Dhanvantari Ayurveda Center  Michael Dick, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Leesburg, Florida    e-mail: md@ayurveda-florida.com



The Ayurvedist®

Volume IV Issue 1                                                                                                                   January 2007  

Health and Science in the News

Text Box: Angel of the Waters Central Park NYC




Inside This Issue


Health and Science in the News


Defining Time and a Treatment


Book Corner--Freedom From Disease





Happy New Year to all! The Ayurvedist wishes the best to you in the new year.


Reported in JAMA (12, 2006) were findings from the UK that taking Nexium, Prilosec, and Aciphex for more than a year increased the likelihood of hip bone fracture by more than 40%. High doses were more than twice as likely to result in a broken hip. The researchers speculated that the drugs inhibited calcium uptake and this led to bone loss.


Yet another study (1, 2007) finds a genetic link to Alheimer's. In this study, reported in Nature Genetics, researchers found evidence for another gene to be linked to this disease. So far, at least 14 genes have so far been linked to this disease. The present finding identifies SORL1 variant implicated in protein coding patterns which alter s conversion of a particular protein in nerve cells to be converted into a toxic form.


Anecdotal account reported in the People's Pharmacy tells of relief from gout pain from eating soup with curry in it. Writer says it worked better than cherries.


In the same column readers reported that soy sauce relieves pain from burning. US Special Forces medics have found this remedy effective also.


The Graedon's also indicate Vit. D deficiency during the winter may be linked to higher incidences of viral colds. Vit. D stimulates the immune system to make a compound called cathelicidin, a natural anti-microbial (bacteria, viri, and fungi).

The Graedon's also reported that readers have had success in relieving leg cramps by putting soap under the sheet while sleeping. Some found carrying bar soap in trouser pockets equally effective for daytime activities.


Carry stick deodorant with you on those treks outdoors--insect bites get relief immediately when treated with it. Readers say it works for mosquitoes, bee stings, and more.


Having hot flashes and night sweats?--the Graedon's write the German researchers tested a combination of black cohosh and St. John's wort (Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feb., 2006). Results were significantly better than placebo with few side effects.


Taking Vytorin or statin drugs? Anecdotal accounts have linked muscle pain and cramps to side effects from their use. Consult your doctor for advice on this possibility. HRT hormones have been linked to blood clots but did you know that birth control hormones are also known to produce this side effect.


Defining Time and A Treatment Perspective On Its Effects


The Vedic tradition generally asserts that time is a causative substance--i.e. it is responsible for effects or transformations. In fact the synonym for time (kala) is transformations (parinama). The philosophical system that appears to discuss this theme most is Vaisheshika--with its 7 padarthas and 9 causative substances. But what is missing in the commentaries on this darshana is a good technical definition of time and how it produces its effects; which is to say this author has no recourse to original source material and commentaries on the system are truncated or deficient in this area. There is at least one valid source for attaining an understanding of time, referred to in the Rigveda--Pranavaveda--the science of manifestation. This Veda, which predates Rigveda by many centuries, declares that the process of self-awareness of Purusha constitutes the necessary and sufficient condition to create both the fact of time and space and its nature. Specifically, as if disturbing the surface of the water with a stone, the thought process of the Creator sets in motion a vibration which disturbs the whole field of existence. This fundamental vibration has frequency and force. It is the eternal AUM / OM and serves as a backdrop upon which the act of creation and its diversity build. The idea of frequency implies change in time and in space giving rise to both--atoms of light and sound. The laws of Nature that govern the speed of light are established with this vibration of Consciousness and forever set forth a rhythm of Nature. This rhythm is an implicit underpinning of the applied fields of Ayurveda, Sthapatyaveda, and Gandharvaveda.


