On reading much that is immediately available to the public about free radicals, one would think that they were something to eliminate from our lives... “Free radicals are everywhere, in the air, our bodies, and the materials around us. They cause the deterioration of plastics, the fading of paint, the degradation of works of art, aging related illnesses, and can contribute to heart attacks, stroke and cancers”.
Free radicals are simply oxygen atoms that are robbed of an electron through the body’s natural metabolic processes. If you exercise or smoke you are exposed to higher levels of these free radicals than most people. Ironically, people who exercise are exposed to more free radicals than those who don’t because they have faster, more vigorous metabolisms. Smokers and second-hand smokers are bombarded by free radicals because free radicals are also the product of pollutants (inefficient combustion).
The oxygen atom, which in a stable state has four pairs of electrons, becomes unstable when it loses an electron. An oxygen atom with seven electrons is referred to as a free radical. Free radicals quickly attach themselves to something – in this case body tissue – in order to stabilise themselves.
What happens is the free radical takes an electron from the membrane of a body tissue and by doing so, produces yet another free radical, which then is obliged by its charge to seek out another electron – in your body.
What results is a cascade of oxidations – literally rusting body tissues. This is such a malicious and ever-present phenomenon in the body, that free radical oxidation has recently been proposed as the sole source of chronic degenerative disease!
We hear that anti oxidants are the best weapon against free radicals....this may have some truth to it. Some good anti oxidant vitamins - Vitamin D, C and E, and Coenzyme 10, however, if you’re thinking about picking up an “antioxidant-rich” supplement—don’t be fooled. Each fruit and veggie has their own unique combination of various antioxidants—you won’t find any of these specialized combos isolated in a pill. Your best bet is to eat a variety of seasonal produce so you can reap all the benefits. Some of the top anti oxidant foods are – Tomatoes, Berries, Peaches, Kale, Plums, Bell Peppers, Cantaloupe, Corn, Spinach, Cherries.
From my perspective and learning there is little point in taking anti oxidant supplements if your cells or body are dehydrated. Dehydration renders your cells incapable of carrying out their normal functions, and certainly is a huge factor in reducing the ability of your body to eliminate toxins and cell debris.
Let’s put aside all the negativity: Free radicals are also useful because they help important reactions in our bodies take place.
Free radicals only oxidise & destroy what is already weak & potentially damaging the body. They never attack healthy vital cell tissue. They naturally turn up where there is something to be destroyed that has become useless & is impending threat to the body' physiological balance.
A healthy lymphatic system will effortlessly clean and remove weak or worn out cells and accumulated waste from normal metabolism without problem. However when the metabolic waste, weakened and worn out cells are trapped in the surrounding tissues they become a hazard, because the free radicals are not doing their job and the immune system is either overloaded, weakened or just plain overwhelmed with the enormity of the backlog of waste that has accumulated..
Increasing free radical activity and spreading infectious germs are therefore the body's next best alternatives to the body's own cleansing and eliminative efforts,(the lymphatic system especially, but also the digestive system and immune system) especially when the body's immune system is already compromised.
Thus, neither free radicals nor germs can correctly be considered a cause of illness and aging, since illness is actually a healing mechanism and aging is a form of advanced congestion in the body.
Therefore free radicals must, in fact be considered the beneficial effects of illness & aging.
The more often infections are prevented or suppressed through medical interventions (antibiotics & painkillers) the less efficient the liver and kidneys, as well as the immune, lymphatic and digestive systems become in keeping the body's cell tissues free of harmful noxious deposits. And at the same time if we are using antibiotics and painkillers when they are actually not necessary then we are loading yet more chemical damage to our cells and toxic waste to our systems.
Interestingly, not only free radicals & infections act as cleansers or scavengers of obstructive waste and damaged weak cells.
PAIN also serves as a healing aid. Pain is merely a signal that the body is actively involved in a healing response that includes repairing damaged tissue & cleansing itself. By suppressing pain with medication you short circuit the body's internal communication & healing mechanisms and practically force it to hold onto & eventually suffocate in its own waste.
A symptom of pain or discomfort is not an illness in itself to be “cured” by pills or potions (medicines). Real medicine ultimately encourages and supports the body to complete the healing process that has already started (indicated by your symptoms) and by starting on the “drug train” (medications) all you are doing is entering a vicious cycle that is loading your system with more toxins and prolonging healing, if you heal at all.
So often it is not the physical pain in our bodies that hurts the most... it is all the bottled up frustration, fear & maybe anger that has accumulated to disturb the balance within.
The results of emotional stress and/or unhappiness is a severely impaired digestive, waste removal and immune systems, which leads to dangerously high levels of toxicity within the body.
So next time you experience symptoms within your body that annoy you, upset you or cause you to fear or question, take a deep breath...your body is communicating with you, it is getting your attention, it is asking for help – wanting to be cleaner and healthier, wanting to get rid of the things that are threatening your very life.
A dedicated and compassionate practitioner will be able to assist you deal with all the factors that are an integral part of your health and well being. They will see your symptoms as the body’s cry for help and not a threat, as an opportunity to be cleaner within, to offload toxins and ways of living that threaten your well-being. They will assist you to nurture your body, systems and cells, your life back to a happier and cleaner state.
For those of you who wish to learn more of where most of this information was gleaned from you may like to read the book “Cancer is Not a Disease, It’s a Survival Mechanism” by Andreas Mortiz