Does oxidative stress increase blood pressure?

High blood pressure or hypertension is a problem of inflammation and oxidative stress.

In Ayurveda the body known as ‘Shareera” is defined as “Sheeryate iti shareeram” meaning the body is that which degenerates continuously. It implies that our body constantly undergoes oxidative stress!!

At any given moment our bodies are undergoing millions of process leading to oxidative stress. For example

  • When our body is fighting off an infection,
  • When our cells convert food\glucose to energy, or
  • When our body is dealing with abuse of bad food, poor sleep habits, alcohol, pollutants, smoking, pesticides etc
  • when we are coping with physical or emotional stress

Does oxidative stress increase blood pressure?

Too much oxidative stress (those pesky free radicals) in our body can hurt the inner lining of our blood vessels (the endothelium). This damage makes the blood vessels less flexible and tenser, like stiffening of a water pipe. As a result, the blood vessels can’t relax properly, and they become more constricted, which means they can’t let blood flow through smoothly. This whole process can contribute to high blood pressure, or hypertension. So, too many free radicals can harm our blood vessels and make them less effective, which can lead to high blood pressure.

An increased oxidative load is responsible for its role in speeding up the aging process, leading to signs like grey hair, wrinkles, arthritis, declining eyesight, and cause other health issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and possibly even cancer.

How to Reduce Oxidative Stress

To combat oxidative stress, a two-pronged approach is key.

Firstly, it involves steering clear of unnecessary sources of oxidation:

This means being mindful of factors that can increase oxidative stress in your body.

A] It includes avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, reducing exposure to pollution and toxins, and protecting your skin from excessive sun exposure.

B] Reduce simple carbohydrates the more sugar the more oxidation. Food that has been processed heavily most often have high amounts of sugar or salt or chemicals = increased oxidation.

C] Manage stress: Practices such as Yogasana, deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation promote awareness of present moment and can reduce stress over time

D] Adequate sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Poor sleep can exacerbate oxidative stress.

E] Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce oxidative stress because excess fat cells produce more free radicals, leading to increased oxidative damage. A healthy weight lowers the oxidative burden on the body, promoting better overall health and minimizing the risk of related chronic conditions.

Secondly, boosting your intake of antioxidants is essential.

Antioxidants are like your body’s defense team against oxidative stress. They’re found in fruits, vegetables, and certain foods like berries, nuts, and green tea. By including these antioxidant-rich foods in your diet, you provide your body with the tools it needs to neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.

By combining these approaches, you can help maintain a healthier balance in your body and reduce the damaging effects of oxidative stress and promote better long-term health.

Scroll to Top