Psychophysical stress, free radicals and antioxidants

Insights on oxidative stress

Free radicals are molecules that are formed inside the body’s cells when oxygen is used in metabolic processes to produce energy (oxidation process).
These molecules are particularly unstable because they have only one electron instead of two; this leads them to seek a balance by taking the electron from other molecules with which they come into contact. These become unstable and, in turn, look for another electron and so on, thus triggering an instability mechanism called “chain reaction” that, if not stopped in time, ends up damaging cellular structures. From a bioelectrical standpoint, this dynamic process translates into very rapid changes in ionic balance that can be measured in vivo with the TomEEx device.
These reactions can last from fractions of a second to several hours and can be hindered through antioxidant agents that, by interacting with the missing electron, are able to neutralize free radicals.

Main free radicals:

  • Superoxide Anion O2-
  • Hydroxyl OH-
  • Nitrogen dioxide NO2
  • Nitric Oxide NO-
  • Hydrogen H-
  • Oxygen O+
  • Singlet oxygen O2+


Their action on the human body

The destructive action of these molecules is mainly directed against cells, in particular the lipids that form their membranes, as well as against sugars, phosphates, proteins and enzymes.
The persistent action of high oxidative stress causes the onset of various chronic diseases due to early cellular aging (see Oxidative Stress Algorithm - TomEEx).
In addition to the chemical and physiological reactions of cellular oxidation, the following contribute heavily to the formation of free radicals:

  • pathological states and/or persistence of chronic inflammation;
  • chronic stress (persistent activation of the HPA axis and the autonomic nervous system - ANS);
  • incorrect eating habits (toxic substances present in some types of food and/or developed while they are cooked);
  • intense physical and/or mental activity;
  • abuse and/or chronic use of drugs;
  • smoking and/or excess alcohol;
  • environmental pollution.


Antioxidant agents

The function of antioxidants is to restore the chemical balance of these unstable molecules (free radicals) by providing them with the electrons they lack.
The human body, by producing endogenous antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione, can partly defend itself from free radicals.
When the level of oxidation-reduction exceeds a certain threshold, it is necessary to rely on an external supply of antioxidants.
Please bear in mind that each antioxidant has a field of action limited to specific molecules, so multiple antioxidant agents must act synergistically by means of a controlled diet and supplementation throughout the day to ensure an effective antioxidative action. The main antioxidant agents are derived from minerals, plant pigments, vitamins, micronutrients and enzymes.

Antioxidants in response to daytime needs (present in Melcalin DIMET)

Minerals: Molybdenum, Selenium;
Vitamins: B1, B2, B6, B12, C, Niacin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid;
Plant pigments: Green Tea Extract, Lycopene.

Antioxidants in response to nighttime needs (present in Melcalin NIMET)

Minerals: Zink, Copper, Manganese;
Vitamins: E, Beta-carotene;
Plant pigments: Red Vine Extract;
Others: Evening Primrose Oil, Coenzyme Q10.

Authors: Dario Boschiero - Date: 31/03/2006

Attention: these contents can be freely used for personal learning purposes only. The use is regulated by Law No. 633/1941 and subsequent amendments, as well as by the copyright and patent legislation in force. Any use for commercial and profit-making purposes is forbidden.


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