Below is a blog I posted in 2015 on antioxidants. Antioxidants cover a wide range of substances. It's a similarly broad category like fats. We all know there are healthy fats and very unhealthy fats. So, too, are there good and not so good antioxidants. My focus is on disease mechanisms. As you may know, we focus on 4 disease mechanisms:
Poor repair and recovery,
Thrive vs Survive, and
Chronic (stealth) infections
Chronic infections are much more ubiquitous than is recognized in both allopathic and functional medicine. Your main defenses against such pathogens are your gut (strong acid and diverse microbiome), your innate immune system (white blood cells are key here) and your adaptive immunity (antibodies).
Both your innate and adaptive immune systems use oxidation as an important part of immune defense. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a major pathogen-killing pathway. Few know that antibodies (adaptive response) also produce ROS.
In our paper titled, "Innate Immune Response in COVID-19 and Immunoaugmentive Activity of Ozone Therapy," we site a paper authored by the President of Scripps Research Institute.
"Significantly, researchers at Scripps Research Institute clearly demonstrated that antibodies can destroy pathogens by producing localized concentrations of ozone gas. According to the authors, “The ozone may be part of a previously unrecognized killing mechanism that would enhance the defensive role of antibodies by allowing them to subject pathogens to hydrogen peroxide and participate directly in their killing. Previously, antibodies were believed only to signal an immune response.” This landmark finding illustrates the elegance and interconnectedness of the innate and adaptive immune system. It also supports the thesis that exogenous ozone, when used at physiologically safe levels, can be a natural, safe, and effective treatment of pathogens."
Some antioxidants have the potential to scavenge (reduce) ROS - including those produced by our innate and adaptive immune system. Dr. Trempe, my key mentor, found out that some of his patients who were taking high doses of vitamin E developed more bleeding gums, which stopped when they stopped the vitamin E supplementation. Although anecdotal, we believe that the (high levels of) vitamin E was reducing the efforts of the ROS to control the periodontal infections.
I recommend that antioxidants that impact the action of our innate and adaptive immune system should only be obtained through food, and not through supplementation. Which are these? This will be the subject of a future blog - but vitamin E is clearly one of them.
Here is blog part 1 on antioxidants from 2015.
Supplemental Antioxidants Cause More Disease. Find Out What and Why - Part 1.
This is part 1 of a 3-part blog on the harm caused by excess antioxidant supplementation. It is based on the latest research and an article in The Washington Post titled, “The latest study about antioxidants is terrifying. Scientists think they may boost cancer cells to spread faster.” Often a negative result provides us as much or more information than a positive result. In this case, the recent findings on the adverse effects of antioxidants helps explain a lot about health and disease. Particularly, 1. It helps explain the mechanism of action of our immune system to protect us. 2. It substantiates the involvement of pathogens in disease, and illustrates the interconnectedness of disease. 3. It shows how antioxidant research may be misinterpreted and our “healthy use” recommendations. Part 1 – Antioxidants and Immune defense. What are free radicals? They are those dreaded reactive oxygen species (ROS) associated with oxidative stress and aging that we are told we must eliminate from our bodies to stay young, healthy, and beautiful. But our immune system produces and uses free radials, such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, to preserve our health. Somewhere there is a contradiction! Here is an excerpt from Harvard Medical School. [i] “When you were a kid your mom poured it (hydrogen peroxide) on your scraped finger to stave off infection. When you got older you might have even used it to bleach your hair. Now there’s another possible function for this over-the-counter colorless liquid: your body might be using (producing) hydrogen peroxide as an envoy that marshals troops of healing cells to wounded tissue.” Antioxidants scavenge (remove) ROS, including those produced from hydrogen peroxide. Since the ROS are often fighting against unwanted invaders in our body, this antioxidant action is working against our body and our good health. Let’s go back in time to when scientists were first discovered how human immunity worked against bacteria and toxins. Here is an article from 1973 that reveals the essence of immunity. It is titled, “Biological Defense Mechanisms. THE PRODUCTION BY LEUKOCYTES (white blood cells) OF SUPEROXIDE, A POTENTIAL BACTERICIDAL AGENT.” [ii]
For those interested in reading the technical “punch line,” look further below. But for the casual reader, he