One theme in the Vedic literature (Ayurvedic literature, too) is the notion that time is responsible for creating, maintaining, and destroying; different intervals in time have unique creative values. Students of Ayurveda are well versed in the idea that vata, pitta, and kapha express their nature / creative impulse at different times in the day. There is an eternal sequence of this rhythm. It is but one rhythm--the month, the year, the life, are other examples of periods of change in nature. Yet another relates to epochs of time: satyuga, tretayuga, dvaparayuga, and kaliyuga. The esteemed rishi, Caraka, declares in his Samhita that the first period of life / time was characterized by a state of harmony, peace, universal love, and incarnations lasting many thousands of years. Living beings migrated to other worlds (as if in boredom with life). The changing / declining state of consciousness among the living beings changed the qualities in the seasons, etc. which brought about declining values in the taste, quality, post-digestive effect, potency, and special action of food and drugs in nature. This decline in nutritional and medicinal values of things led to a consequential decline in life span and health of living beings. This verse links the quality of consciousness with the quality of things it creates--especially food and medicine. The pervading influence of the state of consciousness working through time is given by the fact that time is the product of Consciousness Itself. If the state of mind/consciousness is orderly then too must the product of its attention and intention be orderly. It must nourish life at a fundamental level in a fundamental way. The highest state of consciousness promotes eternal life in health--anything less promotes some detriment to quality and length of life. The following points are drawn from a summary article on the topic of time prepared by this author for a seminar presentation some years ago


A.    Time is defined by solar and lunar perspectives:

a.       day and seasons as solar references

b.      lunar phases relate to rites, rituals, planting/harvest times

B.     Time having point value:

1.      No time—as in gaps between thoughts during meditation = co-existence of life and no time (a paradox)

2.      Time affecting prakriti in different yugas

3.      astrological time--muhurta

4.      Time to act for shamana as

a.       timing of medicines (kriya karma)

b.      dinacarya

5.      Timing of shodhana--ritucarya

6.      Time in maturation for harvesting, for example (plants, herbs)

7.      Time as chronological age (measured by present moment)

a.       governs dosing (baby, adult , geriatric)

b.      implies rasayanas

8.      Time in strength--digestive and bodily

9.      Time in prevention (agama karma) Ca. Su XII.56-63

C.     Time as transformational as in a process or duration—a basis for history and predictions therefrom

1.      The definition of moment

2.      Time as a period. Ex yugas, years, seasons, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds

3.      Time as destruction, generally, aging, particularly

4.      Time as the kriya kala of Sushruta—pathogenesis (also described as the opportunities for medical intervention)

5.      Time in samprapti: ex. as needed for suppuration / maturing of a boil for proper timing of treatment

6.      Time as evolution—Sankhya

7.      Time as in life span

8.      Time as in shelf life of herbs and other medicines

9.      Time in development, esp. humans

10.  Time in digestion—three pakakalas—avastha paka: madhura, amla, katu

11.  Time as in fresh herbs versus powdered and aged

D.    Time as frequency as in preparing drugs—cooking for 7 times etc.

E.     Time cast primarily as eternal, cyclic, etc. = biorhythm, circadian rhythm, re-incarnation, cycles of yugas, seasons, etc.

F.      Psychological time—worry, fear, anxiety, patience/impatience

G.    Spiritual time—stages of life for the householder seeking spiritual self-realization

H.    Relativistic notion of time—t = d/v ; time as a function of C and a frame of reference; d as a function of C and a frame of reference


The treatment of time's effects, in a way, is the story of the challenge for medicine. Time is fundamentally about action and change--the clinician is always interested to know what happened, when, how often, and so on and then must know what to do, when, how often, and so on. Sometimes health implications for time are evident and at other times not. One dictum of Ayurveda states: it's not enough to do the right thing; one has to do it at the right time. One thing is apparent--modern medicine does not have full / adequate understanding of the concept of time with respect to health and disease.


