Any discussion of cellular health and chronic inflammation support MUST include a mention of oxidative phosphorylation.
No, I’m not making up words, and no, you don’t have to remember the name of the process – but it is important in terms of core concept, and the gist is this – if you’re not healthy at the cellular level, you’re not healthy.
Oxidative phosphorylation is one of the metabolic pathways, which are, in a nutshell, the chains of chemical reactions taking place in your cells all day, every day, that keep you breathing. Oxidative phosphorylation is the release of energy from nutrients in the metabolism process in the mitochondria of your cells.
You may notice that this process starts with the “oxidative” prefix. Yes, that oxidation factor is the same process involved in oxidative stress and cellular decay in the body, triggered by an over-abundance of free radicals without adequate antioxidants to compensate. In other words, your cells making energy also creates cellular “waste” in the body, just as your car’s exhaust gives off noxious CO as a byproduct of burning gasoline.
Let me clarify: oxidative phosphorylation is natural, healthy, necessary, and happens all day, every day, as you turn food and nutrients into energy. That said, the waste product has to be managed and neutralized. Excessive buildup of these byproducts and cellular waste will lead to a number of things, including accelerated aging, disruption of systemic pH, inflammation (both chronic and acute), telomere damage (end of your chromosomes, critical indicator of the health of your DNA), weight gain, cytokine imbalance (which is bad), and many other interruptions to bodily homeostasis.
And how to fight oxidative damage? You guessed it – antioxidants. Where to go, and what to do? Great question. In part 2 we’ll address how to:
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