Revelar – measuring Reactive Oxygen Species (Free Radicals)
Free Radicals are unstable molecules (meaning they have an unpaired electron) produced within our bodies. Free radicals damage healthy cells by “stealing” an electron from the healthy cell in order to become stable. Free radicals are naturally occurring molecules present in every person. However, internal and external factors such as diet, lifestyle, activity levels, chemicals and pollutants can increase the levels of free radicals, and thereby increase the risk of damage from free radicals. Free radical damage is also known as oxidative stress.
How Free Radicals Damage Healthy Cells:
The membranes of your cells contain oxygen atoms, which are targeted by free radicals. The oxygen atoms will be “stolen by the free radicals, altering the stability and function of a cell. This process is known as lipid peroxidation, and creates a chain reaction that increases the presence of other free radicals in the body.
The activity of free radicals in our bodies can cause cell membranes to deteriorate to the extent that they fail on function effectively. The cellular membrane is a very important part of the human body because it facilitates communication among different systems within the body. Scientists have concluded that the cellular membrane the true ‘brain’ of the cell, and it has greater effect on our biological well being then any of the other microscopic components of our bodies.
Excessive Free Radicals Cause Diseases:
When there is an abundance of free radicals in our bodies, the genetic code material of cells can be changed, and this will result in mutations that can lead to aging and to serious conditions suck a leukemia, other forms of cancer, and chronic degenerative diseases.
Unlike much of the common conceptions that no free radicals is of benefit, lack of reactive oxygen species (a type of free radical) may be an indication that there is inadequate cellular oxygenation. This is the basis of anaerobic metabolism -which describes cells functioning without adequate oxygen. This is the opposite of having too much oxidative stress. Diseases associated with long-term anaerobic metabolism are among the major causes of premature death – cancer and heart disease, as well as conditions such as osteoporosis, seizures, fatigue, allergies, high blood pressure and rapid heart beat, constipation, etc. As with all biological systems, there needs to be balance. In this case, oxygenation vs. oxidation.
Antioxidants Can Protect:
Certain antioxidants have been shown to reduce free radical damage. Studies have shown that antioxidants reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as various types of heart disease, as well as reduce the risk of cancer, eye diseases and the overall aging process. Because there are so many antioxidants available in the market today, it is important to use products, which are clinically proven. Until Revelar, there was no effective and precise way to measure whether antioxidants and other steps are working.
Measuring Free Radical Damage:
Revelar provides unprecedented accuracy in measuring aldehydes, an effective indicator of free radical damage. Aldehyde presence and quantity is directly correlated to the level of lipid peroxidation or cell damage brought about by free radicals. Measuring aldehydes created a strong indicator of the degree to which oxidative stress (free radical damage) is taking place. Revelar is able to measure the aldehydes in your breath that can lead to damage.
Until Revelar, the only way to measure free radical damage was via blood testing, TBARS (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances). It measures primarily only one aldehyde, namely malondialdehyde (MDA). However, there are as many as 33 different aldehydes which MDA is a very minor component.
Revelar developed a breath test that captures most aldehydes in the human breath, providing an accurate and complete analysis of oxidative stress. The Revelar reagent also features specificity. Other reagents are known to react with aldehydes, but their reactivity is not specific only to oxidative stress but also other forms of metabolism (i.e. carbohydrates and amino acids). The Revelar reagent shows very low reactivity with such non-relevant compounds, especially those known to be present in exhaled breath.
What is an ideal measurement?
There is no ideal level but rather a range considered acceptable /optimal. In our office, we estimate that values between 550-700 are ideal. Higher levels indicate excessive oxidative stress and free radicals while lower levels suggest the need for greater oxygenation.