• Cordell E Logan, ND

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Antioxidant Truth

Cordell E Logan

Marketing people are still on the “antioxidant” bandwagon. Perhaps we should take a look at a few facts before thinking antioxidants cure everything.

From Metabolic Typing results, we will note that people needing mostly Group 2 foods do not need the antioxidant levels as much as those in the Group 1 food groups.


Antioxidants have become a popular subject. Most vitamins are antioxidants. It is claimed that antioxidants neutralize harmful oxidants in our bodies. These oxidants include free radical chemical entities that are very reactive and may damage cells and tissues. The job of many of vitamins is to degrade these and make them harmless.

Free radical theory is based primarily upon electrical charge satisfaction. When electrical charge neutralization has been completed, there is no current flow. Free radicals are atoms that have an unbalanced electron in their outer orbit. One such radical is called superoxide and this can be destroyed by superoxide dismustase (an enzyme). Hydrogen peroxide is another chemical that acts like a radical. This is destroyed by catalase, found in red blood cells. If catalase is not present, the extremely active radical, the hydroxyl radical, is formed. Vitamins are only part of the neutralizing force for reactive free radicals. Enzymes can be cofactors as well.

So what causes too many free radicals in the body? Many factors are causative, including bad diets, lack of exercise, lack of oxygen, environmental pollutants, xenobiotics (foreign substances, harmful drugs, prescribed or not), iatrogenic problems (physician induced), autoimmune disorders, and even mental or emotional stress.

So if we say lack of oxygen is a factor, and yet we say antioxidants are good, is this a contradiction? No, not at all. What happens is if we lack proper oxygen in our tissues and cells, that alone can elicit cell damage, with ensuing free radical formation.

There is another curve to the popular antioxidant picture. In fact there are two curves. One involves vitamins themselves. A vitamin is an extremely complex organic substance needed in very small amounts in the diet, and is essential for life. They are cofactors in cell regulation and energy production. It isn’t helping the need for antioxidants if defective vitamins are given. The best sources of them or any nutrient is from nature herself. Most popular vitamins are manufactured, including many of those sold in health food stores and by MLM companies. Indeed they can have some beneficial activity at least for a short time, but overall they can even be harmful. Apparantly the antioxidant can force blood oxygen out, thus making more oxygen available in the tissues which, in turn, makes us feel better. However, after around 10 days, the effect is off so we need more and more antioxidants, but this can backfire and lead to more serious problems. Synthetics can be shown to not be the same. One method is how the chemical rotates light with a special instrument that shows this. Most synthetic vitamins rotate light in the opposite direction from that of the natural vitamin. It is like trying to put on a right-hand nut on a left-hand bolt. It just doesn’t work. Often synthetic vitamins are urinated out (e.g., riboflavin makes urine turn yellow) proving the body doesn’t really want or need it. Natural vitamins do not do this but are effectively absorbed in the body where needed. Many so-called vitamin C products list it as vitamin C when in reality all or most of it is ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is only part of the whole vitamin C complex. The chromatogram of ascorbic acid as compared to that of the vitamin C complex is totally different.(1) Ascorbic acid will not prevent scurvy. Ascorbic acid helps to protect the plant more than you. It is not bad by itself in small amounts but it is not complete (its acid nature can help kill viruses, and it seems effective in some intravenous therapies, as examples). Vitamin C (complex) consists of ascorbigen, bioflavinoid complexes, tyrosinase (with copper), P, J, and K factors, plus ascorbic acid.

Cancer cells are killed by a process of oxidation; oxygen is needed for this. Otto Warburg of Germany received the Noble Prize for this research. Thus too many antioxidants can indeed make cancer worse. Balance is needed. A study has shown that if a person consumes over 500mg of ascorbic acid daily long-term, especially when refined sugar consumption is high, gene damage can ensue.(2) Ascorbic acid is oxidizing; vitamin C complex is not. Vitamin C is really a redox agent; it can be an antioxidant is some circumstances and a pro-oxidant in others. Dr. James Dwyer (meeting of the American Heart Association in San Diego, 3-2000) reported that ascorbic acid in higher amounts by itself can speed up hardening of the arteries.
The same reasoning holds for vitamin E (where the gamma and other factors are needed, not only the alpha portion). Here are some “are nots” concerning vitamins: vitamin A acetate or palmitate is not vitamin A; Beta-carotine is not a carotenoid complex; thiamine hydrochloride or mononitrate is not vitamin B1; pyridoxine hydrochloride is not vitamin B6; Niacin is not vitamin B3; ascorbic acid is not vitamin C; irradiated ergosterol is not vitamin D; alpha or mixed tocopherols are not vitamin E.

