A Person Born without Antioxidants Will Die in His/Her Teens Owing to Aging
A person born without antioxidants would die of old age when still a teenager
Causes of disease
Since 1962, free radicals, being oxidants, have been recognized as causes of disease. That year Dr. Denham Harman, MD made an interpretation that they cause disease. That interpretation was a substantial departure from the usual one that they are just by-products of metabolism of, say, glucose in the production of energy.
A free radical is any atom, or molecule, or fragment of molecule with at least one unpaired electron in its outermost orbital (Pierce, J. Ph.D. 1986. Heart Healthy Magnesium). For example, molecular oxygen which has two unpaired electrons in its outermost orbital. An orbital is a path of electrons around the nucleus, in the case of atom, or around the whole molecule. Electrons usually come in pairs in their orbit that makes them stable. An unpaired electron is unstable and to stabilize it usually grabs an electron from a neighboring molecule of a cell or tissue. A cell or tissue whose electron had been grabbed is injured. That injury causes mutation that results in disease like tumor or cancer or emphysema or arthritis, and many more, called free radical diseases.
The body has several processes that produce free radicals like superoxides where enzymes are involved. For example, cyclooxygenase, an enzyme that acts on arachidonic acid and produces superoxides and prostaglandins; xanthase, NAdehydrogenase and more.
Our body produces a lot of free radicals judging from the amount of energy that we use. Energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is produced by the metabolism of glucose. One molecule of glucose produces 38 ATPs. One cell of the brain uses 10 million ATPs per second. And there are three trillion cells of the body. At least two superoxides are produced in the perfect metabolism of one glucose molecule. If there are leakages in the metabolism, more superoxides are produced. Superoxide is a master free radical that triggers the production of ROS like hydrogen peroxide, peroxynitrite, hydroxyl radical, alkoxy radical, and lipid peroxide
A normal person is born with built-in enzyme antioxidants like superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase.
Enzyme antioxidants can be recycled but they can be overwhelmed by extra population of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). A ROS acts like a free radical.
Antioxidants protect the body from the ravages of extra population of free radicals and ROS that the body produces and that come from the environment like pollution and the sun. Normally there is a balance between the population of free radicals and ROS, and antioxidants in the body. When the balance favors free radicals and ROS oxidative stress occurs resulting in diseases like tumor, cancer, heart disease, Parkinson's disease, arthritis and more.
Superoxide dismutase converts superoxides produced during metabolism of glucose into hydrogen peroxide, a ROS. Glutathione peroxidase dismantles hydrogen peroxide into safe water.
Lack of antioxidants is heritable and the person so afflicted is sick of progeria (Cranton, E., M. D. Bypassing Bypass. Updated second edition. 1995:99). This fellow is ravaged by free radicals and ROS and becomes old,very fast, with skin sagging, and muscles deteriorating. His hormone glands do not develop, he is stunted. He dies of biological old age in 10 to 13 years.
Progeria can be treated with glutathione peroxidase, that the body can formulate from nutrition, and by chelation therapy..
In 1977, a child suffering from progeria was shown on television in the Philippines. He was confined in the Philippine Heart Center-Asia, with a complication of heart disease. He was barely three feet tall, showing the severe signs of aging.
Public attention was focused on him because he was visited by Ms. Lisbeth de Padua, then the reigning beauty queen, Binibining Pilipinas-Universe. It was part of a charity project of this franchise participating in the world Miss Universe Pageant. Ms. de Padua had a personal affection for the progeria victim, visiting him was not a mere promotional gimmick. She went on to take a course in medicine at the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines, Manila campus. Earlier, she graduated in the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus, summa cum laude..
Conventional research in cancer has recognized that mutation causes cancer and concentrates on suppressing the growth of cancer, or regressing it. Alternative medicine has recognized free radicals as the culprit in a lot of diseases and has concentrated in primary prevention by controlling the population of free radicals.
Control of a free radical is straightforward. The hunger for a fellow of an unpaired electron is satisfied with an electron from supplements or nutrition. That electron usually comes from a hydrogen atom because its electron or proton is the easiest to abstract. A hydrogen bond is only 5 percent as strong as the other kinds of bonds: ionic bond and covalent bond (Tortora, G.J. and J.F. Becker. 1978. Life Science: 14). An ordinary hydrogen atom (not its isotope of deuterium) has one electron and one proton and no nucleus.
The usual donors of electrons are vitamins like vitamin C that has eight hydrogen atoms or vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) with 37 hydrogen atoms. These donors are called supplement antioxidants.Glutathione synthase, an enzyme, makes glutathione out of glutamate, cystine, cysteine and cofactors selenium, zinc, lipoic acid and vitamin B2 from food.