Health from Nature
Free radicals cause turmoil within the body.
Oxidation occurs inside the body during the normal process of metabolism. It is also caused by air pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke, sunlight, environmental chemicals and exposure of metals and biological materials (including food) to oxygen.
A free radical is an unstable molecule, often a form of oxygen, that reacts with other molecules in a destructive way. Why is this dangerous? Molecules are stable when they have pairs of electrons around their nucleus. When the number is uneven, it is unstable, and that free radical steals an electron from another molecule…this theft of electrons is called oxidation.
Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that punch holes into our body’s cellular walls, damaging DNA, the genetic material within. As this damage accumulates, our bodies become rusty, like an old car. A rust bucket of a car is likely to break down. A body damaged by free radicals has a reduced capability to combat aging, cancer, hardening of the arteries, and other degenerative changes. An excessive amount of free radicals cause diseases such as heart disease, cancer, etc.
Oxidation at work
Take a bite out of an apple and expose it to the air for a few minutes. The exposed flesh of the apple soon turns brown. That’s oxidation. Oxidation provides needed energy for life, yet within our bodies the process is a two-edged sword. Unfortunately, a small number of the oxygen molecules we breathe are converted within our bodies to unstable free radicals. Free radical-caused oxidation produces premature aging and sets us up for serious illness, including cancer and heart disease. Natalie Angier, science reporter for The New York Times, calls the damage by free radicals “the price we pay for breathing.”
Oxidation is literally decay. Oxidation in our environment is seen as rusting of metal, rotting of meat, browning of apples, and the brittle changes in old rubber. Oxidation in our bodies, like rust or rot, is thought responsible for premature aging, wrinkling of skin, hardening of arteries, stiffening of joints, formation of cataracts, development of cancer…
“Because of overexposure to free radicals, our bodies need help. Because our diets are inadequate, we need to take antioxidant supplements. Premature decay leads to premature aging, degenerative disease, and life-threatening illness.
The link between free radicals and disease
“It’s the most important medical discovery of the last 50 years,” claims a former heart surgeon. “In a few years, Nobel Prizes will be awarded to the scientists who are making these discoveries — Unlocking the secrets of aging, cancer, heart disease, arthritis…and a whole list of medical problems.”
What is this revolutionary discovery? It’s the link between free radical (oxidative) damage and disease. And the former surgeon and heart specialist making these bold statements also claims a 99% success rate reversing heart disease–in patients who have been told they need angioplasty or bypass surgery–with antioxidant therapy.
Robert Willix, Jr. M.D., states his case very strongly, “There is a single cause responsible for aging, cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and a host of other ailments,” he says – free radical damage. Dr. Willix calls nutritional antioxidant therapy the biggest medical breakthrough since Pasteur proposed the germ theory of disease. Poor nutrition leads to disease Many other medical experts are making equally strong statements about the relationship between nutrition and disease. In March 1994, The Alliance for Aging Research, a non-profit senior citizens group in Washington DC, announced that their panel of medical experts had concluded that “a diet rich in antioxidants is effective in guarding against heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and other conditions associated with aging.” Most of us may think that we eat balanced, nourishing meals. However, studies show that at least 80% of Americans do not get the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. The most frequently consumed foods are coffee, white bread and sugar, in that order. Not to mention the shortfalls of the prevalent “fast food diet”. Even if we prepare “well-balanced” meals, how can we be sure that the food is not nutrient- poor? Due to over-farming, chemical farming, processing, and refining, the nutrient content of much of our food is questionable. Thus, many believe that the majority of Americans are overfed and under-nourished.
THE NUTRITIONAL SOLUTION: Antioxidants A common term for free radical scavenger is “antioxidant.”
Antioxidants protect our cells from unhealthy oxidation by free radicals. Many components of a healthy diet are, in fact, antioxidants. The two most well known antioxidants are vitamin C and vitamin E. Thousands of research reports have been published in scientific journals all around the world about their importance to health. Vitamin C is water soluble and is important in protecting the “aqueous” parts of our cells and tissues, while vitamin E is oil soluble and protects the “lipid” portions, especially cellular membranes. Antioxidants and other phytochemicals (phyto = plant) are Mother Nature’s protection from assaults by free radicals. Masquelier’s OPCs are as much as 20 times more potent than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than vitamin E in their ability to provide antioxidant protection. The potential benefits of antioxidants appear more obvious with each study on nutrition and disease. Some experts even predict that antioxidants will revolutionize health care – that we’ll be able to test your sensitivity to oxidative stress, treat you accordingly with specific supplements, and extend life longer than anyone currently thinks possible. “One key to stopping premature aging and preventing many degenerative diseases is for the body to be able to repair the damage that does occur. The other key is to protect the body’s tissue cells from the free radicals before they cause mutations. Antioxidants are substances with free-radical chain-reaction-breaking properties. They include any substance that significantly delays, inhibits, or prevents oxidation caused by free radicals. Phytochemicals are literally chemicals that come from plants. These plant chemicals fight many diseases. Many photochemicals are antioxidants, but they also have other properties, such as stimulating plant growth, and providing color to plants and flavor to vegetables. In humans, phytochemicals enhance the body’s own healing powers.” (Dr. Anderson’s Antioxidant, Anti-aging Health Program, by James W. Anderson, M.D. & Maury M. Breecher, M.P.H., Ph.D., 1996)
Stop the destruction
Is antioxidant therapy really the biggest medical breakthrough of the last 50 years? We believe it is, as do other prominent researchers and physicians. We also foresee that general acceptance of antioxidant therapy in the medical community will be slow. It may be another 20 years before the majority of physicians fully realize it’s importance and potential.
Until then, we can sympathize with Louis Pasteur, father of the last great breakthrough in modern medicine, who was widely ridiculed for proposing that surgeons should wash their hands before operating. WHO IS DR. JACK MASQUELIER? In 1947, Professor Jack Arthur Masquelier was the first to hold the result of his first patented invention in the palm of his hand: oligomeric proanthocyanidins, better known as OPCs. Dr. Masquelier’s products have a proven scientific track record of over half a century. They have been validated in France by the Ministry of Health and production takes place under control of French Pharmaceutical inspection. The antioxidant qualities of MASQUELIER’S� OPCs is what makes them so very potent against free radical attacks usually responsible for the many forms of atherosclerosis, heart disease, and cancer. Medical studies conducted at the University of Illinois demonstrate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of OPCs in the membranes of grape seeds. They have the ability to inhibit all three phases of the cancer process: initiation, promotion and progression.