In the West there is a popular model of disease that looks beyond the molecule—at the atom and its components—the Free Radical Paradigm or Model of Disease (see H. Sharma). This model emerged with force in the 90’s and has many champions. Indeed, many health claims of micro-nutrients and compounds of them center on the words---free radical scavenger. The Free-Radical Theory of Disease attempts to deal with one of nature's laws: the second law of thermodynamics--In a given state, entropy rises with the passage of time. Disorder, declining function, and disease are ideas implicit in the concept of entropy.


The proponents of this disease concept aver that a broad range of diseases can be understood and explained simply by invoking this principle. Diseases such as cancer, chronic fatigue, Parkinson’s, aging, and so on can find an explanation by the reasoning of this model.  One of Ayurveda's oldest compounds--cyavanaprasha--is considered highly anti-oxidant as is triphala, another traditional compound. The term for this kind of effect is rasayana or rejuvenative. There is evidence that damaged cells, tissues, and organs can regain some of their original vitality when anti-oxidants contact the damaged sites. For more on this paradigm the book synopsis below gives sufficient detail on etiology and treatment.


The Book Corner



A Synopsis from Freedom From Disease by Hari Sharma M.D.

(The Free Radical Paradigm)

“Over the past decade, the free radical paradigm has helped solve the mystery of illness and aging. And the basic realization underlying the free radical paradigm is that oxygen, the atmospheric source of life, is also a source of degeneration, disease and, ultimately, death. ...  The two-edged nature of oxygen is known as the oxygen paradox. On the one hand, oxygen bestows life-giving energy. Without oxygen a living cell can still extract energy from glucose molecules through anaerobic metabolism. With oxygen, however, the body can extract sixteen times as much energy from the same number of glucose molecules. Given the energy demands on the human system, the difference is life and death. Neurons in the brain are especially energy sensitive, and even minutes of oxygen starvation lead to rapid neuron death. The essential insight of the free radical paradigm is that oxygen, if given the chance, destroys the molecular components of the body just as surely as it rusts metal and burns buildings. At its most destructive, oxygen combines with hydrogen into various unstable and highly reactive free radical molecules, as well as other reactive oxygen species (ROS). In these virulent forms, oxygen will systematically destroy a cell’s DNA, enzymes, proteins, and membranes--unless the body’s defenses keep the attack in check...Oxygen gives life and oxygen takes it away...Free radicals can not only wreak havoc within any given cell. They can also produce serious damage in whole physiological systems.... They can cross-link proteins into tangled masses, reducing the flexibility and efficiency of the physical body as a whole. They can help narrow and eventually close arteries leading to the heart, brain, and to every organ and limb--causing slow, cumulative damage or disastrous crises. They can slow down the secretion from the body’s glands, starving the body of needed hormones and speeding up the aging process...The free radical paradigm has been a breakthrough in the field of medicine by highlighting mechanisms of molecular damage, thus providing insight into the initiation and progression of a wide range of diseases--even a single explanation for diseases that...appear totally unrelated....The discovery of free radicals in every living cell has led to a practical and powerful new approach to prevention.”



·        cancer

·        arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis

·        heart disease

·        strokes

·        emphysema

·        maturity onset diabetes

·        rheumatoid arthritis

·        ulcers

·        cataracts

·        Crohn’s disease

·        Behcet’s disease

·        Raynaud’s disease

·        senility

·        wrinkled/unresilient skin

·        gray hair/balding

·        bodily stiffness

·        dandruff

·        hangovers

·        by estimate of Yuki Niwa at least 85% of all chronic and degenerative disease (Japanese biochemist)




·        energy production

·        immune system functioning

·        pollution and other external substances

·        stress




·        enzymes

·        nutrients

·        self-repair

·        hormone replacement therapy

·        calorie restriction



·        1/12TH CUP WATER HAS 6 X 10 to 23 molecules or 10 trillion times the earth’s human population


The Cell

·        smallest self-sufficient unit of life

·        functions: 

1.      energy creation

2.      self-maintenance

3.      reproduction

·        a walled city:


