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 18, 2011
This article is composed of multiple excerpts to result in tone and content shifts and reference numbering that may be out of order.
Our environment is a cesspool of naturally occurring and man-made reagents that react with our complex biochemical systems, giving rise to free radicals. We are extensions of one another and our environment, and there is no escape from the wrath we’ve set ourselves up to be assaulted by.
Your body is a vessel that carries on the environment’s chemical reactions; free-radical activity bolts through you and into the universe as if no dermal barriers existed.
A multitude of chemicals such as synthetic drugs, pesticides, and pollutants can cause direct cellular damage as well as secondary oxidative stress from the free radicals they generate. In addition, free radicals inevitably born from normal metabolism of essential fuels will also contribute to the bombardment of tissues, DNA, and vital biochemicals to alter their functionality.
Free radicals promote free radicals in an exponential manner similar to the way a secret can travel from one friend who tells two close friends and each subsequently tells two of their close friends and so on. Free radicals aren’t science fiction; for a long time now they’ve been implicated as a major cause of aging and a significant facilitator of disease. Protection against these ravenous piranhas, however, isn’t completely out of our control, but it’s not as easy as we’ve been led to believe, either.
Oxidation is the process that slowly degrades our bodies, but we also depend on it for life as it ignites the fuels in our cells much as the spark in a combustion chamber ignites the gas that powers an engine. This energy producing oxidation, however, is regulated in our cells. Given the many factors that influence oxidation and free-radical generation, directing the process to eliminate “uncontrolled” oxidation is likely impossible. Still, nature has provided us with miraculous substances with which our cells have been able to infuse some degree of protection. Like armor, antioxidants of plant origin that our cells can’t synthesize join our internally manufactured antioxidants to shield the body from the ricocheting wildfire of rampant oxidation.
The scarcity in our food supply of these protective phyto-antioxidants (plant-sourced antioxidants), however, and the limited availability of other vital substances required by our bodies to produce their own protective antioxidants have resulted in protection that is far from impermeable. Antioxidants function as a complete system of co-dependent chemicals. The absence of one results in the incomplete neutralization of the high energy, highly reactive free radical.
In essence, the free radical is taken down a series of steps in the antioxidant system to reduce its reactive potential to zero. If one step, or one antioxidant of the system, is missing, it’s less likely that the reactivity potential will be reduced to zero or a harmless state. A complete system is more likely to reduce the highly reactive free radical to harmless carbon dioxide and water. Vitamins E and C, isoflavones, and other delicate antioxidants can be destroyed or removed by food processing, limiting the zero potential for reactive free radicals in our bodies.
Antioxidants possess powerful defensive capabilities, but they may only get to display one round of protection. They can alsopreserve the vegetables, grains, and fruits of which they are constituents. When foods are exposed and allowed to dehydrate for prolonged periods in our extremely oxidative environment, their antioxidants attempt to shield the plant’s tissues and lose “loaded” status. If this deactivated sustenance makes up the majority of your diet, you’re consuming, in a sense, used or dead food. Furthermore, recooked or reheated meals usually deliver reduced nutrient activity due to much of the same damage.
Supplementing our food’s nutrient supply is critical for optimum health, and antioxidants really are potent preventive agents. So powerful, in fact, that in addition to influencing genes, specific nutraceuticals help control nitric oxide, a critical regulatorycompound in the body. As much as nitric oxide is important to general biological function, it is still highly reactive, and amid a free-radical-laden system it can become quite toxic.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, many health-care experts have jumped on the nitric-oxide bandwagon. Nitric oxide is now recognized as a central factor in the disease equation. Stimulation of nitric-oxide-synthase (an enzyme that manufactures nitric oxide in the body) activity, and an inadvertent supply of nitric-oxide precursors such as the amino acid arginine, might not be a good idea unless biological regulation of this reactive molecule is concurrently implemented. The same is true for insulin regulation.
Supporting efficient insulin activity and preventing insulin resistance are critical to the maintenance of optimal health, athletic performance, and youthful biological age, but efficiency isn’t a function of stimulating the production of more insulin in the bodyabove the normal baseline or by administering the hormone exogenously as many blind specialists recommend. Nutraceuticals and precise diet protocols have been recognized as significant strategies for improving insulin function and diminishing associated secondary diseases— powerful enough even to reverse a diabetic state within weeks. And insulin control is now seen as critical to nitric-oxide regulation.
The point is that addressing one isolated biological system of the body doesn’t necessarily result in overall improved health. Paying attention to the multiple common systems that make up the biochemical Internet of human life will instill a positive outcome. Ageless Performance is a hormone regulator, a nitric-oxide optimizer, a gene modifier, and a biological network coordinator. It truly is the new face of health care, fitness, and athletic performance facilitation.