The other “curve” involves the whole idea of antioxidants from its popular media presentations. That antioxidants serve as electron donors to “deactivate” so-called harmful molecules has only been observed under a microscope. Some scientists believe that “free radicals” are a result of tissue injury, or breakdown, rather than the cause of damage (elicited by junk food, stress, pollutants, some drugs, etc)(3) Some quote studies that show benefits from these synthetic or semi-synthetic vitamins (whether called natural or not).(4) Apparently what is happening is that they can show benefit for about two weeks. Why is this? It seems that the antioxidant function is to mobilize the movement of oxygen in blood and tissues. Since many people’s tissues are sluggish, these antioxidants help to get things moving, thus they feel better (for about two weeks). Then the high antioxidants can do damage because we need proper oxidation and oxygen use as well as really needing the correct natural vitamins.(5) Indeed the immune system produces free radicals as part of its defense system. Some white blood cells produce hydrogen peroxide to kill the bad invaders. Hindering this system with too many antioxidants makes us less able to defend ourselves. If the body has sufficient oxygen, less antioxidants are needed.

Skin carotinoids have been implicated in the level of antioxidants in the body. This shows only a small part of the overall picture; and to use this as a means to convince the public that they need more antioxidants of a particular brand is not very professional.

Antioxidants relate to surfactant chemistry. A surfactant is something that lowers friction. For a cell membrane surface, surfactants would make it easier for nutrients to enter and leave. Vegetable plants, and perhaps animals as well, get energy from the atmosphere, including air. Negative ions may be one way plants and us can neutralize some cellular toxins; these free radical toxins are hunting for electrons to balance them out. Negative ion generators make us feel better. Oxygen is highly paramagnetic.(6) Paramagnetic means that something is influenced in a magnetic field. Diamagnetic means they are not. Both are normal and necessary. We know plants grow better in a paramagetic field (as in the soil, even from lava rock, which is highly paramagetic). Surfactants contain a hydrophilic (water-loving) part and a hydrophobic (water-hating) part. For example, water and oil do not mix, but when a surfactant is used, the water-oil unit can become suspended into a solution and carried away (as by using soap). The electrical charges and energy therewith, from paramagnetic energies to holographic and laser inputs, all seem to relate to surfactant principles, that then results in more efficient energy utilization by all cells, plant or animal. These ideas point our still meager knowledge of antioxidants in nutrient functioning, and in health and disease.

Another critical factor is the quality of soil. As synthetic fertilizers (NPK etc.) have overtaken farm practices (especially since after WWII), our soil microorganisms and overall soil health has drastically deteriorated. GMO grains, more (not less) pesticides and herbicides further add to the soil’s demise.

By way of summary statements, we can say this:
• Using synthetic or semi-synthetic vitamins and other nutrients is not the same as what is found in quality food or extracted therefrom.
• Synthetic vitamins in higher amounts over a long period of time have been shown to be more harmful than beneficial. More isn’t better.
• We really don’t know a lot about antioxidants and its interpretation. Many studies may not be based on correct inferences.
• Other factors, i.e., surfactant chemistry and paramagnetism, probably play a bigger role in overall cellular metabolism than what has been previously thought.
• Beware of short-term studies; beware that some “results” are based upon intravenous studies, not oral; be aware that sometimes studies are based upon people who are very deficient in nutrients, so any vitamin, synthetic or not, may give temporary benefit.
• Improved human health has to start with improved agriculture.
• The public needs to be aware of advertising schemes based more on sales than on individual health. Hoffman-LaRoche is a huge synthetic vitamin manufacturing firm.

1. DeCava, Judith A. The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants. Brentwood Academic Press, 4000 Beallwood Ave., Columbus GA. 31904. 1996.
2. Nature (British study, 4-1998)
3. Lee, Royal. Lectures of Royal Lee. Selene River Press, Ft. Collins, CO. 1998.
4. Packer, L. and C. Colman. The Antioxidant Miracle. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Ave., NY NY 10158. 1999.
5. Anderson, Mark. Lectures on Back to School for Doctors. Denver, CO. 2001.
6. Callahan, P. Pararmagnetism. Acres USA, PO Box 8800, Metarie LA 70011. 1995.

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