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Aging and oxidative stress

Updated: Apr 1

Oh, the beauty of aging. With it, we know comes wisdom, life experience, and...wrinkles. It is something we all know can’t be escaped and despite our best efforts and all the money spent, we continue to get older. The good news is there are things that we can do that can slow and improve the aging process. We do have the power to modify our biology and alter the way aging happens from within.


As we age, we stop making our own collagen, and this happens younger than you may think in your twenties-thirties. Collagen is an abundant protein found in the body in most cells; it’s presence is necessary for many functions in the body including structure of connective tissue, elasticity of skin, strong nails, hair, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, healthy digestion, blood vessels, organs…all of these sounds pretty important right? The body can create collagen from amino acids found in certain foods in our diet, mainly high protein foods such as fish, eggs, and animal meat. Essential nutrients are also needed to create collagen including vitamin E, C, zinc and copper. The standard American diet typically offers less protein than we need and instead fills us with foods that create more inflammation and oxidative stress which only contribute to the accelerated aging process and cellular damage. With the decline in our endogenous production of collagen, the lack of collagen rich foods in our diet, and the inability to absorb those nutrients we need due to poor gut health, we start to see the effects of aging quicker and quicker. This may look like an increase in fine line wrinkles, loss of elasticity and glow of skin, achy joints and muscles, slow recovery, fatigue, digestion problems, and these are only just a few. Supplementing with collagen is an easy way to mitigate, but the right collagen is important. Collagen powders offer molecules that may be too large to absorb and are less bio-available than those found in hydrolyzed liquid collagen.




Oxidative stress is also to blame for aging cells. Oxidation is the process of removing electrons from cells which makes them unstable in the body and prone to causing damage to surrounding cells. Think of cutting an apple and watching it turn brown only minutes to hours later...this is oxidation. The same thing happens to our cells. We produce many free radicals every day through normal processes in the body, but when we begin to have more free radicals than we can manage with antioxidants, then we start to accumulate oxidative stress. Our body’s built-in defense for free radicals is antioxidants. When we are stressed, physically strained, sleep deprived, or are chronically inflamed then our body’s ability to fight oxidative stress is compromised and we are more susceptible to dysfunction and disease in the body.


Prevention is always key. Avoiding triggers such as chronic physical, mental or emotional stress is imperative to preventing the damage that results from oxidative stress.

· Get quality sleep

· Correct poor gut health

· Eat a diet full of healthy fats

· Eat a variety different colored vegetables

· Avoid toxins such as pesticides, plastics, alcohol, & harsh chemicals

· Eat organic when possible (clean 15 and dirty dozen- become familiar with these lists!)

· Avoid meats that are not grass fed/finished or that are fed grains and antibiotics (what they eat, so will you)

· Avoid GMO products

· Remove added sugar from the diet

· Sweat! (Exercise, sauna, or Epsom salt baths)

· Hydrate well. Your body needs water to support elimination of toxins (Sweat, urine, feces)

· Move your body with intention daily

· Breath work, meditation, journaling are ways to calm the nervous system and lower stress


Life is full of stress and just as it is true for aging, there is no way to escape it. So learning ways to mitigate the damage that results is something we can all do. Schedule your consultation today with Halo Health and Wellness to work with a provider or coach to lower inflammation and optimize your health.

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