BOOKLET WAS DESIGNED TO BE AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL TO ADVANCE AND
REVIEW RECENT TRENDS IN FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE.
NEVER DELAY SEEKING APPROPRIATE MEDICAL CARE FOR TRAUMA OR
DISEASE CONDITIONS REQUIRING LICENSED MEDICAL SUPERVISION.
STRESS AND IMMUNITY
is a relatively new notion that everybody talks about, yet few understand.
The dictionary defines stress as "pressure", force, strain:
a state of physical or mental tension inducing it, or affecting
something. "This definition, while obviously correct, is not
very helpful in understanding the concept of stress. On the other
hand, it is important to comprehend the notion, because all of us
are continuously exposed to stress. Stress occurs in many forms.
The four major categories which concern us are: 1) chemical stress;
2) emotional stress; 3) physical trauma; and 4) infections.
of these stress forms can originate from multiple sources. Most
of these have appeared as primary threats in our environment as
recently as this century. For example, chemical stress can come
from pesticides, insecticides, polluted air and water, heavy metals
such as mercury or lead, asbestos and, worst of all, radioactive
waste. Even jet travel, a welcome commonplace today but unheard
of a mere half a century ago, exposes passengers to unhealthy high
levels of ozone and random, cosmic radiations. In the light of such
widespread physiological insult, it is a miracle that any of us
manage to stay healthy at all.
the primary reasons why stress is so important to understand, is
because it is intricately linked to the functioning of our immune
systems. How have many of us gotten a cold when our defenses were
impaired by excessive stress? This is another angle from which to
view the recent rash of immune disorders unleashed in our culture.
Could these problems be partly caused by an overwhelmed immune system?
It should be obvious that this is quite possible, and the more we
consider the high levels of stress that most of us are exposed to
daily, the more relevant the idea becomes. In other words, understanding
and compensating for the stress in our liveswill help our immune
systems and enhance our abilities to stay well.
is not to imply that all stress is harmful. Exercise, for example,
is a form of stress on the body that is quite healthy. Yet, if we
over-exert ourselves during exercise, we can damage the body and
create problems. As we have already mentioned, many unavoidable
stress factors, such as pollution, and others that cause damage
to the body, stem from today's world of technological progress.
In many cases the physical result brought on by several different
forms of stress is the same. These unnecessary, but avoidable, results
are cellular damage caused by over reactive molecules called free
their over reactive nature , free radicals can be extremely toxic
and are a direct consequence of the primary stress factors that
adversely affect the immune system and threaten our health. However,
this is not to imply that free radicals are always harmful or dangerous.
Minute amounts of free radicals are essential for many important
functions of the immune system and other vital cellular activities.
For example, the immune system will actually generate free radicals
to use in the process of removing a virus or bacteria. Only when
high concentrations of free radicals are present, or when the levels
of free radicals overwhelm the body's ability to remove them, does
a threat to our health occur. Maintaining the balance between the
free radical activity and antioxidant enzyme supply is one of the
important functions of the body. (Fig. 1)
Balance maintained. Normal levels of toxic free radicals are
neutralized by cellular production of antioxidant enzymes.
It is the
cell where free radicals are created and do the most damage.
In the case of the immune system, this random circulation of
unprepaired electrons causes communication breakdown between
the immune system cells and the body, thus weakening and frequently
wiping out some of their signals. Simply put, excess free radicals
create chemical reactions in the wrong place at the wrong time
causing confusion and wreaking havoc with the cellular environment.
If we consider that most components that eventually increase
the free radical release in our bodies are ultimately linked
to factors generated by the so-called progress of our civilization,
it is easy to understand why such an increasing number of us
fall prey to germs and viruses.
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An immune system overwhelmed by the high toxicity of massive
free radical assault will react very poorly, if at all, to
threats posed by germs, viruses or to abnormal cell formations
(like cancer). This is particularly true if such abnormalities
are due to cell poisoning to begin with. Our ability to resist
and defeat the onslaught of invaders like germs and viruses
rests precisely on the reliability of a strong and capable
immune system. Again, stress and the resulant free radicals
are a primary cause in weakening the immune system.
