge.
The answer lies in REDOX chemistry. Obesity leads to a dramatic increase in oxidative stress. In studies, obese subjects show increased superoxide production, protein kinase activation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in tissues with excessive fat cells. Lipotoxicity is a term describing the oxidative stress load of excessive fat cells in various places in the body. Lipotoxicity leads to altered sugar and fat metabolism as well as high leptin (human obesity protein that regulates appetite) levels. Eventually fat chemicals begin to accumulate in places other than the normal fat deposits—in the pancreas, liver, heart, kidney, and blood vessel walls. These chemicals block the normal function of organs and impede inter-organ and cellular messaging, resulting in signaling molecule message breakdown.
Research is now ongoing to discover an intervention to restore a healthy REDOX potential and correct the weight loss obstacle of oxidative stress. I have personally witnessed how supplementing with REDOX signaling molecules helps greatly in restoring energy levels and reducing the burden of oxidative stress. The results are encouraging.
Hypertension - People who suffer from high blood pressure have been shown to have higher levels of the byproducts of oxidative stress as well as an inability to produce adequate levels of intracellular antioxidants, which help to neutralize the unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress.
The results are an early disturbance of the endothelial cells that line the vessels, and this represents compelling evidence of the root causes for hypertension. These sensitive cells experience injury and stress, just as all other cells in the body. However, these cells’ ability to self-repair from exposure to toxins, mechanical injury, exposure to pro-inflammatory cellular “waste” products, and infiltration from “bad cholesterol” have broken down.
The weight of oxidative stress causes a shift in the REDOX potential, and the cell is unable to maintain balance. The result is cell death, cell dysfunction, or cellular defensive adjustments.
Cell death requires replacement. In youth, the body easily adjusts. With age, this cellular renewal slows down and sometimes results in scar formation. This is the beginning of arterial plaque, or hardening of the artery.
Cellular dysfunction can also cause abnormal signaling by REDOX molecules, producing a stress response that can create constriction and cause an elevation in blood pressure. Defensive adjustment leads to inflammation and further infiltration of immune cells and expansion of plaque formation that can harbor clots and may eventually even lead to stroke and heart attack.
Solutions are found in balancing the diet with fewer sugars and more complex carbohydrates. Additionally, maintaining proper weight and having daily exercise along with supplementing REDOX signaling molecules can create a balanced physiology and prevent the damage to the vessels from oxidative stress.