1.      government building housing the governing body (nucleus) = DNA

2.      manufacturing centers = Golgi apparatus and ribosomes

3.      infrastructure = internal membranes, cytoskeleton, and cytosol

4.      trash disposal = lysosomes

5.      sophisticated import-export mechanism

6.      sophisticated communication systems




“In every atom, electrons inhabit shells, or orbits, around the nucleus. Each orbit has sub-orbits--known as orbitals. Like two-seater benches whirling around on a Ferris wheel, each circling orbital can accommodate two electrons. In fact, each orbital prefers to have two electrons. The trouble begins if an orbital (in an atom’s outer orbit) has only one electron in it. This situation creates an intense thirst to match the unpaired electron with another one.  Such an unstable and reactive atom (or molecule) is called a free radical--it has one or more unpaired electrons in outer shell orbitals.”

·        Not all electrons will satisfy the need as not all electrons are equal.

·        There are two types of spin: spin up, spin down (clockwise or counter-clockwise)

·        Two electrons in a single orbital cannot spin the same way = opposite spins attract

·        In oxygen with 6 electrons two pairs are found and two singlets = a ravenous appetite for 2 electrons (the unpaired ones are spin up--repelling each other). Thus oxygen is really a free radical twice over = *O* This situation holds in O2 as well = di-radical or bi-radical



·        superoxide = the master oxygen radical, usually the first formed; usually molecular O2 which has grabbed an extra electron O2*; may break down spontaneously into hydrogen peroxide, interact with this to produce hydroxy radical

·        hydroxy radical = the strongest and most destructive free radical = OH* (one part each oxygen and hydrogen); so reactive it typically last less that 0.000000001 seconds; it can incapacitate nearly anything it touches: cell membrane lipids, large enzyme complexes, vitamin C, DNA. If the extra (*) electron cannot find a mate to come it will be passed off to another OH. This activity continues until a vulnerable molecule is close enough for destructive exchange. This is a kind of bucket brigade in the cell.

·        lipid peroxy radical = this free radical is formed when the fatty molecules in cell membranes are attacked. When an electron is stolen from a membrane lipid then lipid peroxy radical is produced. This is relatively larger and has an immensely long half-life = seven seconds

·        singlet oxygen = one of three reactive oxygen species (ROS) technically not free radicals but highly reactive. It is relatively rare in living systems--usually a passing phase as oxygen shifts its shape from one damaging guise to another.

·        hydrogen peroxide = an ROS which can persist indefinitely; is highly mobile; can penetrate the cell membrane from outside. It can touch off peroxy chain reactions in the cell membrane and will slowly degrade many biological molecules. At low concentrations it is not deadly to a cell, but by acting with superoxide or metal ions, it gives birth to the lethal hydroxy radical.

·        hypochlorous acid = ordinarily forms when the immune system cells go on the attack against outside invaders. It is a brutally destructive combination of hydrogen peroxide and chlorine.  It is a variety of which powers chlorine bleach. It is corrosive to proteins and amino acids, and to nucleotide bases making up DNA.



·        generate energy for cell

·        have their own DNA

·        mobile, replicating, and active inside the cell, moving to sites when and where energy is needed

