The Relationship Between Oxidation, Free Radicals and Inflammation

Posted on February 3rd, 2016

It is important to understand why oxidation, free radicals and inflammation play such an important role in providing good health and helping to avoid disease.

Hopefully the following article, which is designed for the pet owner and patient, will help you understand how these three conditions function, and how they are related, and what these actual topics mean.


Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidative agent. An oxidative stress or reaction can produce free radicals, which can cause inflammation and many unhappy, disease causing reactions.

The chain reaction can cause cellular damage and death to the cell.

Antioxidants can terminate the chain reaction that causes this damage and death to the cell by removing the free radical intermediates and inhibit oxidative reactions. The antioxidants do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants act as a reducing agent.

The excess production of oxidation is referred to as oxidative stress, and is thought to play a significant role in the development of strokes, heart attacks, neurological disorders and cancer.

Part of the standard treatment for these diseases, is the use of antioxidants.


A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron.

This molecule is very reactive and will seek out another electron pair.

These molecules can contain a positive charge in many cases, and other times, will remain neutral.

NOTE: Some free radicals do not cause damage to the body, while others do.

This unpaired electron molecule can initiate an uncontrolled chain reaction that can damage or destroy the normal function of a living cell, and allow for the development of many different diseases.

One medical, informational source compares a free radical to a burning ember, bouncing around in a cell, causing damage and death to every part of the cell it touches, including the DNA, cell membrane and the protein in the cytoplasm, which are vital for many biochemical enzymatic systems. This is another reason why the development of a damaging free radical, can cause a genetic malformation causing the Genetic Ice Age.

An increase in free radicals is thought to be the reason why body tissue and blood vessels develop more inflammation, with more oxidation problems, as humans and animals begin to age.


Inflammation is part of the complexed, biochemical response by the vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, including pathogens that cause cellular damage, irritation, and death to normal cells.

Inflammation is thought to cause oxidative problems including the production of damaging free radicals.

All and all, it would seem that:

  • Oxidation problems can cause the production of damaging free radicals and inflammation.
  • Damaging free radicals can also cause the production of oxidation and inflammation.
  • Inflammation can cause the production of oxidation and damaging free radicals.

NOTE: This is a very simple explanation for simple people like myself require in order to try to understand a tremendously complex, biochemical and cellular involvement.

As a veterinary clinician, I can only try to help my patients reduce unnecessary suffering from excessive oxidation, damaging free radicals and inflammation.


ANTIOXIDANTS are widely used, to help reduce unnecessary oxidation.

This list may include most, but not all antioxidants, for your consideration:


  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Red and Green grapes
  • Grapefruit


  • Yellow Squash
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Red and Yellow peppers
  • Purple onions
  • Garlic
  • Carotenoids


  • Holy Basil
  • Turmeric


  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • CoQ10
  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • N-acetyl cysteine
  • Resveratrol


Many of the damaging free radicals have a positive charge, and humans and animals can ingest a type of montmorillinite clay, referred to as Living Clay. This has a very strong negative charge, which when taken daily by mouth will neutralize many of the damaging free radicals, besides chelating out damaging heavy metals, neutralizing radiation and supplying all those micronutrients that may no longer be in the soils that plants are grown in.

NOTE: Any food crops grown in soils that contain or follow genetically modified crops will be micronutrient deficient.

The interesting fact about Living Clay is the fact that micronutrients are chelated. This means, the body will not absorb the micronutrient, unless the body needs the micronutrient


What can be done about inflammation? Beside the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, there is something you can do that is rarely being done at this time.

The medical profession is well aware of the fact that estrogen will cause inflammation and cause many different types of inflammatory diseases.

It has also been recognized that estrogen can cause oxidative problems, including the production of damaging, free radicals.

However, the medical profession does not realize that a huge amount of estrogen is produced by the inner layer adrenal cortex, and usually never measured.

Excess adrenal estrogen is produced, when damage to the middle layer, adrenal cortex occurs, and the cortisol that is produced, is either deficient, defective or bound. The damaged cortisol will not be recognized by the pituitary gland in its negative feedback mechanism with the cortisol producing layer, and the inner layer adrenal cortex, will respond in a direct feedback manner and produce large amounts of adrenal estrogen.

Adrenal estrogen is not measured typically and must be measured with all the other estrogens in the body, by doing a total estrogen test!

The damaged cortisol can be caused by genetics, trauma, stress, medications, toxins, chemicals, poor exercise and nutrition, radiation, chemotherapy, anesthesia, etc.

I refer to this syndrome as ACEIS, which stands for Atypical Cortisol Estrogen Imbalance Syndrome.

You can find more information on under Articles/Others, including the ANIMAL and HUMAN PROTOCOL, found under GET HELP.

Adrenal estrogen is easily measured, and included, along with the three ovarian estrogens that female’s produce, and the estradiol that males produce.

This test can easily be ordered by your physician and veterinarian, and is called a Total Estrogen test.

This is so very, very important to do, because total estrogen does create oxidative problems, free radicals and inflammation, which will lead to allergies, autoimmunity and cancer.

It is recognized that elevated estrogen causes inflammation of all the endothelial cells that line the arteries in the body of humans and animals.

That inflammation does cause oxidative problems with the production of huge amounts of damaging free radicals, which can raise havoc with the cells of all the various tissues.

Total estrogen is usually not measured when a blood test is done with your physical, but definitely should be measured at the same time.

Every patient I have ever been involved with, whether human or animal, and even through their own physician or with my own patients, with allergies, autoimmunity and cancer, all had elevated total estrogen.

Many of the human male patients with cancer, all had normal estradiol levels and high levels of total estrogen.

Many of the females that were postmenopausal and had cancer, were deficient in estradiol, but had elevated total estrogen.

When a woman becomes postmenopausal, and her estradiol levels decrease, often an estrogen supplement may be prescribed.

Most woman are afraid to use an estrogen supplement, for good reason.

A female patient, taking an estrogen supplement, without first measuring her total estrogen, may be inviting disaster, with the end result being cancer.

This also includes menstruating women, who are taking birth control pills that contain estrogen. If it turns out that your total estrogen still remains normal after taking a birth control pill, it is because the progesterone that is included with the estrogen contained in the same birth control pill is being converted into prednisolone, which helps reduce the pituitary hormone stimulation of the inner layer adrenal cortex, and helps reduce the production of adrenal estrogen.

For further information, please go to and under Dr. Plechner’s Corner, read Total Estrogen Part 1 and 2.

It should not make a difference to a health care professional whether the problem comes from oxidation, free radicals or inflammation and which came first.

The only concern the health care professional should have, is how to best treat the patient.

Often multiple medical disciplines will need to be applied from evidence-based medicine, to alternative, integrative and complimentary medicine.

There needs to be respect between the various medical disciplines, so that the best treatment protocol can be attained for the patient.

I refer to this as “wholistic medicine”.

I hope this article has provided you with helpful information that you can use to help both you and your pet, live a longer, happier and healthier life.


Dr. AL Plechner