Do a Google search on “How antioxidants work” and you’ll get a ton of informative (and not so) articles explaining how antioxidants work, ranging from WebMD and answsers.com to Kelloggs (the cereal company).
They all give commonly known and accepted information about antioxidants; why they are needed, how you get them into your body, and what they do once they’re in there. It’s all good stuff and definitely information worth knowing and using, but it’s incomplete.
The relatively new and emerging science of Redox Signaling is showing us there is much more to the antioxidant story than is being told in articles like this one at WebMD.com and I believe what isn’t being told is the most crucial part if we are to fully understand the role antioxidants play in overall health and how our body must activate them before they can be effective.
The book, The Science of Healing Revealed: New Insights into Redox Signaling by Dr. Gary L. Samuelson, PhD, which we reviewed on this blog, reveals a common misconception amongst the public and those promoting antioxidant rich foods and products. The premise is oxidants are evil and must be destroyed. Even the word anti-oxidant, would lead the casual observer to label oxidants as the bad guys to be eliminated at all costs.
Not so fast!
Oxidants are actually part of the immune system’s arsenal. Oxidants are the ammunition the body uses to destroy all types of organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and damaged and diseased cells. Oxidants play an essential messenger role to help signal the immune system when problems are brewing and need to be attended to. In fact we would not be able to LIVE without reactive oxidants in our cells.
However, oxidants unchecked can destroy good things in the body right along with the bad. There is one critical element that must be in place for Oxidants to have any “positive” effect on the body.
For every Oxidant in the body there needs to be a corresponding Reductant. Oxidants and Reductants are really classified as Electron donors and Electron Acceptors and both must be present and in the proper balance. An imbalance of either one would result in harm to the cells and mechanisms of the body.
This is where the antioxidant comes in. Oxidants and reductants rely on antioxidants to perform their role in the healing process and vise versa.
OK. That was probably more sci-ency than I wanted to get, but the point that needs to be made here is antioxidants can’t do anything without these reactive molecules or redox messengers in play.
If you have a house full of light bulbs but no current running to the house how effective are those light bulbs in providing light for the house when its dark and you can’t see? They are perfectly good bulbs, but they can’t provide any light without that electrical current running through them.
So it is with antioxidants. They require reactive molecules/redox messengers to “turn them on”. Antioxidants alone can do nothing to help the body deal with problems in the cells.
Until just recently you had to depend on your body’s ability to produced these molecules, and enough of them, to allow the antioxidants to do their job effectively.
If oxidative stress becomes too great in the cell due to an imbalance of reactive molecules the cell becomes sick, which, if not handled by the body, can lead to more sick cells and eventually disease and the complications that come with it. The problem that everyone eventually deals with is aging and the body’s dwindling ability to produce enough of these molecules and other important antioxidants like Glutathione to do the job the same way it did when we were teens and youthful adults.
Due to a recent scientific breakthrough that problem is no longer a problem. We no longer must solely depend on our bodies to produce adequate amounts of these essential molecular messengers.
The body is in a constant state of healing itself or in other words repairing and replacing its cells. ASEA allows us to introduce to the body and the cells, by the trillions, these reactive molecules which in turn gives the body the ability to turn on more antioxidants, more effectively handle cell damage, and more efficiently use the antioxidants it creates and that we give it through eating good wholesome foods.
It’s pretty easy to draw a conclusion as to how big this discovery and the stabilization of these molecules in a solution we can drink is to our overall health and wellness.
Continued study and research bring more and more positive benefits to light, concerning anti-aging, athletic performance, and helping our bodies do what they do better and longer than before.
I personally believe, and this is simply my opinion, that we will see seemingly miraculous changes in people’s overall health, the way they age, and their ability to ward off issues that today are largely treated symptomatically, directly attributed to this science and this discovery.