Natural Remedies for Fighting Oxidative Stress to Improve Health

Cocoa, grapeseed oil, blueberries, and red grapes

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals overwhelm the body's defense against their harmful effects. A natural byproduct of metabolism, free radicals are a type of unstable molecule. When left unchecked, free radicals can damage your DNA by robbing other molecules of their electrons (a process known as "oxidation").

In recent years, scientists have linked oxidative stress to aging and a number of diseases. However, some research suggests that antioxidants found in certain natural substances may enhance your health by fighting oxidative stress.

Oxidative Stress and Your Health

Oxidative stress may contribute to the development of many diseases and chronic conditions, including:

If you're considering the use of any dietary supplement to fight off oxidative stress, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting your supplement regimen. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.

Blueberries, grapeseed oil, and red grapes

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress

Found in a host of foods and herbs, antioxidants can bind to free radicals and stop them from stealing electrons from other molecules in your body. Research suggests that the following antioxidant-rich substances may neutralize free radicals and increase your defense against oxidative stress:

Beta-carotene, coenzyme Q10, melatonin, vitamin C, and vitamin E are also known to act as antioxidants and possibly protect against oxidative stress.

Using Natural Remedies to Diminish Oxidative Stress

To date, no natural remedy or supplement has been proven to cure any condition associated with oxidative stress. Still, following a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods (such as fruits and vegetables) may help improve your overall health.

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Additional Reading
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  • Hininger-Favier I, Benaraba R, Coves S, Anderson RA, Roussel AM. "Green tea extract decreases oxidative stress and improves insulin sensitivity in an animal model of insulin resistance, the fructose-fed rat." J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Aug;28(4):355-61.
  • Kairisalo M, Bonomo A, Hyrskyluoto A, Mudò G, Belluardo N, Korhonen L, Lindholm D. "Resveratrol reduces oxidative stress and cell death and increases mitochondrial antioxidants and XIAP in PC6.3-cells." Neurosci Lett. 2011 Jan 25;488(3):263-6. Epub 2010 Nov 19.
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  • Sasazuki S, Hayashi T, Nakachi K, Sasaki S, Tsubono Y, Okubo S, Hayashi M, Tsugane S. "Protective effect of vitamin C on oxidative stress: a randomized controlled trial." Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2008 May;78(3):121-8.
  • Thyagarajan A, Jiang J, Hopf A, Adamec J, Sliva D. "Inhibition of oxidative stress-induced invasiveness of cancer cells by Ganoderma lucidum is mediated through the suppression of interleukin-8 secretion." Int J Mol Med. 2006 Oct;18(4):657-64.