Everyone’s ideal is to be in good health and above all to remain so. Being healthy can no longer be summed up as: not being sick! But, then, what is good health?
Good health is the resultant of physical but also mental balance. However, many factors, internal, external, environmental,… act permanently and disturb these tight balances. These factors behave as stress generators that stimulate defense and adaptative systems that we have to counterfight them and try to restore our fundamental equilibrium. Being in good health means being able to effectively manage, on a daily basis, all the situations that may destabilize our equilibrium. Being in good health means preserving all our capabilities for as long as possible, our ability to manage every attack that affect our Health and Wellness capital.
Well-being refers to psychological well-being, which is the result of a personal and subjective evaluation. It can be generated by various perceptions or satisfactions, financial, professional, sentimental but also, for many, by the absence of physical disorders.
Physical well-being is defined by the feeling of good general physiological health, a satisfaction of the Body’s primary needs.
Therefore, knowing we are in good health is essential for our psychological balance. How to know it? It is necessary to start an active, voluntary approach.
Recent scientific and technical advances allow us to know if we are in good health, even in the absence of disease. One of the essential actions is to regularly monitor the level of our antioxidant defenses and the capacity of our cells to provide the mitochondria energy they need to maintain themselves in an optimal metabolic state.
Both oxidative stress and decreased cellular mitochondria energy production are at the origin of many cellular dysfunctions which, in the long term, lead to a widely diverse, sometimes very serious, pathologies. At present, oxidative stress is not yet considered as a pathology by itself, eventhough it is now universally recognized that it favors the occurrence or aggravation of respiratory, cardiovascular, inflammatory, neurodegenerative, cancerous diseases, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, kidney or vision disorders, etc… But oxidative stress and decreased mitochondria energy are also among the main causes of the aging process.
Aging is a natural process for humans. From the age of 25, our capacity to fight against this occurence decreases. For example, we can no longer defend efficiently ourselves against the attack of germs. The latter will generate free radicals, which will damage our tissues. Mitochondria functional capacities decrease: we produce less mitochondria energy, which is essential to acurate cell function. An imbalance is then generated between free radicals excess and antioxidant defenses insufficiency: this is oxidative stress. Free radicals will attack and oxidize other molecules leading to cytotoxicity, macromolecular (such as collagen or elastin) depolymerization , extracellular matrix proteins alterations, cell membrane disorganization and DNA alteration. If oxidative stress state settles, we then undergo premature aging and, among other, premature skin aging (skin tone, dryness, wrinkles, pigmentation points, …). However, although metabolism exploration applications to cosmetic industry, with focus to metabolism exploration, oxidative stress and mitochondria function is one of the essential explanations of aging, as Metabolism exploration applications to cosmetic industry, with focus to metabolism exploration, oxidative stress and mitochondria function is involved in a large number of pathologies, it does not in any way allow their diagnosis. Nevertheless, Metabolism exploration applications to cosmetic industry, with focus to metabolism exploration, oxidative stress and mitochondria function remains an extraordinary indicator of everyone real state of health.
Therefore, monitoring our own metabolism exploration applications to cosmetic industry, with focus to metabolism exploration, oxidative stress and mitochondria function and capacity to provide energy renders acting on our future health possible and thus actively prepare us for aging.
Recent technological advances now allow us to do so.
We can ask laboratories, such as INTEGRACELL, to carry out complete assessments, allowing us to know our oxidative and mitochondria energy status, and above all to follow their evolution.
We must become active prevention players.
Approximately 70% of chronic diseases could be prevented by minor changes in our life behaviors. An unbalanced diet, especially one that is low in antioxidants, tobacco or alcohol addiction, more or less heavy smoking, sedentary lifestyle, inappropriate practice of sports, fatigue, high stress, do increase oxidative stress level. The addition of these factors is even more pejorative, smoking and being sedentary increase oxidative stress more than simple sum of both.
We must therefore become, in our own interest, the first actors in oxidative stress-induced disease prevention and thus in our good aging. Such awareness imposes a new way of conceiving our health.
If there is an alteration in our balance sheet, we can now act. It is necessary to get in touch with physicians who, after a clinical examination, will give us precise instructions concerning our lifestyle, dietary advises and establish antioxidant supplementation. After a couple of months, a new assessment will allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of our new regimen. But even if the assessment has normalized, it is in our interest to reiterate it regularly to avoid missing any subsequent imbalance.
In short, we must be and remain an actor of our future health. Staying healthy allows us to age better. Successful aging has become an essential objective for all of us.
