Antioxidants & Oxidative Stress

Aged leaves
Old face


What do these images have in common? They both illustrate what happens when living things age.

Aging happens when oxidative stress happens. This is the stress all living things experience when every one of their cells goes through the ordinary process of being alive.

Oxidative stress is accelerated in illness, when we exercise or when we overwork physically. Oxidative stress increases as food intake is increased. Lower caloric intake (within generally accepted levels) correlates with longer life expectancy. Toxins such as those we ingest with smoking or with extreme alcohol usage make this stress worse.

Oxidation happens with every breath. It happens as we live - using oxygen and food for energy and movement. It also happens when we are exposed to the effects of external stress like sunlight and radiation and from other sources; chemicals and toxins in the environment, like heavy metals and poisonous organic compounds.

These stresses become most obvious when, inside the metabolic machinery of the cell (the mitochondria), the ability to defend the ability to regenerate new cells, is lost. This happens as intracellular antioxidant levels drop.

In the normal course of life, the renewal forces are strongest in youthEmbryo. They gradually decline, leading to loss of vitality, and ability to repair physical damage. The eventual outcome is death.

For most of us, death is what we would like to delay.

It is antioxidants which stand on guard and slow down the aging process. And it is the glutathione within the mitochondria which is the most effective of these antioxidants. About 6% of the average person's total energy expenditure goes into producing the antioxidant, activated glutathione (GSH). Glutathione is so precious to us that when a molecule has been exhausted, by doing its job, destroying a free radical, the body scavenges the damaged glutathione, repairs it and then puts it back to work.

The other three antioxidants are catylase, superoxide dysmutase (SOD), and Coenzyme Q10.

Can we eat glutathione and have it protect us?

In a word, no!

Glutathione is a tri peptide, made of three amino acids. If you take it by mouth, the digestive processes break it up and the constituent parts can't help form GSH in the body.antioxidant rich fruits

It would seem logical that if we ate all the foods which are described as antioxidants - the fruits for vitamin C and flavinoids, vegetables for zinc, and other mineral trace elements, lutein and zeazanthin, carotenoids, Vitamin E, and a multitude of plant-based compounds, which should complete the range of compounds necessary for our bodies to create this protection then we should be able to maintain high intracellular levels of antioxidants. To a certain degree this is true. However, despite good nutrition, as we age, our intracellular glutathione levels continue to drop. This drop is estimated to be 12%-20% per decade. Falling glutathione levels correlate with increasing age-related damage, increased inflammation, and degenerative changes. Glutathione depletion is a prelude to death.

Food alone will not solve the problem of declining glutathione levels because, inside our body, all of the elements of food will be disassembled by our healthy digestive processes. Then, taken apart, they need to find their way into the interior of the cell and deeper, into the mitochondria, where the process of assembling the antioxidants takes place. The re-assembly mechanisms become stressed as we age. This results in falling glutathione levels despite good nutrition.

You will note that most of the 'antioxidants' come from plants - either fruit or vegetables. Raw fruit and vegetables are much better choices for increasing antioxidant intake because cooking, freezing, or long storage deplete them. Diets high in meat and animal based foods do provide protein, necessary for growth and tissue repair, however, these foods do put added stress on the body. They make it more likely that the antioxidant machinery in the body will be called into play, big-time, and ultimately falter.

What can be done to enhance your glutathione levels?

This was a question which Dr. Robert Keller asked himself when working for years as an Immunologist/Oncologist with patients who had damaged immune systems. His patients had cancer and HIV/AIDS. He was looking for a way to boost their glutathione levels. He tried many approaches and finally arrived at a formula which worked.

It worked so well that these patients had an average increase of 400% in their intracellular GSH levels. For 'healthy' people the average increase after taking the product for a few weeks was about 290%. This is extraordinary. No other food or product can match this, and Dr. Keller has obtained a compositional patent on it - MaxGXL. For more information on this product please click here. I would like you to know that if you order MaxGXL from this site, I will receive a commission.

Catylase and SOD are also made in the cell from dietary constituents so a diet rich in vegetable, whole grains, and fruit can help to sustain them. These antioxidants are also enhanced by another approach to obtaining the required micro nutrients - by taking a supplement which uses brand new, patented, nanotechnology. to supply minerals and vitamins in a super absorbable gel form. If you should decide to purchase this product and you do so by linking to the following web site, I will receive a commission. Please click here for more information.

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone) is an enzyme which is used by every cell in the body. It performs a critical role in which it is the facilitator of energy transfer in the cell. Whenever we flex a muscle, when our heart beats, when our liver performs its job of removing toxins from the body, Q10 is involved. Like GSH, it also declines as we age. I recommend Q10 supplementation to everyone over the age of 50. But more importantly, everyone who takes a statin (Lipitor™, Crestor™ etc.) has a greater need of this nutrient because these drugs lower our body's ability to create Q10. When this happens, the heart beats less effectively and people may experience muscle cramps or weakness. Statins may also impair the liver's ability to remove toxins.

For people not on statins, 100 mg. daily taken with a meal containing oil (enhances Q10 absorption, and fish oil would be an excellent enhancement) should be sufficient. For people on statins, 200 mg. daily will be a definite help. It takes several weeks of supplementation for the body's Q10 levels to rise.

Who Needs More Antioxidant GSH (active glutathione)?runner

While the answer to this is likely everyone, those in greater need are:

  • athletes: every calorie burned means oxygen used - and this means oxidation. Every athlete will benefit from increasing antioxidant levels and should be able to anticipate faster recovery with less fatigue as well as fewer injuries and faster healing from they when they occur.
  • those with problems dealing with toxic environments, smokers, those receiving chemical treatments of any kindwaist
  • people who are on a weight loss regime (with weight loss comes a release of the toxins stored in the fat which puts an added burden on the liver to deal with these toxins)
  • people who are stressed from any cause
  • people who know they have ingested rancid oils or who frequently eat commercial fried foods
  • those who know their diets do not contain enough fresh fruit and vegetables

If you would like more information on this excellent glutathione accelerator, and you don't mind if I get a commission if you decide to order, please click here.

Vitamin D

This essential supplement is very important for immune support. Please follow this link for more information.