·        muscle and brain cells are rich in these energy plants

·        within the mitochondria membrane are complex electron processors = .1 x .3 millionth inch = 500,000 molecular weight. There are approximately 100,000 of these on the inner membrane of each mitochondria. Each consists of 15-20 massive enzymes held in place by the lipid membrane molecules. They begin their work when an electron is deposited into the front end of the enzyme sequence. Succeeding enzymes have successively greater needs for this electron and steal away the electron = electron transport chain. This downhill flow of electrons is converted into molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which store energy in the cell. Oxygen waits at the end of the chain to pull off the electron--without which the transport chain would not work. The cell can still split a glucose molecule once without this O = anaerobic metabolism yielding 2 molecules of ATP but the mitochondria take all hydrogen molecules from the glucose molecules and then deposit the electrons from these hydrogen atoms into the electron chain = 36 molecules of ATP. Because O is everywhere it can snatch an electron from any point in this electron chain. The head of the chain is particularly vulnerable because of its relatively small electron hunger. (Q reductase enzyme grouping) In the middle is another vulnerable spot (ubiquinone complex). Some believe that this process is 98% safe. The mitochondria provide for protection of the 2% with several enzyme systems. An interesting statistic surrounds this process--namely that the defense is limited and gives rise to an aging index proportional to the metabolic activity of the species. The higher the rate the faster is aging. It seems that the more the burning of glucose (or calories) the greater is the production of free radicals (oxy radicals and ROS). Remember there are trillions of cells with thousands of mitochondria each and each in turn possesses 100,000 electron transport chains.


·        produces free radicals although this process is not constant nor inexorable

·        but in emergencies can be more acute

·        fast-reacting cells of the immune system spew out oxy radicals and ROS = severe collateral damage

·        white blood cells damaged by invading bacteria and virus send out chemical call for help = the damaged lipids in the cell membrane (lipid peroxides) trigger chemical reaction = arachidonic acid pathway which results in production of leukotrines and prostaglandins, which are attractive to particular immune system cells. Like heat-seeking missiles, the white blood cells spontaneously move toward increasing concentrations of these attractor chemicals = called chemotaxis.  Neutrophils usually arrive first. These live a few days and are created in the bone marrow (100 million per day). Half circulate in blood and half cling to artery walls. They exist in idle mode (anaerobic glucolysis). Small size enables them to slip thru artery walls and intercellular spaces. First they inhale the invade and then inhale 50 times more oxygen than they usually contain (respiratory burst) and use this oxygen to generate a toxic shower of oxy radicals and ROS. Superoxide is first leading to hydrogen peroxide then hydroxy radical then chloride ions is generated and reacts with the hydrogen peroxide to create protein eating hypochlorous acid. Digestive enzymes are also unleashed from the lysosomes. Monocytes follow some hours later = macrophages or phagocytes. These clean up dead cells, oxidized molecules, cancerous cells, and low concentrations of infectious agents. These cells can live for months and years. Their respiratory burst is only 1/4th neutrophils but are more durable in battle. They also release interleukin-1 which travels to the hypothalamus. This causes the body’s heat to rise = fever causing bacteria to slow in reproduction and mobility.

·        The entire syndrome by which the first defenders operate is called the inflammatory response = chemotactic cries for assistance and chemical emissions causing capillaries to expand = more blood to area. This inflammatory response has the tendency to fuel additional response. The damage of the release of free radicals enters the cell and disperses in the environment. This leads to a weakened response of the immune system cells, also sensitive to free radicals.



·        manipulation of molecular bonding mechanisms = many new chemicals = many new diseases

1.      Toxins: carbon tetrachloride, paraquat, benzoapyrene, analine dyes, toluene

2.      Drugs: adriamycin, bleomycin, mitomycin, nitrofurantoin, chlorpromazine

3.      Air Pollution: 1) carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, unburned hydrocarbons, 2) ozone, nitrogen dioxide, aldehydes, alkyl nitrates

4.      Other environmental sources: alcohol, tobacco smoke, smoked and barbecued food, peroxidized fats in meat and aged cheese, radiation, sunlight

·        ingestion of toxins follows similar pathways: They are shipped to “detox” units available in every cell--cytochrome P-450. These are another example of electron transport chains and are embedded in the endoplasmic reticulum near the cell nucleus. There are many types (100’s ?) = mixed function oxidase system. They try to detoxify a chemical and turn it into a free radical which can become a redox cycling (indefinitely stealing electrons) event = a free radical factory = an assembly line of self-destruction.

·        anti-cancer drugs may attach to a cancer cell and by production of oxy radicals destroy it but this action also may create new tumor cells.