ENZYMES AGAINST FREE RADICALS
we have discussed earlier, the different forms of stress exert
a common free radical insult on many of the body's vital cellular
processes. Understanding the relationship between stress,
free radicals and cell damage is very important. By understanding
this relationship, we can more effectively ward off the negative
effects of stress. The issue becomes even more relevant when
we realize that over 30 years of medical research has revealed
that intensive free radical activity represents a major cell
damaging factor that is implicated in every degenerative disease
of our time.
this massive amount of medical research, consisting of over
6000 published scientific studies, has also uncovered the
primary factors for free radical protection in the body. This
free radical protection system is primarily made up of an
array of body-produced enzymes called antioxidants. Antioxidant
enzymes are the first line of defense against free radicals
and must be present in in sufficient amounts to avoid unnecessary
cellular and tissue damage.
enzymes are essentially catalysts, that is, they are complex
molecules stimulate chemical reactions without becoming consumed
or integrated in the reactions that trigger. There are literally
thousands of enzymes that occur in nature. Some of these serve
to split and break down molecules. These enzymes are able
to degrade tissue and compounds into simpler molecules, or
in some cases, even to their constituent atoms. Life on this
planet would be impossible without enzymes since organic waste
and dead tissue could not be disposed of and food could not
be digested. Examples of break-down enzymes are the digestive
enzymes such as protease or trypsin.
smaller, but not less important part of all existing enzymes
are the types that stimulate the building up - or the synthesizing
- of atoms to form molecules. The enzymes that enhance synthesis
of atoms and molecules into larger and more complex molecules
and tissues are also essential to life. They are linked to
the creation of new tissue, and no organism could ever germinate,
or grow without their support. Examples of synthesizing enzymes
would be ribonucleic (RNA), and deoxyribonucleic (DNA).
our body functions are regulated by an elaborate system of
enzymes responsible for the unhindered operation of most of
the complex interactions between breakdown and synthesis,
and whose intricate communication patterns we define as life.
Without the assistance of enzymes we could never be conceived,
nor could we grow or live and, paradoxically, we couldn't
even die properly.
enzymes in particular, have the all-important role of controlling
and regulating free radical activity in the body; and, therefor,
allowing for the possible prevention of unnecessary cellular
and tissue damage all too common in our society. Fig. 2
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utilize oxygen and nutrients to make ATP, the basic energy molecule.
Free radical by-products are generated in this process, and
are removed by a system of antioxidant enzymes and nutrients.
The free radicals which are deactivated are then recycled by
the body again. For example, hydrogen peroxide is converted
into oxygen and water. If there is plenty of oxygen, fuel, water,
and antioxidant enzymes, cell damage is kept at a minimum. If
any of these are missing at any point in the system, cell damage,
(aging) follows. The body will employ antioxidant nutrients,
such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C, to clean up
any free radicals that get by the antioxidant enzymes. The antioxidant
enzymes remove free radicals 3 to 10 times faster than the antioxidant
from Healing Aids Naturally, L. Badgley; M.D.
hundreds of different medical terms that are used to describe
them, many aging processes and most diseased conditions are
nothing more than an accumulation of cellular damage. In these
situations, more cells are being damaged than the body is
able to repair or replace. The understanding of this concept
and it's implications is overwhelming when we realize that
much of this cellular damage has it's beginning or ending
in a free radical induced chemical reaction. When the levels
of free radicals are higher than the supply of antioxidant
enzymes, we speak of free radical pathology which represents
a more accurate definition of the cause of most conditions
than the current terms being used which tend to denote the
result (i.e. cancer, heart disease, etc...). (Fig. 3) Additionally,
free radical damage to certain types of cells is
Three types of cells: heart muscle cells, nerve cells (which
include brain cells), and certain sensor cells of the immune
system cannot be replaced in the adult human. Damage to these
types of cells must be prevented to ensure a long healthy
Excess free radicals from stress create imbalance and
free radical pathology.
again, this is not to imply that excess free radical activity
is the sole cause of aging and disease. Yet, it is true
that a large majority of unnecessary cellular damage which
leads to aging and disease can be avoided by following
two simple guidelines. First, the free radical causing
stress in our lives must be reduced or removed. Second,
the antioxidant enzyme, or anti-free radical defense system,
of the body must be properly supported. If even one of
these premises can be implemented effectively, the process
of our own individual aging and disease potential will
be altered significantly.
