Donabee.com Health & Wellness


Free Radicals

 
Oxidative Stress
There has never been a generation on this planet subjected to more oxidative stress than this present one. We are literally under attack from our polluted environment, stressful lifestyles, and over-medicated society-Dr Ray Strand- Read More.
 
 Diseases
More than 70 of the diseases we all fear are caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Read More
 
Losing Weight
Huge issue. 60% of the people are overweight. Diabetes II is an epidemic. People can't lose weight. Want to know why? Read More
 
Glycemic Index
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy. Are all carbs the same? No, they aren't. Some are bad news.  Read More.
 


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Free Radicals cause Oxidative Stress

Beyond any doubt the "root" cause of well over 70 chronic degenerative diseases is "oxidative stress." These are the "who’s who" of diseases we all fear and want to avoid; diseases like heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s dementia, macular degeneration, lupus, MS, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. "So what," you may be wondering, "is ‘oxidative stress’?(1)

Oxidation is what happens to an apple or banana exposed to air. Rusting of metal is also oxidation. Think of it this way, free radicals are atoms, normally oxygen atoms, that have lost an electron(s). If you remember from your chemistry in school atoms want an equal number of electrons as protons. If the atom loses an electron it wants and will get one. Oxidation is caused when the atom missing an electron steals an electron from a cell in the apple, the steel or your body. This causes that cell to be unbalanced and either become a free radical itself or deteriorate. So the same oxidation you see on that apple or banana or the steel body of your car is also occurring each second in your body. 

Think of it this way. Have you ever taken a balloon and rubbed it on silk then placed it on a wall to see it "stick" to the wall? You knock electrons off rubbing it on the silk. You oxidize the balloon. This changes the charge on the balloon. It sticks to the wall until it gains enough electrons to balance its electrical charge then it will fall from the wall. (This is why cholesterol sticks to the walls of your arteries.)

Natural Process

In your body free radicals are a natural process. When the mitochondria, the tiny furnaces, in each cell burn sugar for energy, free radicals are created. 

If these free radicals are not readily neutralized by an antioxidant they go on to create more volatile free radicals, damage the cell walls, vessel walls, proteins, fats, and even the DNA nucleus of our cells. Chemically this reaction has been shown to be so volatile that it actually causes bursts of light within our bodies!(1)

This process may sound pretty minimal, doesn't it? Compare it to having a fireplace without a screen in front of it. Your first fire causes a spark to shoot out a cinder and burn a tiny hole in your carpet. Not a good thing but not a big deal, right? What happens after years of fires in your fireplace? You get a carpet with lots of holes burned in it. This is what is happening in your body. Antioxidants are the fire screen.

Oxidative stress also causes aging. Aging inelastic skin is a symptom of the aging processes going on inside the body.

Today, we are under attack from an abundance of free radicals far more than any generation before.

Free Radicals cause Degenerative Diseases

Dr. Ray Strand explains the effect on your body this way, "Whichever part of your body receives the most free radical damage will be the first to wear out and potentially cause one of these degenerative diseases. If it’s your arteries, you could develop a heart attack or stroke. If it is your brain, you could develop Alzheimer’s dementia or Parkinson’s disease. If it’s your joints, you could develop arthritis." 

We are not powerless over this process. Your body uses antioxidants to counteract the free radicals. Antioxidants give up electrons to the free radicals making them harmless atoms. The key question is there a balance. Do you have adequate antioxidants to offset enough free radicals?

Where do we get antioxidants?

Most antioxidants you get come from fruits and vegetables, In fact, vitamins are actually antioxidants. Vitamin C and E are powerful antioxidants. This creates a gap in our protection, because our foods have become significantly depleted in their content of antioxidants and supporting minerals as a result of mineral depletion in our soils, green harvesting, cold storage, foods that are highly processed, our poor food choices and food preparation.(1)

The number of free radicals you produce each and every day is never the same. All the pollutants in our air, food, and water dramatically increase the number of free radicals we produce. Enormous stress, excessive exercise, cigarette smoke, sunlight, radiation, and every drug prescribed greatly increase the number of free radicals produced in the body. In fact, there has never been a generation on this planet subjected to more oxidative stress than this present one. We are literally under attack from our polluted environment, stressful lifestyles, and over-medicated society.(1)

Antioxidant

Good Food Sources

Vitamin C

Citrus fruits and their juices, berries, dark green vegetables (spinach, asparagus, green peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, watercress, other greens), red and yellow peppers, tomatoes and tomato juice, pineapple, cantaloupe, mangos, papaya and guava.

Vitamin E

Vegetable oils such as olive, soybean, corn, cottonseed and safflower, nuts and nut butters, seeds, whole grains, wheat, wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, soybeans, sweet potatoes, legumes (beans, lentils, split peas) and dark leafy green vegetables.

Selenium

Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, oatmeal, brown rice,  chicken, eggs, dairy products, garlic, molasses, onions, salmon, seafood, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains, most vegetables.

Beta Carotene

Variety of dark orange, red, yellow and green vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, red and yellow peppers, apricots, cantaloupe and mangos.

Source: (2) Cleveland Clinic - Heart & Cardiovascular Institute The nation’s #1 heart program by U.S. News & World Report for 12 years in a row

Supplements

Dr. Strand points out in articles he has written on this topic that he used to tell his patients, like every other doctor, that they get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their diet. He realized some years ago that was not the case. Today, he strongly encourages all his patients to take supplements in addition to eating good foods.

On his web page, www.bionutrition.org, Dr. Stand has numerous articles on how he has successfully helped many of his patients through high quality supplements. He has seen people cured of their diseases, including his wife Elizabeth who had fibromyalgia, by adding a quality supplement.  (Read the section on supplements to get more information as to what a quality supplement is as defined by Dr. Strand.) 

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Links

bulletFunctional Foods Fact Sheet: Antioxidants from IFIC - a much larger list of antioxidants from food
bullet Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention: Fact Sheet - National Cancer Institute US National Institutes of Health www.cancer.gov

Foot Notes:

(1) Ray Strand MD - Oxidative Stress - www.bionutrition.org

(2) Cleveland Clinic - Heart & Cardiovascular Institute The nation’s #1 heart program by U.S. News & World Report for 12 years in a row

 

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This web page or any products found here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you find information here that is of interest to you, take it to your medical doctor for conversation and evaluation. Do not stop taking any prescription drugs without consulting with your medical doctor.

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