·        vasodilating drugs bring a sudden rush of oxygen to various organs leading to free radical damage to both DNA and mitochondria.

·        electromagnetic radiation in various forms--ultraviolet rays, radiation in X-rays--can lead to hydrolysis. Water molecules, superabundant in the body, absorb energy from external radiation and becomes unstable forming among, other things, the deadly hydroxy radical. This can damage proteins, lipoproteins, DNA, inhibit mitosis, and kill cells outright.

·        processed foods, especially meats and cheese have lipid peroxide

·        stress and oxidative stress--the reaction to our environment = psycho-physiological mistake. The fight or flight response is an example. The adrenal and pituitary glands flood the system with hormones which leads to sympathetic system enervation. High cortisol levels cause cells to shut down normal activities and focus on energy creation, even using muscle tissue. Mitochondria activity increases as does free radical creation. Another stress hormone, catecholamines (including epinephrine and norepinephrine) leads to creation of leukotrienes and thromboxanes which leads to systematic production of free radicals--redox cycling. Stress can be defined as that which accelerates the production of oxy radicals and ROS in  human cells and tissues.



·        blood tests:

1.      lipid peroxide levels

2.      ratio of vitamin C to oxidized vitamin C = shows contact with a free radical

3.      level of an anti-oxidant enzyme (glutathione peroxidase) in red blood cells



·        muscles are protein, so are enzymes, hormones, neurochemicals--or largely so.

·        free radical damage leads loss of functionality = denatured protein

·        attacks occur at weak links, mid section bites with holding, loss of segments, binding inappropriately causing cross-linking


·        free radicals can attack the DNA, RNA--messenger or transfer

·        DNA attack can lead to gene malfunction affecting any given cell function

·        free radicals can damage both strands or break the polymer backbone of the helix

·        DNA is surrounded by a protein cloud which if attacked can restrict DNA function/movement



·        attack on a single molecule leads to a chain reaction affecting every vulnerable molecule in the cell

·        the cell membrane is a lipid bi-layer of phospholipids (lipid tails in and phosphate heads out into water)

·        this layer also contains enzymes as the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum

·        the cell membrane is full of molecules which are receptors for chemicals of communication/action guiding the cell towards specific functions

·        protein complexes in the membrane act as pumps and transport mechanisms, ferrying molecules in and out of cell--such as the sodium-potassium pump (consumes 30% of cell energy supply). It only pumps 3 (+) charged sodium ions out of cell for every 2 (+) charged potassium ions it brings in. + fluid inside is (-) giving rise to ionic gradient which attracts (+) sodium back into cell bringing glucose and amino acids as they come.

·        under free radical attack all these functions are at risk

·        a lipid attacked forms a relatively unreactive lipid peroxide, which makes this blood component a good indication of ongoing free radical damage in the body.

·        lipid peroxides may further degrade into aldehyde or when interacting with iron or copper it forms the alkoxy radical plus the hydroxy radical (total of 2 free radicals).



·        blocked arteries:  clogging plus vaso constriction from stress may lead to accumulation of electrons at the head of the transport chain making available more O for free radical production = superoxide then oxy radicals and ROS;  hypoxia puts enzyme system through Jekyll and Hyde transition =  in absence of oxygen xanthine dehydrogenase converts to xanthine oxidase which produces superoxide and causes the cell to go into sleep mode of functioning

·        reperfusion injury: vasospasm in a clogged artery = heart attack. When M.D. administers streptokinase or other clot dissolving drugs the artery suddenly widens and admits large amounts of oxygen leading to free radical production, called reperfusion injury; this happens in part because levels of SOD diminish in the shut down phase and can not protect when oxygen levels are restored

·        strokes: blood clots plus vasospasm lead to serious oxygen deprivation. Lack of oxygen plus high free radicals make the situation worse. Look for declining lipid peroxide levels after stroke for good prognosis

·        cardiovascular summation: free radicals damage the blood vessel linings and LDL, attract white blood cells which increase the damage, cause the creation of foam cells full of LDL-ox, and encourage blood clotting.

