When Free Radicals are Actually the Good Guys

I find the most difficult concepts to fully grasp about health and how your body works, is that everything has a reason and although some things like redox molecules can be harmful, they are also totally necessary.

The problem lies in how our life styles and our environment have modified much more quickly than we can keep up with. Consider something as simple as the consumption of farmed foods. You know, grains like corn, rice and wheat? Most people accept that we evolved to eat them, but that’s not the situation. Our cells and basic digestive needs haven’t evolved since our cavemen – hunter/gatherer roots and hunter gatherers were not farmers. Although we’ve been consuming bread for thousands of years, there are many scientists and nutritionists that will claim that actually -such foods don’t fit with our design.

So, if we haven’t developed enough to eat the crops we’ve been growing for thousands of years, just consider how our bodies (at the cellular level) are reacting to things like cigarrette smoke, drinking alcohol, air pollution, prescription drugs and the chemicals that are a part of our food.

The answer is”They haven’t”

Now think about free radicals which are also known as ROS or Reactive Oxygen Species – ages before we acquired so many new external sources of free radicals, they were produced by our bodies as an inevitable byproduct of our immune and metabolic processes AND we had the all-natural ability to maintain control of them. Now, that’s different and for many people it’s really important to supplement with antioxidants to reduce the injury that can be caused by all the free radicals that our lifestyles have inflicted on our bodies. There’s one reason for all the need for antioxidants, but there is actually another element to think about. A different view is that although ROS can be highly damaging, redox reactions are also part of the basic chemical processes of life. Lately, it has become ever more apparent that ROS/redox molecules also play a function in the regulation of many intracellular communication pathways that are essential for normal cell growth and inflammatory reactions that are essential for our defense.

One example is Nitric Oxide which performs a function in nerve and vascularnerve and vascular function and regulation of the immune system. Another even more stunning example is that ASEA, which is a dietary supplement that contains millions of redox signaling molecules can enhance the effectiveness of your body’s antioxidants by more than five hundred%

Redox molecules are an essential element of many metabolic pathways; they are part of the flame of basic energy producing processes. We have had to evolve complex mechanisms to live with these reactive molecules and can use the reactive nature of these molecules for intracellular signaling. Therefore, a key concept in dealing with redox reactions must be to control but not eliminate, for turning off production of ROS is tantamount to turning off the engine that powers us.