A common Trigger or cause of autoimmune disease, Thyroid disease, Diabetes, Chronic Pain, and Depression is the notion of Oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, defined as a disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses.
Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with Oxidative stress.
- Memory loss and/or brain fog/Depression/Anxiety
- Chronic Pain- joint pain/muscle
- Wrinkles and grey hair
- Disruption of Sleep
- Headaches and sensitivity to noise
- Susceptibility to infections
One of the tests I routinely perform on patients is a test that helps me understand a patients Oxidative stress levels, injury due to free radicals, and that individuals anti-oxidant status.
Oxidation of DNA occurs readily at the guanosine bases and thus measurement of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine in urine provides a quantitative assessment of ongoing oxidative damage/stress in the body. Assessment and amelioration of oxidative stress are invaluable components of preventive approaches to optimizing health and longevity.
Urinary 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) is an excellent biomarker of oxidative stress and a risk factor for a variety of diseases including cancer. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced as a result of normal oxygen metabolism or exposure to xenobiotics. Excessive levels are associated with oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and DNA. ROS-induced damage to nuclear and mitochondrial DNA occurs readily at the guanosine bases that are removed by DNA repair mechanisms and excreted in urine.
8-OHdG is the most frequently detected and studied oxidized nucleoside of DNA that is considered to be premutagenic due to its potential for initiation and promotion of carcinogenesis. Bladder and prostate cancers have been associated with elevated levels of 8-OHdG.
Oxidative stress and ROS-induced elevations of 8-OHdG have been associated with numerous pathological processes including cystic fibrosis, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatitis, chronic hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.
Elevated levels of 8-OHdG also have been associated with hyperglycemia and have been positively correlated with HbA1c and the severity of nephropathy and retinopathy in diabetics.
Factors That Cause Oxidative Stress
- Recreational drugs
- Certain pharmaceuticals
- Chronic Hidden infections
- Hormone imbalances
- Cellular Inflammation
- Environmental Toxins- auto exhaust, paint, radon, cosmetics, hairsprays, dental offices,
All of these have been associated with elevated urine levels of 8-OHdG.
In grade school children exposure to toxic/carcinogenic metals released from coal-fired power plants as assessed by measurement of elements in urine was significantly correlated with urine levels of 8-OHdG.
Moderately elevated levels of 8-OHdG have been associated with inadequate intake of carotinoids, antioxidant-rich foods and supplemental antioxidants. A finding of an elevated level of 8-OHdG in a first morning urine void warrants identification of the source(s) of oxidative stress/inflammation and assessment of the primary intracellular antioxidant glutathione (Glutathione assay). The efficacy of therapeutic intervention to ameliorate oxidative stress should be monitored by subsequent re-testing of urine 8-OHdG and glutathione levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where does oxidative stress come from?
A: Oxidative stress comes from a variety of sources including air pollution, tobacco smoke, and ultraviolet light. In addition to these sources, it also occurs naturally as part of food digestion and cell respiration.
Q: What makes oxidative stress so dangerous?
A: Oxidative stress is dangerous because it produces molecules that can damage the components of your cells, including the proteins, lipids, and DNA.
Q: Why is it so important to get tested for oxidative stress?
A: Under normal conditions your body can generally balance the negative affects of oxidative stress. But if this natural system falters, you can be exposed to harmful affects of oxidative stress, leading to potentially serious damage.