My 13th book, Best Future You, is out!
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting excerpts from the book and blogging frequently about the main concept in the book – which is the idea of harnessing your body’s internal cellular biochemistry to achieve true balance in body, mind, and spirit – and in doing so, help you to become your “Best Future You” in terms of how you look, how you feel, and how you perform on every level.
Chapter 4 – Don’t Take Antioxidants— Make Antioxidants
CDR: The Past
It can be scary to think that our own body is producing the damaging ROS molecules described above as a normal part of living and breathing, but it’s even scarier when you realize that ROS and other cellular toxins are all around us in the environment in the form of sunlight, car exhaust, air pollution, cigarette smoke, poor diet, and many other sources. Our bodies are constantly being bombarded by free radicals and related stressors, and constantly under threat of cellular damage and dysfunction—unless we do something to protect ourselves.
In the late1960s, researchers at Duke University, discovered that the body produces its own protective enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD) that is able to counteract the cellular damage caused by free radicals. For more than twenty years, scientists knew that SOD and other protective proteins, such as catalase and glutathione, could help reduce cellular stress, but nobody knew how to naturally increase levels of these proteins in the body. Attempts to develop oral versions of SOD and glutathione were met largely with failure, because as large proteins, they were quickly inactivated by digestive enzymes in the gastrointestinal system – so none of their protective activity reached the cells of the body. In the mid-1990s, researchers in Japan and around the world discovered the molecular “switch” that turns on the production of SOD and related cytoprotective enzymes. Further research, including thousands of studies published within the last few years, shows us quite clearly that our individual cells possess an entire system of interconnected protective mechanisms that counteract cellular stress, enhance cleanup of cellular damage, and slow the aging process.
Thanks for reading – tune in for the next installment about. “CDR: The Present”