·        cancer: switched on genes (there are between 50,000 and 100,000 in the cell) are differentiated. Those remaining off are repressed. Cancer cells are usually off --damaged or repressed and grow rapidly in presence of newly formed blood vessels in area. In initiation phase chronic inflammation is linked to onset of the cancer. Inflammation white blood cells (kapha molecules) are constantly releasing free radicals attacking healthy and diseased alike leading to more free radicals. ESR--electron spin resonance detects this activity as hot spots. In the promotion phases there is evidence that the cancer cells produce free radicals and ROS to speed their metastasis--breakout from an area. This increase of free radicals enables movement.

·        rheumatoid arthritis: free radicals attack the synovial membrane, fluid, cartilage (shock absorber). All arthritis is characterized by inflammation = flood of free radicals and ROS. Superoxide degrades the hyaluronic acid (major part of synovial fluid), degrades collage in cartilage and connective tissue, endothelial cell lining in blood vessels of joints. Implicated in systemic lupus erythematosus (connective tissue disorder), Crohn’s Dis. and ulcerative colitis are neutrophil generated free radicals.

·        emphysema: a loss of elasticity in lung tissue due to fibrosis (cross linking of proteins). Lipid peroxide usually occurs first. Toxins from air, smoke lodge in tissue and gives rise to free radical production from neutrophils and macrophages. Free radicals break down the chemical meant to inhibit the digestive enzymes, the these enzymes cause much of the lung damage.

·        osteoporosis: Of the calcium in body 99% is in bone and teeth. The 1% circulating in blood helps regulate heartbeat, nervous system function, muscle control, enzyme systems, hormone secretions, and helps cells to cohere and blood to coagulate. Free radical creation in bone tissue leads to bone loss.

·        diabetes: when beta cells in pancreas fail to secrete enough insulin, the body loses it ability to metabolize carbohydrates and to reduce glucose levels in the blood. Some believe weak free radical defenses in these beta cells, and that free radical damage to DNA in beta cells, resulting in dysfunction of cell death, helps cause adult onset diabetes. There is an increase of lipid peroxides circulating in blood.

·        cataracts: ultraviolet radiation leads to free radical damage to lens. High lipid peroxide levels are also found.

·        mental disorders: Brain function is sensitive to free radical damage. Vitamin C levels are 50 X higher in brain than elsewhere in body. Accumulated free radical damage to membranes, proteins, and DNA could degrade brain cell functioning over time--including the ability to secrete neurotransmitter chemicals. They are implicated in Parkinson’s Dis., autism, and schizophrenia.



1.      enzyme systems--molecular machinery built by body according to DNA

·        superoxide dismutase which focuses on superoxide--works by adding to superoxide not by breaking it up. It forms a ROS H2O2 at 10 million times spontaneous rate

·        catalase which focuses on hydrogen peroxide (a ROS strictly speaking) --breaks it down into water and oxygen

·        glutathione peroxidase which acts on hydrogen peroxides and lipid peroxides--it is present in every cell and especially in the liver, where the body detoxifies poisonous molecules

These are 1000 times more effective that sacrificial biochemical or nutrients. A molecule of vitamin E gives up its electron and then is done. Enzymes do their work without themselves being changed. They pull in the prey and disarm them and keep on going. These enzymes have a huge capacity for work and DNA keeps their numbers high. They numbers are inducible according to need and action by DNA.

2.      a wide range of internally created biomolecules which quench free radical thirst for electrons by giving up electrons of their own. (extracellular free radical quenchers), work through the sacrificial mode.

·        uric acid

·        ceruloplasmin

·        cellular spare parts

·        iron sequestration

3.      nutrients--molecules the body ingests ready made--work through the sacrificial mode.

·        vitamin C

·        vitamin E

·        beta-carotene

·        bioflavinoids



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