Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Tin Man

An understanding of cellular function based on the Energy and Information cells need, which we get from food and relationships, inevitably leads to “combustion;” much like any engine, which also obey thermodynamic principles, our cells generate Free Radicals, or Oxidants. They need to be eliminated, or neutralized, or else, “Free Radicals Can Kill You: Lavoisier’s Oxygen Revolution.”[1] If we don’t get an optimal amount of Antioxidants in our diet we may end up like the Tin Man.

Every cell in the body will then be affected. Given genetic tendencies and exposure, some cells (organs) may be affected more than others. For example, living in a polluted environment [2] and having “Reduced Circulating Antioxidant Defenses are Associated with Airway Hyper-responsiveness, Poor control and Severe Disease Pattern in Asthma.”[3] In other words, asthma, or any other disease is rooted in poor neutralization of Oxidants, which damage the cell’s organelles, like the brain-like cell membrane and its gonads, the DNA.

The use of energy and information is called “metabolism.” A major breakthrough in modern medicine is the realization that practically all diseases are metabolic problems, including obesity. Overweight people are more oxidized and have higher markers of inflammation, which is virtually the same process as oxidation:

Multiple inflammatory markers are strongly and positively associated with increasing weight status in children, and this relationship starts as young as age 3. Elevated inflammatory markers in very young obese children are particularly concerning, because inflammation may cause long-term, cumulative vascular damage.[4]

Naturally, “An anti-inflammatory Dietary Mix Modulates Inflammation and Oxidative and Metabolic Stress in Overweight Men: a nutrigenomics approach.”[5] Nutrigenomics means that even our DNA needs proper energy and information to replicate normally, a topic we have covered many times in this webstite. The above study documented that resveratrol, green tea extract, {alpha}-tocopherol, vitamin C, n–3 (omega-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids, and tomato extract were helpful in mitigating the metabolic problems obese people encounter.

Will our society adopt these simple principles of health, or will it continue to listen to “the man behind the curtain” disparaging this nutritional approach by claiming that “there is no evidence for ‘alternative medicine?’” Will we see the wizard’s pharmaceutical tricks for what they are, that is, shortcuts that only treat the symptoms of toxicity, oxidation, inflammation and dysmetabolism?

[1] FASEB J. 2010;24: 649

[2] “Exposures to Particulate Matter and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Oxidative Stress in Schoolchildren,” J. Environmental Health Perspectives 2010;118:579

[3] British Journal of Nutrition 2010;103:735

[4] “Multiple Markers of Inflammation and Weight Status: Cross-sectional Analyses Throughout Childhood,” J. Pediatrics 2010;125:e801

[5] American J. Clinical Nutrition 2010; 91:1044


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