Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for July 31, 2006


One of the best things that the naturopath did was the urine test that told me that I had a very high level of free radicals in my system. At the time I had no idea what they were and based on my symptoms and diet, she suggested the Candida diet and told me to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Maybe she thought I could reduce the free radicals naturally by drinking lots of water however, I can’t find that suggestion anywhere on the internet.

Here’s what I found about free radicals and anti-oxidants. I didn’t think to do any research at the time. Maybe I would’ve learned the importance of taking vitamins a lot sooner.

ANTIOXIDANTS AND FREE RADICALS

Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that are created in the body during normal metabolic functions or introduced from the environment. Free radicals are inherently unstable, since they contain extra energy. To reduce their energy load, free radicals react with certain chemicals in the body, and in the process, interfere with the cells ability to function normally. In fact, free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer, and atherosclerosis. Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients has the potential to reduce the risk of free radical-related health problems.

Oxygen, although essential to life, is the source of the potentially damaging free radicals. Free radicals are also found in the environment. Environmental sources of free radicals include exposure to ionizing radiation (from industry, sun exposure, cosmic rays, and medical X-rays), ozone and nitrous oxide (primarily from automobile exhaust), heavy metals (such as mercury, cadmium, and lead), cigarette smoke (both active and passive), alcohol, unsaturated fat, and other chemicals and compounds from food, water, and air.

Antioxidants work in several ways: they may reduce the energy of the free radical, stop the free radical from forming in the first place, or interrupt an oxidizing chain reaction to minimize the damage caused by free radicals.

The body produces several enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, that neutralize many types of free radicals. Supplements of these enzymes are available for oral administration. However, their absorption is probably minimal at best. Supplementing with the “building blocks” the body requires to make SOD, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase may be more effective. These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase.

In addition to enzymes, many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants in their own right, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin B2, coenzyme Q10, and cysteine (an amino acid). Herbs, such as bilberry, turmeric (curcumin), grape seed or pine bark extracts, and ginkgo can also provide powerful antioxidant protection for the body.

Consuming a wide variety of antioxidant enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and herbs may be the best way to provide the body with the most complete protection against free radical damage.

August 1, 2006 - Posted by | Health | , , ,

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