Posts tagged free radical
The Cause Of Virtually All Disease
(Continued from Part 1 of “What Are Free Radicals”)
In general the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons for any one atom. Thus, the atom of oxygen has eight electrons circling around a center with eight protons. Since protons have a positive electrical charge, and electrons have a negative charge, this atom would be balanced, and have no charge. If one electron is taken away, there would then be seven electrons and eight protons — providing a net positive charge. If you could add one extra electron to an oxygen atom, there would then be NINE (negative) electrons and EIGHT (positive) protons — for a net negatively charged atom.
A free radical has an excess of positive electrical charge (because there is one less electron in its rings) and that means that this free radical is able to attract an electron from some other atom or molecule. This “taking” of a free electron from somewhere else means that the free radical is now balanced and is no longer a free radical.
A charged atom (or group of atoms) is properly referred to as an ion. Click here for explanation of an “ion.”
A free radical is a species bearing an unpaired electron.
Free radicals have no charge; they are electrically neutral.
However, radicals are very reactive because they seek to complete the electron pair.
Thus, they can attack other molecules. Therein lies the danger to living systems.
However, the atom or molecule from which the electron was taken may now, itself, become a free radical, or may be damaged in some way.
|One of the primary types of damage caused by free radicals traces back to radiation. In other words, sunlight, X-Rays or other radiation hits the body and creates free radicals inside the body. These are free radicals which, in turn, grab some loose electron from somewhere, and thus create a new free radical.|
This process is described as a “chain reaction” because one free radical can be neutralized and create a new free radical which is then neutralized, etc. These actions take place in a tiny amount of time — less than a millionth of a second. Thus, one free radical may “exist” for only a very tiny amount of time, but one free radical can set off a chain reaction of millions more free radicals being created and then neutralized.
Each time a free radical is “neutralized” there could be some damage to part of the body.
Free radical biology is closely related to radiation biology since 70-80% of the effect of radiation on cells is due to the production of free radicals. The study of free radicals has become of extreme interest because of the role of free radicals in a large number of diseases and pathological states. As examples, cancer, aging, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and Lou Gehrig’s disease all have a free radical component to their mechanism of injury. The use of free radical modulators (like Vitamin C and Microhydrin) in the prevention and treatment of these diseases is under close investigation at this time including clinical trials.
Research in free radical biology is quite interdisciplinary. Research ranges from studies of the fundamental chemistry of free radical reactions, to antioxidant enzymes (their biophysics, biochemistry, biology and molecular biology), to free radical pathology, to even epidemiological studies. It is a broad area of research with many opportunities.
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By Karl Loren
(Continued from Part 1 of “What Causes Heart Disease?”)
What Is A Free Radical?
Since a free radical is so important to your health, I’m going to take some time and space to explain it.
First, a free radical is something very small. It is invisible to the eye or even a microscope — for instance, it can be something as simple as a single atom of hydrogen. Let me start with that form of free radical.
Hydrogen is a very common element in our universe. Years ago people filled balloons with hydrogen — the balloon would rise in the air, of course. Then a giant air ship Hindenburg, filled with hydrogen, exploded and burned, causing many deaths. Hydrogen is a very reactive gas. These reactions are the actions of free radicals — rushing to get out of their reactive condition.
The great bulk of the mass of our sun is made up of hydrogen which is “burning” in about the same way that a hydrogen bomb “burns.” We have a great deal of hydrogen here on earth. For instance, every drop of water is made up of two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen. Some of our most important foods are called carbohydrates, which simply means that the food contains carbon (carbo-) as well as hydrogen combined with oxygen (-hydrate).
The physics instructor would tell you that the smallest unit that an element can take is an atom. So, there can be a single atom of hydrogen, or a single atom of oxygen. The formula H2O says that there are two hydrogen atoms connected to one oxygen atom — forming water.
A simple way to understand an atom is to look at a model of an atom. There will be a round ball in the center and smaller balls going around the center ball — like planets going around a sun. The center ball is called the nucleus and the small balls circling around the nucleus are electrons.
The atom of hydrogen, prior page, has a nucleus, like all atoms, and it has only one electron circling around it. The atom of helium has one nucleus and two electrons (see figure to left). Hydrogen atoms often gather in groups of two atoms — thus having two electrons in the outer ring of the combination.
