Both oxidative stress and inflammation are degrading forces that affect every area of health. In fact, both of these two forces have been found to be contributing factors of many diseases that affect the eyes, heart, and joint health, such as Arthritis.
When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body are released into the blood or affected tissues. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area and may result in redness and warmth. This process will stimulate nerves and cause localized pain. Increased blood flow and release of these chemicals attract white blood cells to the sites of inflammation. The increased number of cells and inflammatory substances within the joint can cause irritation and inflammation, wearing down of cartilage (cushions at the end of bones), and swelling of the joint lining (synovium).
Oxidative stress is caused by an overabundance of free radicals or active oxygen species in the body. Free radicals are a natural but unwanted by-product of oxygen metabolism, and in a healthy body, the free radicals are neutralized by antioxidants in the diet. When free radical and antioxidant ratios are out of sync, the free radicals bind to a cell’s protein and DNA, bolstering oxidative stress and eventually destroying the cell. The role of oxidative stress and joint issues is still unclear, but countless clinical studies have shown it to be a contributing factor to cartilage destruction as well as the development of Arthritis.