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GSE Inflammation caused by oxidan/antioxidant imbalance

Stress, toxins, damaged fats, microbes and NOT enough antioxidants causes inflammation


Inflammation occurs as a result of Oxidant /Antioxidant Imbalance

A major reason damage occurs to body tissue is because too many highly reactive, oxidant ions/molecules introduced into or being produced in the body have overwhelmed the body's antioxidant presence - Uncontrolled free radicals, ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species), RNS (Reactive Nitrogen Species) and other reactive species are likely to take part in chemical reactions with your body's proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and DNA.

For more detailed information on Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), see:

Life's Oxygen Paradox - Meet Dr. ROS Jeckyll and Mr. ROS Hyde

ROS in the body come from various sources – some are listed on this page, but for more detailed information:

Where do ROS in the body come from?

Reactive Oxidants are produced in the body during metabolism

Energy-producing oxidative metabolism produces ROS - Oxidative metabolism is part of the design to extract energy by controlled oxidation of substrates, at the same time preventing uncontrolled oxidative damage via antioxidants a good analogy is “To use fire for warmth, but not to get burnt”.

ROS in oxidized Lipids / Trans Fats

Oxidized Cholesterol

In fried, cooked, cured, aged, or processed foods, chiefly meats, eggs and dairy - E.g. powdered eggs/milk, scrambled eggs. Dietary oxidized cholesterol is equally distributed to both HDL and LDL in the body.  (Univ of Ca, 2003)

Cholesterol produced by the body or consumed in food is oxidized in the body - in its antioxidant role when it comes into contact with free radicals. (lipid peroxidation induced by ROS/RNS seems to be involved not only in cardiovascular disease, but also in cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and other degenerative health problems, including accelerated aging).

Oxidized Polyunsaturated, Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fats

These essential fats are easily oxidized by ROS and RNS:

–    In food before consumption -E.g. during the usual high-temperature commercial process of extracting vegetable oils from seeds, or in high-temperature processed foods. E.g. fried foods.Dietary omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential to well-being, but need to be consumed undamaged, in balance, together with fat-protective antioxidants,such as vitamins A, D, E. and K;

–    In the body after consumption – when antioxidants are deficient; particularly damaging to cell membranes;

Trans Fats

2005 study of 700 nurses - found that those consuming the most trans fats had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular diseaseLink to study

Increase both LDL and Lp(a) -One study showed significant increases in Lp(a) levels of subjects consuming diets high in trans fats, but not in those consuming high levels of saturated fats [J Lipid Res 1992 Oct;33(10):1493-501]. Nutritionist/author Dr. Mary Enig maintains that saturated fats actually LOWER Lp(a) levels. (Lp(a) is a specific type of LDL cholesterol, implicated in, and an accurate marker for CVD)

Lp(a) - The "Repair Man"

Decrease HDL

Damaged/Altered,Toxic Fats

ROS Produced by White Blood Cells when body reacts to an adverse factor

A wound, fever, nervous imbalance (stress), microbial infection or toxin precipitates an inflammatory response - in which radicals, ROS, RNS or other reactive oxidants are released by immune system white blood cells (E.g. macrophages).

Emotional Stress

(Possibly today's main oxidation-causing stressor)

Histamine is produced as a result of Erratic Stress – Accumulating histamine leads to inflammation and plaque formation. (Bruce H. Lipton's histamine theory is that erratic stress induces mast cells on blood vessel endothelium to emit histamine, which causes cells to multiply).

Having a Type-A personality is linked to an increased risk of CHD – characteristics include time urgency and competitiveness.

Trauma / Infective Microbes

Physical damage or presence of infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, initiates an inflammatory process that leads to ROS production by phagocytes - E.g. infectious bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae and the Herpes simplex virus have been proposed as initial inflammatory infectious agents in atherosclerosis.

ROS are released in the synthesis of prostaglandins and leukotrienes -local “messenger”molecules released from unsaturated fatty acids, produced in response to trauma.

Environmental Toxins

Induce inflammatory response leading to damaging ROS and RNS - E.g.cigarette smoking by-products, exhaust fumes, household chemicals, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, pesticides/herbicides, GMOs, food additives: E.g. dyes, aspartame, sucralose, MSG, nitrites (used to cure meat such as bacon, bologna, corned beef, sausages and hot dogs); (Suwa et al, 2002; Pope et al, 2004a)

ROS Produced by hyperglycemia (chronically high blood sugar levels)

Hyperglycemia induces an inflammatory reaction in endothelial cells (lining interior surface of blood vessels), which can cause an increase in the production of ROS (reactive oxidants, including free radicals)  (Ceriello et al, 1996)

Hyperglycemia increases the formation of oxidized LDL - an important modulating factor in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular death.


Ceriello P et al, (April 1996 )High Glucose Induces Antioxidant Enzymes in Human Endothelial Cells in Culture, Diabetes Vol 45.

Pope CA, III, Burnett RT, Thurston GD, Thun MJ, Calle EE, Krewski D, et al. (2004a) Cardiovascular mortality and long-term exposure to particulate air pollution: epidemiological evidence of general pathophysiological pathways of disease. Circulation. 109:71–77.

Suwa T, Hogg JC, Quinlan KB, Ohgami A, Vincent R, van Eeden SF. (2002)  Particulate air pollution induces progression of atherosclerosis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 39:935–942. [PubMed]

University of California Study, published Feb. 1, 2003.


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