The atom of oxygen has a similar nucleus — except that it is bigger than the nucleus in an atom of hydrogen. Also, the atom of oxygen has eight electrons circling around the nucleus. Furthermore, these 8 electrons are in layers — with two electrons in the inner layer, four electrons in the middle layer and two electrons in the outer layer.
You can now notice that the hydrogen atom has an odd number of electrons in its outer ring — it’s only ring actually. Strangely enough, you can take an atom of hydrogen, strip away that lone electron, and it’s still considered hydrogen. In other words, it’s the center of the atom that gives it the most basic characteristic. Most of the time a hydrogen atom has a central nucleus and one outer electron, but it can lose its electron, and still be an atom of hydrogen. I don’t want to get in over your head, or mine, for that matter, but I’m describing some very basic terms of physics here.
Radical: the root or cause of something. Radical surgery is surgery directed at the root of the problem. In chemistry a radical is a group of atoms which enters into and goes out of chemical combination without change, and which forms one of the fundamental constituents of a molecule. A free radical caries an unpaired electron and is extremely reactive. It has a very short half-life (10 -5 seconds or less in an aqueous solution).
Atom: A unit of matter, the smallest unit of an element, consisting of a dense, central, positively charged nucleus surrounded by a system of electrons, equal in number to the number of nuclear protons, the entire structure having an approximate diameter of 10 -8 centimeter and characteristically remaining undivided in chemical reactions except for limited removal, transfer, or exchange of certain electrons. American Heritage Dictionary.
Carbohydrate: A substance containing carbon and water, plus other elements which differentiate one carbohydrate from another. They are so named because the hydrogen and oxygen are usually in the proportion to form water, (CH2O). The most important carbohydrates are the starches, sugars, celluloses and gums. ALL carbohydrates are digested into sugar when they enter the body.
Hydrate is any compound of a radical with water. Medical Dictionary.
Note that in the First Edition of this Book, this data was given incorrectly as the oxygen atom having 16 electrons. It actually has only 8.
“Chelation is nature’s marriage ceremony: It weds two substances from totally different chemical worlds — the organic and inorganic — into a compatible working partnership.
“Chlorophyll, the plant-greening pigment, is a chelate of magnesium. Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells, is a chelate of iron. The chelation process is involved in the formation and function of many enzymes — the protein catalysts that control most of your body’s vital biochemical functions.” [quoted from page 55 of Dr. Cranton’s book, Bypassing Bypass.]
Scavenger: a substance that influences the course of a chemical reaction by ready combination with free radicals. Medical Dictionary.
Chlorine is a free radical, but that is also exactly why it is used to purify water. Because the added chlorine is a free radical, it eagerly looks for other atomic particles, such as organic material (bacteria). When it finds these other materials, it takes away an electron, or gives up one, making the toxic material less toxic, or even killing the bacteria. There is no doubt that chlorine does its job, but it does it so thoroughly that it causes damage inside your body as well as killing the bugs in the water. It is a mixed blessing!
The following are some of the sources on this subject referenced by Dr. Cranton in his revised Bypassing Bypass:
1. Demopoulos, H. B., Petronigro DD, Flamm ES, Seligman ML: The possible role of free radical reactions in carcinogenesis. Journal of Environmental Pathology and Toxicology 1980;3:273-303.
2. Harman, D: The aging process. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1981;78:7124-7128.
3. Dormandy, T. L: An approach to free radicals. Lancet 1983;ii:1010-1014.
4. Ames, B. N: Dietary carcinogens and anticarcinogens. Science 1983;221:1256-1264.
5. Dormandy, T. L: Free-radical oxidation and antioxidants. Lancet 1978;i:647-650.
Iron and copper are also essential to body health, but the copper and iron that cause free radical production have abnormalities which differentiate them from the useful forms.
(Look for Part 3 of “What Causes Heart Disease?”)
Karl Loren is a researcher, writer and developer of unique vitamin formulations that remove heavy metals from the body. His products can be found at: http://www.oralchelation.com/store . Join our affiliate program at: https://vibrantlifeaffiliates.com/affiliate/affiliates/signup.php#SignupForm