top of page


Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Blended excerpts from Potential Within A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment

Authored by Franco Cavaleri ISBN 0-9731701-0-7

Original post: February 4, 2011

This article is composed of multiple excerpts to result in tone and content shifts and reference numbering that may be out of order.


Often a chemical reaction in the body doesn’t proceed as cleanly as it should. Extreme demands from intense physical exercise and disease, as well as the influence from environmental chemicals, metabolic byproducts, and dietary and stored nutrient supplies, influence how efficiently reactions ensue in our cells.

The reaction can also yield atoms with an odd number of electrons in the outer orbits, leaving behind an unpaired electron. Essentially this resulting odd-numbered entity isn’t positive, negative, or neutral. In fact, it isn’t even considered an ion; it’s a free radical, an unstable atom or molecule with an unpaired electron in search of a companion electron. In this particular example, the free radical is a superoxide anion radical, O2-e, or it can easily form a hydroxyl radical, HO-e. Both are extraordinarily vicious.


The unstable free radical requires an electron to offset the imbalance that this odd electron number imposes. It can suck an electron from another atom that makes up part of a molecule in the cells or vital chemicals of the body. When an electron is ripped away from an atom that’s part of vital tissue, the atomic structure of this tissue’s atom is altered and so are its chemical properties.

Ultimately this affected molecule and the tissue it constitutes are damaged. The free radical can tear away an electron from an atom of a

FIGURE 4: (in Potential Within)

Development of Free Radical from Oxygen


molecule that exists in the genetic code of DNA. The result is a mutated code that can subsequently impair cell function. This process can instigate disease if the immune system or the natural DNA-corrective chemistry isn’t able to discard or fix the mutation. Such a radical reaction isn’t isolated to a single event, either. It’s not slow and certainlynot finite. It’s more like a flash that rips through the body with lightning speed. The sacrificed molecule that neutralizes the original free radical, whether antioxidant or not, doesn’t terminate the reaction. The sacrificed atom has one less electron in its outer orbit and is now a free radical itself.

Chatecholamines like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline) are highly reactive and initiate the production of free radicals as does hydrocortisone (4, 5, 6). While moderate chatecholamine secretions can protect the body by delivering antioxidant protection, over secretion is oxidative, promoting free-radical generation. Prolonged periods of stress can result in incremental levels of epinephrine and corticosteroids that ultimately give rise to greater levels of free radicals. This is one way emotional and mental strains increase oxidative stress on the body and heighten the risk of disease. The stress-produced superoxide anion radical is a dangerous piranha that chews away at the body.

If your life is a scurrying frenzy, the slow-drip release of these catabolic hormones produces an ongoing flow of free radicals that munch on your tissues and undermine your health. A big part of the solution is to manage stress by changing to a less stressful lifestyle and by gaining a different perspective on the stressors. Another way, which isn’t an alternative but is an essential part of the solution, is to provide complete antioxidant protection through multiple antioxidant supplementation.


Unregulated serum glucose breeds free radicals, as well. As we’ve seen in the previous chapter, glucose can react detrimentally with long-lived body proteins such as cartilage and other vital proteins to produce an advanced glycosylated endproduct (AGE)—a damaged protein. Free radicals play a facilitative role in this reaction, and the antioxidants making up the crux of the Ageless Performance program inhibit this damage (7, 8, 9).


bottom of page