Balance between Oxidation and Reduction
Happy Thanksgiving! May this holiday bring joy as you gather around the table to break bread, and partake in the traditional thanks-giving ritual.
Without a doubt, oxidative stress is an important issue to understand and balance, and what better way to do so with the kinds of foods we eat? So as we head into the holiday season, laden with sumptuous foods and drinks, lets take a moment and go over the process of oxidative stress and how we can ease its impact on our body—with healthy food that is worthy of celebration.
Every cell has chemical reactions involving the oxidation and reduction of molecules. These reactions or redox pathways can lead to the production of free radicals.
A useful acronym to encapsulate the meaning of the oxidation/reduction process is: OIL RIG (Oxidation Is Losing electrons and Reduction Is Gaining electrons). When a molecule looses electrons, it enters into a state of possessing one or more unpaired electrons and becomes a highly unstable molecule that has electrons available to react with various organic substances.
When free radicals react with key organic substrates such as lipids, proteins, DNA and cell membranes, the oxidation can damage and disturb the normal functions and contributes to a variety of disease states, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, diabetes, IBD, autoimmune disease—basically the diseases of aging.
Many naturally occurring processes can influence the level of free radical production within our body. Let’s list a few:
The preponderance of oxidizing agents in our world today, increased psychological stress, poor life style choices and dietary practices have overwhelmed our body’s ability to neutralize their potential damaging and disease causing effects. This is the very reason that we must fully arm our body’s Antioxidant Defense System.
The Antioxidant Defense System includes enzymes and antioxidants to prevent the start of oxidative damage and/or control its spread. There are also enzymes to repair oxidative damage, and mechanisms to target damaged molecules for destruction and replacement.
Some essential antioxidants are made in our cells (endogenous antioxidants), and include enzymes such as the Phase II Proteins (P2Ps), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase; and the small molecules glutathione, carnitine, carnosine, uric acid, coenyzme Q-10 and lipoic acid. Other essential antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E, selenium, and certain phytochemicals must be obtained from our diet (exogenous antioxidants). Fruits, vegetables and grains are rich sources of vital antioxidants. Let’s focus on the Phase II Proteins. I’ll call them P2Ps.
Recently published studies have shown that P2Ps play an important role in the protection of stem cells, neural cells and endothelial cells. Let’s look at each type.
In adult organisms, stem cells act as a repair system for the body that maintains the normal turnover of regenerative organs, such as blood, skin, or intestinal tissues. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can cause the body to use up its precious supply of stem cells more quickly, thereby shortening our life span. In animal models where P2P expression is inhibited, the life span of these animals was decrease by 20% with a high percentage dying from cancers of various kinds.
Our nervous system is under tremendous attack today due to the levels of pollutants that are neurotoxic, and pathogens that use neurotoxins as part of their weaponry. Nerve cells, along with immune system cells, have the most receptor sites in their cell membranes—in the neighborhood of two million receptors per cell. Receptor sites are a major target where toxins attach and disrupt. Remember, most receptor site are proteins, and therefore when oxidized, they change their shape, and thus destroy their function as a receptor. Recall last week’s newsletter: we talked about ligands and receptors in the cell membrane as the brain of the cell. With strong P2P protection we can lower the rising tide of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, ALS and so on.
The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels, forming an interface between circulating blood in the lumen and the rest of the blood vessel wall. Oxidized lipids, such as oxidized LDLs, traveling in the blood, can damage the endothelial cells, causing our immune system to respond, thereby initiating a cascade of events that can lead to atherosclerosis. Heart disease is still the number one killer worldwide.
Let’s look at the clinical notes to learn how the Cruciferous Sprouts lead us to healthfully balance the oxidation process. Read on—I promise you will like it!
Cruciferous vegetables are known for their ability to induce Phase 2 Enzyme transcription within the human body. The class of phytochemicals within cruciferous vegetables responsible for this induction is the glucosinolates.
The Cruciferous Sprout Complex is a propriety, freeze-dried blend of sprouts of broccoli, watercress, daikon radish, red radish, kale, mustard and cabbage yielding 10,000 ppm glucosinolates. That is a lot of anti-oxidant power to celebrate with!
Utilizing Green Technology, seeds that contain high glucosinolate content are selected to sprout. After three days of growth the sprouts are arrested at the height of their glucosinolate/isothiocyanate potential, blanched to kill any pathogenic microbes such as molds, and freeze-dried so as not to destroy any of their heat sensitive nutrients. The amount of glucosinolates per gram is many fold magnified in cruciferous sprouts compared to the mature plant.
We have observed the Cruciferous Sprouts increase human liver cell output of P2Ps by 2.6 times after a month dosing period. Phase 2 Enzymes are responsible for Phase 2 liver detoxification. In another of group individuals, with high oxLDL levels, the Cruciferous Sprouts were able to reduce oxidized LDL levels by an average of 69% over after a month of dosing 4 capsules twice a day. That is a powerful and sumptuous food!!
Take 4 to 6 capsule 3 to 5 days a week
The Last Quiz Answer: This amazing creature is a Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta). It is a very peculiar small animal. In fact it is one of the smallest known primates, no larger than a adult men’s hand. Mostly active at night, it lives on a diet of insects. Folk traditions sometimes has it that tarsiers eat charcoal, but actually they retrieve the insects from (sometimes burned) wood. It can be found in the islands of Samar, Leyte, Bohol, and Mindanao in the Philippines.
Many years of both legal and illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture have greatly reduced these forests, and reduced the tarsier population to a dangerously small size. The Philippine tarsier may soon be added to the list of extinct species. Here is a Tarsier eating a cricket.