As technology advances at an incredibly fast pace, so does our ability to understand the cellular makeup of the human body. Top medical researchers are realizing how important cellular health is, and how redox signaling molecules are vital to human life. In fact, scientists have discovered that an imbalance of redox signaling molecules plays a significant part in diabetes, cancer, and every other disease. It is believed that disease prevention and redox signaling are strongly interconnected.
What Is Redox?
Redox signaling is not new to science. It was discovered by a scientist a century ago, but with limited ability to study cells, it wasn’t until recently that redox signaling has been studied in depth.
Perfectly functioning cells exist in a state of homeostasis. When a cell starts to get a buildup of oxidative stress, this means something is wrong. Oxidative stress can cause major health damage if it isn’t cleaned up and controlled, so a cell communicates with the body’s genes. It sends a message that it is in distress and needs to either be replaced or repaired. To get the necessary help, the cell signals the genes inside of its nucleus by releasing a redox signaling molecule. When this microscopic molecule is released, the cell gets help and homeostasis is restored. This is known as the redox signaling process.
Redox molecules are responsible for communication between cells and the genes. These tiny messengers communicate in a powerful way to help restore, protect and rejuvenate the human body at its most basic level: its cells. When something needs changing, fixing, or replacing, redox molecules send the signal to begin this process and the body repairs the problem.
Cells are the literal building blocks of the human body — there are trillions of them. Contained in each cell are mitochondria, sometimes even hundreds of mitochondria per cell. Mitochondria are responsible for producing and releasing redox signaling molecules. When a cell is functioning optimally, it is in a state of homeostasis and redox molecules are released when oxidative stress is too high.
Unfortunately, there are things that can adversely affect a cell’s homeostasis, hindering its ability to produce redox signaling molecules. Unavoidable things like aging, environmental toxins and stress can affect a cell’s homeostasis and inhibit its ability to produce and release redox signaling molecules when a cell needs help. If a cell isn’t able to maintain homeostasis, its genes can actually be turned off, and if cells aren’t able to receive genetic instruction, a person’s health will be at risk.
Healthy Redox Function
Our cells require balance to achieve peak performance. When homeostasis is achieved and maintained, redox signaling has been shown to play an important role in supporting optimum function in every system in the human body, like the immune system, the endocrine system and the cardiovascular system. The stronger the redox signaling response is, the healthier a human body will be, and when a person achieves and maintains good health, they can live life to the fullest.