Original Artwork - Agrigenic Food Corporation
The unfortunate truth is that many forms of free radical
forming stress that originate in our so-called civilized
environment and society are completely avoidable. For
example, while it is true that it is entirely up to
you to give up smoking, drinking and eating junk food,
you'll find it very difficult to avoid inhaling polluted
air - especially if you live in the city. Pesticide
residues on food and in water are also difficult to
avoid completely. Radioactive wastes and nuclear experiments,
as well as increased cosmic radiation due to a weakened
ozone layer, are also potentially harmful. Additionally,
hundreds of other force fields generated by computers,
microwaves, and power lines compound the problem. Unless
you are prepared to to become a hermit - in which case
it would be a different set of stresses you would have
to adjust to - there is nothing you can do to eliminate
all of these free radical causing stress factors.
there are many things you can do to support the antioxidant
enzyme defense system. Even before many of these stress
factors were present, the ancient Essence medical practitioners
proposed that ingesting certain types of flavone rich sprouts
would be helpful to the body in it's quest to maintain
health and balance. Today, confirming ancient Essence
experiences, modern scientific analysis has shown that
certain types of flavone rich sprouts will actually enhance
the body's production of antioxidant enzymes.
13,14,15,16) This is
a paramount in our search for methods of counteracting
unavoidable stress. Though adding specially prepared,
whole, sprouted food concentrates to our diet and supplement
programs, we can ensure that excessive free radicals
from any source are removed from the body by literally
enhancing the body's production of antioxidant enzymes.
MAIN ANTIOXIDANT ENZYMES
though the production of antioxidant enzymes in the
body is a complex process that is not yet totally understood,
there are several processes that we are aware of and
which seem to constitute a large part of the finished
antioxidant enzyme defense system consists of hundreds
of different substances and mechanisms. This is why
only an adequate combination of whole foods, such as
sprouted food concentrates, will contain all of the
known and unknown nutritional factors that the body
requires to enhance it's antioxidant enzyme supply.
SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE & CATALASE
are a species that cannot live without breathing. As
a result of this circumstance oxygen has turned into
a synonym for life. A fact much less known is that not
all oxygen atoms are life supporting. Some are actually
quite destructive for our cells.
unhealthy oxygen atoms are unbalanced and constitute
the most common free radical known. Characterized by
having an unpaired electron in it's molecular structure,
this oxygen free radical, called superoxide , is quite
capable of causing cell damage.
first line of defense the body has against superoxide
free radicals is the enzyme known as superoxide dismutase,
or SOD, which is considered the most effective antioxidant.
The importance of SOD is so paramount for the protection
of our cells, that it represents a substantial proportion
of the proteins manufactured by the body. In brief,
SOD keeps oxygen under control.
the process of removing superoxide free radicals, SOD
rarely operates alone. It requires the enzyme catalase
to remove hydrogen peroxide molecules which are byproducts
of the reactions created by SOD. Similar to SOD, catalase
is abundant in the body. Integrated in all red blood
cells, catalase removes hydrogen peroxide from our tissues,
preventing both cell damage and, more importantly, the
formation of other, more toxic, free radicals. In nature,
and in the body, SOD and catalase always coexist. The
natural interaction - synergy - between these two antioxidant
enzymes constitute the most effective system of free
radical control in our bodies.
free radicals initiate the the breakdown of synovial
fluid - the lubricating element - in the joints, causing
friction and, eventually inflammation. For this reason,
the attention of clinical SOD research has been focused
primarily on inflammatory processes triggered by superoxide
free radicals such as arthritis, bursitis and gout.
Deficiency in SOD/catalase is the most notorious nutritional
factor in most inflammatory processes. Recent applications
of SOD/catalase enhancing foods have also proven to
be extremely useful as a pre- and postoperative supplement
which stimulates recovery and reduces convalescence
the powerful link between free radicals and many health
problems, supplements that enhance SOD and catalase
activity in the body offer tremendous potential in the
field of preventive nutrition.
