How oxidative stress speeds up the ageing process and what you can do about it
Dr Ross Grant will present the Pre-Conference Workshop at the 9th Annual ACNEM Conference on Friday May 24th titled: Personalised testing for free radical burden and inflammation in the context of clinical and lifestyle outcomes.
The workshop will explore the role of oxidative stress in the ageing process and the major diseases which are associated with ageing.
“There are lots of pathways to oxidative stress so the treatment has to be multi-modal,” Dr Grant says. “If you want to keep people healthy we’ve got to stop or slow that cellular and in particular DNA damage.”
According to Dr Grant ageing is really the degeneration of systems in the body and if we were able to repair the damage then we could all look 20 years younger.
But the problem, Dr Grant said, is the repair process isn’t 100% successful in every case.
“Every time you produce a new set of cells to replace the old ones, they have accumulated a little bit of damage – and much of this damage can be either accelerated or reduced by what lifestyle choices people make.”
Dr Grant said the below lifestyle factors play a major role in expediting ageing:
- Toxin exposure such as pesticides and heavy metals
- Late nights (lack of sleep)
- Chronic anxiety and/or stress
- Excess calorie (Kilojoule) intake
- Chronic activation of immune system (e.g. low grade inflammation – various aetiologies)
Dr Grant targets four areas to reverse oxidative stress and lower free radical burden:
- Nutritious diet
- Quality and quantity of sleep
- Positive psycho-social engagement
“If you can get the diet right, you’re getting what the body needs for nutrition and hopefully you’re eliminating things it doesn’t need,” Dr Grant said.
“If you get the exercise right, then you’re rebalancing your stress responses and stimulating important trophic factors. These both create a better physiology and a better mindset which ties in with a more positive psycho-social engagement.”
Lifestyle assessment is key
Dr Grant said a “comprehensive lifestyle assessment” is crucial to be able to target specific areas in each patient.
“I had a gentleman come in to see me and he’d been vegetarian since he was a teenager, he exercised regularly but when we looked at his oxidative stress markers, they were really quite high. When we did a comprehensive lifestyle assessment we found his sleep was inadequate – both quality and quantity,” Dr Grant said.
“And yet he was doing everything else well but that lack of sleep hadn’t enabled his body to carry out necessary repair.”
Our society makes it very easy to live poorly
Dr Grant points out the way our society is set up, it’s actually very easy to live very poorly.
“I work within a hospital context and, let’s be honest, there’s money to be made out of sick people,” he said.
“This conference (2019 ACNEM Conference) is the forum where we can say spending most of our health care dollars on disease management is not actually the most efficient way to maintain the health of the community.”
Dr Grant said no one can avoid getting older but we can accelerate it or decelerate it.
“If you decelerate it, you’ve got every opportunity of living a long healthy older life, happy and functioning well. If you don’t, then you’ll not only be a burden to yourself and your family, but certainly the healthcare system,” he said.
Oxidative free radical damage speeds up after 60
Dr Grant said his research suggests human tissue seems to accumulate oxidative or free radical damage must faster after the age of 60.
“We will discuss in the workshop, these diseases include three of Australia’s biggest killers – cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegenerative dementia,” he said.
“We’ll look at what are the causes of these diseases and the role of oxidative stress and ageing.”
What treatment & supplementation can be used?
To help provide some clinical direction, Dr Grant will discuss the potential benefit of various tests for both oxidative stress and inflammation and offer a perspective on effective treatment strategies.
See Dr Ross Grant give the Pre-Conference Workshop on Friday May 24th 1.30pm – 4.00pm titled: Personalised testing for free radical burden and inflammation in the context of clinical and lifestyle outcomes.
Bookings are required click here for tickets.
The 9th Annual ACNEM Conference – Evolving Landscapes of Nutrition in Medicine Melbourne from May 24 – 26th.
Dr Ross Grant is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Sydney Adventist Hospital and a Biochemical Pharmacologist at the School of Medical Sciences University of NSW. His research is focused on the role of oxidative stress and changes in NAD+ metabolism and how these influence cellular degeneration, particularly in the brain and central nervous system. A related interest is in the effect of exposure to novel nutritional components, such as polyphenols, on human cellular response to oxidative stress, with a goal of detecting and correcting early degenerative biochemical changes associated with age-related degenerative disease.