Oxidative stress is a situation in which balance between free radicals production and antioxidant defense system elimination is disrupted. Such disruption leads to their accumulation. This production is largely associated with oxygen consumption. Indeed, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated in very large quantities in living systems. Our body’s antioxidant defense system serves to protect cells from ROS excessive production. This system is powered by many diet molecules, mainly originating from fruits and vegetables. There is a normal, natural level of ROS production and elimination. In all living systems, the balance between free radicals production and antioxidant defenses determines the oxidation-reduction state, which has either positive or negative effects on body functions. This is why either ROS increased production and/or reduced antioxidant defenses induce direct damage to nucleic acids, lipids and proteins.
These degradations play a role in age-related functional decline as well as a role in the development of multiple acute and chronic human diseases.
In short, ROS are not necessarily harmful, they are even necessary to some essential functions of the body. However, in response to chronic exposure or excessive production, the system can become unbalanced (free radicals > defenses). Cell environment, which is then said to be more « oxidizing », thus promotes oxidative damage, inflammation, poor health and disease.
The overproduction of ROS can be related to a large number of « stress factors », among which figure physical exercise. Indeed, any situation in which oxygen consumption is increased can lead to oxidative stress. A lot of studies on the potential links between oxidative stress and exercise has been launched in the recent years. Such interest has been motivated by several factors, including: (i) the growing knowledge of ROS importance in human diseases, (ii) an increased effort to promote exercise as a means of improving and/or maintaining health, (iii) the development and availability of various antioxidant treatments.
Early scientific studies considered exercise-induced ROS production to be detrimental to physiological function (both decreased physical performance and increased fatigue). More recent works, on the contrary, attributes a favorable role to them. They are now seen as important agents promoting the body adaptation, protecting it from further stress.
Indeed, a light oxidative stress appears necessary. Repeated exposure of the body to the increased production of ROS, such as during chronic training, leads to a stimulation of the antioxidant defense system. There is an increase in ROS during exercise, but also, and not insignificantly, when the effort is stopped. The body reacts to these « attacks », inducing an effective « adaptive » protection against ROS that will be produced during subsequent training sessions, or when exposed to stress from other sources. To induce this beneficial effect, ROS production must exceed a minimum threshold, effectively overloading the defense system. Specific production of ROS depends largely on the mode (aerobic, anaerobic), intensity and duration of exercise, as different types of exercise differ in their energy requirements, oxygen consumption and mechanical stress. If overload is reached, the body’s physiological response capacity will adapt, ultimately leading to improvements in health and/or performance.
Overtraining syndrome is generally characterized by declining performance and inflammation following intense training, leading to health implications. Diagnostic measures determining overtraining syndrome are limited. High exercise and overtraining have been shown to induce an increase in ROS production and proinflammatory cytokines proportional to load. They are generally followed by the decreasing of both fusion (Mfn2) and fission (Drp1) proteins that may contribute to mitochondrial morphology alteration.
Reduced endurance and muscle weakness are both the consequences of mitochondrial ATP production reduction. In skeletal muscle, increased mitochondrial DNA oxidative damage, along with cumulative DNA damage may explain overall reduction in mitochondrial DNA copy numbers. Reduced mtDNA copy number may contribute to lower mitochondrial mRNA production then protein synthesis, oxidative enzyme activity and OXPHOS levels. Consequently, reduction in ATP availability may participate to limit muscle remodeling.
Direct measurement of oxidative stress is extremely difficult. Indirect evaluation can be done by measuring the body’s antioxidant defenses: reducing molecules (glutathione,…), metals (Fe, Cu, Se,…), vitamins (A, E,…) and antioxidant enzymes activities (SOD, GPx, CAT, GR, G6PD). This panel analysis allows careful evaluation of the individual’s redox balance at the time of the assay.
Mitochondrial function can be followed by OXPHOS complex activity measurements, ATP production and quantitative mitochondrial fusion and fission transcripts activities.
Thus, during sports practice, regular evaluation of antioxidant defenses level allows us to know and monitor individual’s level of adaptation. This is important for an isolated individual, but also at the level of a team.
Is the implemented performance level adequate, adapted or too high for the current physical condition?
For each player of the team, are training sessions sequences, duration and intensity adequatelly adapted to the prepared competition?
Is a determined player « in shape », will he be able to play the whole game, or only a part of it? In case of « tiredness », do we have to make an adapted specific preparation?
Can we improve our preparation for competitions?
How can we better manage the rest phases?