Glutathione peroxidase is another of the body's major
protectors against free radicals. This antioxidant enzyme
consists of the amino acid glutathione and trace mineral
selenium. These two nutrients team up to combat a specific
class of free radicals called peroxides. The main biological
function of selenium in mammals is a component of the
glutathione peroxidase enzyme. Many of the attributes
of selenium and glutathione are actually attributes
of glutathione peroxidase. Cell
membranes consist primarily of lipids (fats). These
lipid membranes are very susceptible to damage by free
radicals, especially peroxide free radicals. This is
why rancid fats (lipid peroxides) have been proven to
be highly toxic. Glutathione peroxidase prevents destruction
of cell membranes by removing several classes of these
main symptoms of excess peroxide free radicals include
heart disease, liver disease, premature aging, and skin
diseases such as skin cancer, eczema, wrinkling, age
spots, dermatitis and psoriasis. Peroxide free radicals
mediate much damage to the body by impairing liver functions.
Consisting of nearly 50% fatty tissue, the liver is
very susceptible to lipid peroxidative damage. Although
used primarily for skin related problems, many environmentally
sensitive and chemically poisoned people report that
glutathione peroxidase helps them control their allergies
and build resistance to the side effects of pollution.
Generally speaking, all of the antioxidant enzymes are
important to where pollution is a concern due to their
ability to remove free radicals generated by toxic substances.
The list of protective effects of glutathione peroxidase
is growing and is in no way limited to any single symptom
such as age spots. The effects of excess peroxidation
in our cells is diverse and dangerous and must be limited
to maintain cellular health.
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is a unique enzyme that has demonstrated an
ability to remove an extremely toxic free radical called
the hydroxyl radical. The hydroxyl radical is commonly
formed through reactions involving heavy metals and
other less toxic free radicals, such as mercury reacting
with hydrogen peroxide. The hydroxyl radical has the
ability to damage any type of organic cellular tissue
and is considered to be the most dangerous free radical.
Hydroxyl radicals are also the main toxins generated
by exposure to excessive radiation. With their ability
to any type of tissue, symptoms directly related to
hydroxyl radical-induced tissue damage are difficult
effective detoxifying application for Methionine Reductase
is in the removal of free radical toxins generated by
the mercury found in dental fillings. Another interesting
application of Methionine Reductase
is for the modern
day athlete. It seems that hydroxyl radicals are also
formed during exercise. This is especially true if we
are exercising in oxygen starved closed rooms or in
car exhaust filled polluted environments. It is amazing
to see joggers running along the road during rush hour
traffic. Quite possibly, they are doing more harm than
avid exercisers are aware of the need to obtain extra
nutrition to fuel their activities. What many miss,
is the importance of cleaning out the extra metabolic
wastes that are direct results of this exercise. Hydroxyl
radicals can be created when we burn fat molecules to
produce energy as in strenuous exercise or dieting.
This is due to lack of evacuation of chemicals and toxins
stored in the fatty tissue which are released when these
tissues are used for fuel. These toxins, when not properly
evacuated, generate the formation of hydroxyl radicals.
People using Methionine Reductase
have reported greater
resistance to the ill effects of pollution as well as
greater endurance, stamina, flexibility, and ability
to recover from extensive exercise. Although it is generally
important to exercise, our modern civilized environments
force us to compensate for free radical by-products
if we wish to gain health or longevity from our workouts.
