Understanding the relationship between mercury and oxidative stress

Boyd Haley PhD explains the relationship between mercury and oxidative stress.

“Oxidation” is the chemist’s term for the process of removing electrons from an atom or molecule. The result of this change can be destructive.

Although we need oxygen to live, high concentrations of it are actually corrosive and toxic. We obtain energy by burning fuel with oxygen – that is, by combining digested food with oxygen from the air we breathe. This is a controlled metabolic process that, unfortunately, also generates dangerous byproducts. These include free radicals – electronically unstable atoms or molecules capable of stripping electrons from any other molecules they meet in an effort to achieve stability. In their wake they create even more unstable molecules that then attack their neighbors in domino-like chain reactions.

By the time a free radical chain fizzles out, it may have ripped through vital components of cells like a tornado, causing extensive damage, similar to that caused by ionizing radiation. Oxidative stress is the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (such as heavy metal toxins).

Online Resources for Disorders Caused by Oxidative Stress

Your body constantly reacts with oxygen as you breathe and your cells produce energy. As a consequence of this activity, highly reactive molecules are produced within our cells known as free radicals and oxidative stress occurs. When our protein-controlled (anti)-oxidant-response doesn’t keep up oxidative stress causes oxidative damage that has been implicated in the cause of many diseases (see list below on the left) and also has an impact on the body’s aging process.The list of disorders caused by oxidative stress will provide you with research summaries as well links to more detailed information. It includes information about specific protein dysfunctions and reduced cellular activity caused by structural damage.

OSR#1® is a toxicity free, lipid soluble antioxidant dietary supplement that helps maintain a healthy glutathione level. OSR#1® does so by scavenging ROS (free radicals) thereby salvaging the naturally produced glutathione. Both OSR#1® and glutathione scavenge free radicals, allowing the body to maintain its own natural detoxifying capacity.

osrFree radicals are unstable oxygen-containing molecules that negatively interact with other molecules in the body, in a process called oxidation. High levels of free radicals and oxidation can lead to oxidative stress. The body naturally fights oxidation by producing glutathione. However, when sufficiently stressed, the body’s glutathione may not be able to keep up with the production of free radicals. OSR#1® assists glutathione in its job of scavenging free radicals and may help the body maintain a healthy glutathione level.

Glutathione is the body’s natural defense to free radicals. However, once glutathione stabilizes a free radical, it becomes oxidized and is usually excreted from the body. This lowers the body’s level of glutathione, and high levels of oxidative stress can prevent the body from recovering its normal functioning. OSR#1®, unlike other antioxidants, is lipid or fat-soluble. This allows OSR#1® to penetrate cell walls to scavenge free radicals within cells. Water-soluble antioxidants cannot access cells in this way and are limited in their capacity to scavenge free radicals. This chart is an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score, developed by Brunswick Laboratories, which measures the effectiveness of antioxidants.

The ORAC score for OSR#1® is 192,400 µmoleTE per 100 grams, one of the highest recorded for a lipid soluble antioxidant. The HORAC (Hydroxyl Radical Absorbance Capacity) for OSR#1® is even higher at 299,000 µmoleTE per 100 grams. To learn more about how OSR1 can be part of your health plan and to find a medical practitioner who is dispensing OSR1, visit CTI Science.


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  1. iamara@pharmacy.ualberta.ca'
    Issa Amara

    Dear Sir: Could you please refer me where I can find an explanation of how mercury induce oxidative stress “I need the exact mechanism”.

    Issa Amara

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