Updated: Jun 8, 2021
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.
The reckless manhandling of nature has caused sickening global consequences. Our efforts to increase crop yields and prolong the shelf life of our food have resulted in frightful ramifications that have long been recognized but are only now beginning to be understood and addressed. The very chemicals that have boosted crop yields to help meet demands for food supply have instigated serious health concerns.
This imposition has intensified free-radical toxicity, consequently amplifying the body’s need for vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients (plant nutrients) at a time when they’re less available in our food.
Are antioxidant supplements essential today?
In order to meet today’s unnaturally elevated oxidative toxicity we need to increase antioxidant status in our body beyond that which our body is genetically programmed to manufacture. Yes, antioxidant supplements are essential today to meet the unnatural state of our food and environment head on with an equally potent countermeasure that our body cannot produce on its own.
Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, catechins, flavonoids, and polyphenols of plant origin supply the electrons required to neutralize free radicals so that the latter don’t steal electrons from the atoms that make up vital molecules, cells, and tissues. However, that’s not the only activity of these powerful biomodulators.
An antioxidant readily gives up an electron to neutralize the reactive free radical, but it’s left with an unpaired electron that can also become a free radical. Antioxidants work in synergistic combinations. One type, such as vitamin E, can’t replace the function of another, say, vitamin C or grapeseed extract and vice versa. The claims that grapeseed extract is so much more powerful than vitamin E aren’t completely true. The wide array of free radicals requires a varied arsenal of specialized antioxidants.
Vitamin E, for example, isn’t able to neutralize all of the free radicals that glutathione or grapeseed extract can, but glutathione or grapeseed can’t effectively counteract all of those that vitamin E can. There may be overlap in the potential of antioxidants, but there definitely isn’t complete redundancy. In addition, antioxidants actually rely on one another for interaction to complete their roles. When an antioxidant becomes a free radical, it relies on its antioxidant partner to supply it with an electron to bring it down from its reactive state.
The second donor, however, becomes a free radical itself, having given up its electron, so it requires a donor of its own. Each time this co-dependent reaction takes place the free-radical reaction potential (oxidative potential or reactivity level) drops to a lower level and becomes less risky to the body. Complete antioxidant programs are crucial to the total diffusion of this destructive activity.
By limiting the availability of these antioxidants in the body, completely or in part, we become vulnerable to the original reactive free radical at the top of the chain or any of the free radicals that are left in a reactive state at the point where the co-dependent antioxidant is missing from the chain.
It’s easy to induce a toxic outcome with a megadose administration of vitamin E, for example, and this is exactly what unaware scientists do when they show negative effects with supplementation of antioxidants. Typically toxicity assessments are done with extremely high megadoses. However, without the inclusion of a proportional quantity of partner antioxidants, megadoses of antioxidants give rise to a pro-oxidative (free radical generation) situation and, therefore, increase the risk of disease.
Upon reporting these findings without completely disclosing all of the facts, irresponsible scientists contribute to the confusion and doubt among consumers concerning antioxidant supplementation at a time when we need this protection more than ever.
FIGURE 5: (Figure detailed in Potential Within Page 110)
Simplified Example of Co-Dependent Interaction Between Antioxidants
Notes: 12, 13, 14, 15
Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene are three antioxidants that come to mind. Some experts report irresponsibly that these life supporters are toxic. I can assure you that if you eliminate these nutrients from your diet while wading through today’s cesspool, free radicals will eat you alive. Today’s epidemics are proof of this activity. Supplement with antioxidants correctly and free radicals won’t be able to sink their teeth into your armor.
Go to part I – The Free Radical is not always the bad guy