FOOD SPROUT CONCENTRATES:
ANTIOXIDANT ENZYME NUTRITION
many people are aware of the nutritional power of "live"
foods and try to incorporate raw and/or sprouted foods
into their diet. As mentioned earlier, the ancient
medical practitioners prescribed sprouted foods to treat
and prevent many illnesses. One of the ways that science
has demonstrated the relevance of sprouts as a superior
source of nutrition, is through the use of certain types
of specially developed organically grown sprouts that
actually increase the antioxidant enzyme supply of the
body. More importantly, these special types of organically
grown sprouts seem to carry out this very important
task by literally enhancing the body's own production
of antioxidant enzymes.
it is not totally understood how certain sprouts are
able to have this effect on antioxidant enzyme production
in the body (i.e., in-vivo), certain characteristics
observed during the growth stage of sprouts reveal some
important clues. Grains, such as flavone rich soy,
wheat, and corn go through four
primary stages of growth - 1) from seed to sprout: 2)
from sprout to grass: 3) from grass to grain: and 4)
from grain back to seed. At each stage of growth the
needs of the plant as well as the nutritional structure
and content change dramatically. For example, the sprout
contains little or no chlorophyll, whereas the grass,
through it's contact with light, contains large amounts
of chlorophyll. Another important example is in the
protein gluten, the sprout and grass do not. This is
why people who are allergic to flavone rich are able to tolerate
flavone rich sprouts or flavone rich grass. The fiber content and
type changes significantly during the growth cycle of
the flavone rich plant as well. The sprout contains higher
amounts of soluble fiber than the grass from predominately
are the vegetable equivalent to the fetal stage of development
in humans and animals. This is probably the most important
clue in understanding the sprouts ability to affect
antioxidant enzyme production in mammals. The sprouts'
cells are non-differentiated, meaning they have not totally
taken the structured form yet of the complete plant. At this stage of development, just as in the fetus,
the sprout is quite vulnerable to random free radical
activity. It must not only contain a large supply of
antioxidant enzymes, but also be able to produce more
if the need arises. These antioxidant enzymes preserve
vital components ensuring the proper growth and development
of the plant. It has also been shown that young children
or infants contain much higher levels of antioxidant
enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase, than their
the sprout matures, breaks through the ground, and gains
access to light, it's antioxidant enzyme content reduces
while it's chlorophyll, Vitamin A, and other nutrients
related to photosynthesis increase. Thus, at the earliest
stages of development, the sprout has a naturally built-in
capacity to produce antioxidant enzymes in whatever
amounts that may be necessary to preserve it's development.
of the difficulties of utilizing sprouts to enhance
antioxidant enzyme levels in the body that the amounts
required to have an effect are quite large - usually
much more than even sprout fanatics are willing, or
able, to eat in a day. Fortunately there are products
available today, developed from specially developed
organically grown flavone rich sprouts, that contain amounts
of antioxidant enzyme nutrition large enough to increase
antioxidant enzyme levels in the body.
special growing and drying techniques, these antioxidant
enzyme products contain over a quart of sprouts to each
tablet. The technique employed to produce the finished
product guarantees that most of the original active
ingredients of the living sprout are preserved in the
tablet form. Grown in totally controlled environment,
and gently dried at room temperature, and tableted without
fillers or binders, these whole sprout concentrates
are the most powerful food supplement available today.
Most importantly, being whole food products, they contain
balanced amounts of hundreds of different nutritional
factors, instead of just vitamins or minerals in isolated
forms. While nutritional imbalances may be created with
isolated vitamins and minerals, such imbalances are
virtually impossible with unprocessed whole food products.
Whole food, flavone rich, sprout concentrates are nature's way
of providing antioxidant enzyme nutrition for our bodies.
importance of the special techniques utilized in the
production of whole food, flavone rich, sprout concentrates is
illustrated in one of the double blind studies that
was performed with the products. Being a whole food
product, creating a placebo that looked identical to
the real product, was a difficult task. Yet, realizing
that enzymes and co-enzymes are degraded when exposed
to excessive heat, the placebo was then created by overheating
the original product. While the original product created
a dramatic increase in the antioxidant enzyme activity
in the test group, the cooked product had no effect
on the antioxidant enzyme activity in the placebo group.
(fig. 4) How many of us eat primarily cooked foods in
our diets? It is easy to see that eating primarily cooked
foods, coupled with excessive free radical causing stress
could contribute to create the problem of poor levels
of health that afflict people in civilized cultures.
©2004 Original Artwork - Agrigenic Food Corporation
Results of serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase
(CAT) from absorption Study
with SOD/CAT™ by
Biotec Foods, a division of Agrigenic Food Corporation, Ordonez,
L., Rothschild, P., Academia de Medicina, Francisco Villa
18, Las Palmas, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1988.
Testing procedures involved Fluorescence Fading Time
and are described in detail by Rigo, A., Rotillo, G.,
Determination of Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase in
Biological Materials by Polargraphy,Anal. Biochem.,
81 (1) 157-661/ 1977 Jul/1MD .
absorption of enzymes and other complex proteins (i.e.
peptides) is easily the most controversial issue when
regarding supplementation designed to increase antioxidant
enzyme enzyme activity in the body. It is generally
believed that all complex proteins are completely broken
down by the acids in the stomach and, therefore, supplementation
of either enzymes or peptides is supposedly worthless
at best. These ideas are based on research mostly performed
over 50 years ago and - despite a large volume of recent
scientific studies, including the one mentioned above,
which demonstrate that some active peptides and compounds
do effectively bypass stomach acids and are being absorbed
into the intestines - the established scientific community
has been reluctant to change it's mind. Recently published
articles have taken this issue to task and , ".....there
is irrefutable evidence that small amounts of of intact
peptides and proteins do enter the circulation under
biological results of increased enzyme activity, such
as the study mentioned above, do not necessarily prove
absorption of enzymes or peptides in the intestines,
the fact that the active or unheated product did create
an increase in enzyme activity, while the heated product
- used as a placebo - did not , demonstrates that some
complex enzymes or peptides within the product was
indeed responsible for the result.
and veterinarians utilizing whole food, flavone rich, sprout concentrates
to improve the nutritional status of their patients,
report a long list of positive benefits that can only
be related to an improved nutritional standard. These
benefits include diminished joint pains and inflammation,
more energy, better circulation, and, most importantly,
significantly reduced recovery time after surgery and
other types of convalescence after severe stress conditions
such as physical trauma. Clearly, the degree to which
a patient is well nourished does affect their ability
to cope with stress. Apparently, whole food sprout concentrates
supply the right nutrition for these circumstances. Due to the growing understanding of antioxidant enzymes,
pharmaceutical companies are also pursuing the development
of new compounds including SOD. These products, unlike
whole foods, contain isolated enzymes and could potentially
create imbalances. Such new products will, of course,
be regulated as drugs and require prescriptions. Fortunately,
we have whole food 'sprout' concentrates at our
disposal to naturally assist our body's maintenance
of adequate antioxidant enzymes.
utilizing whole food 'sprout concentrates in their
supplement programs report more energy, better mental
clarity, reduced allergic reactions to environmental
pollution, diminished joint pains and inflammation,
more stamina for extended exercise, and, of course,
significantly reduced recovery time when injured or
subjected to excessive stress such as a hard workout.
Many individuals even report that they effectively feel
these effects can be easily attributed to the reduction
of unnecessary tissue damage caused by excess free radicals
and can be afforded by all who intelligently choose whole
food sprout concentrates in their diet and supplement
all-important balance between free radical activity
and antioxidant enzyme supply can be effectively maintained
with whole food sprout concentrates. (Fig. 5)
Balance restored, whole food antioxidant enzymes neutralize
excess free radicals from stress conditions.
Original Artwork - Agrigenic Food Corporation
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Redwood City, CA 94061. 415-369-2554.
Antioxidant Adaptation: It's Role in Free Radical Pathology.
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Flavonoids and isoflavones: absorption,
metabolism, and bioactivity. Free Radical
Biology and Medicine, Volume 36, Issue 7, 1
April 2004, Pages 827-828. Catherine Rice-Evans
Flavonoids: antioxidants or signaling molecules?
Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Volume 36,
Issue 7, 1 April 2004, Pages 838-849. Robert J.
Williams , Jeremy P. E. Spencer and Catherine
Absorption and metabolism of flavonoids. Free
Radical Biology and Medicine, Volume 36, Issue
7, 1 April 2004, Pages 829-837. Thomas Walle
and Metabolism of Isoflavones. The
Soy Connection newsletter, Volume 6, No. 2,
Kenneth D. R. Setchell, Ph.D.
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