Your Animal's Health
Free Radicals, Oxidation, and Antioxidants
There is not a week that goes by that the author does not receive phone calls from veterinarians requesting information concerning my clinical observations regarding vitamin therapy and the prevention and control of diseases. It has not been uncommon to receive phone calls from veterinarians at veterinary teaching institutions. Most often, at the end of the conversation, he is asked, "how do you remain motivated after being in practice for over three decades?" The answer is simple: vitamin therapy and the prevention and control of diseases is in its infancy, there is very little in the textbooks, and research is almost nonexistent. This means the door is wide open for research; veterinary researchers will be occupied for the next 100 years with vitamin/mineral research. He has enjoyed developing concepts and proving them, beginning with an idea and watching it develop into a new weapon against disease processes. The use of drugs and chemicals have had their day. Though they have helped in many diseases, there have been many negative effects that have cost lives. The past decade has brought about an increase use of herbs as therapeutic agents. Though these substances are natural, they are still pharmacological (drugs) substances that are foreign to the body and can be deleterious. Due to the indescriminate use of antibiotics, for the past fifty years, there are now resistant microorganisms.
Aside from trauma, the process of death, at the cell level, is oxidation. The death of cells is caused by an invading molecule called a "free radical" which invades cells causing their death. These invading free radicals are part of our environment, that puff of cigarette smoke, the chemical preservatives in our foods, and water, anything that is foreign to the body can, potentially, become a free radical.
Simplistically, when a free radical enters the body and the immune system is not functioning optimally, three things can occur.
- Should the free radical attack a cell membrane, allergies can occur.
- Should the molecule attack the fat globule that nourishes the cell, the cell dies. This is associated with aging and rhumatoid arthritis.
- Should the free radical attack the nucleus of the cell, which has the reproductive map of the cell (DNA) cancer can develop.
Immunodeficiency combined with a weak antioxidant defense system are the primary causes of illness. Since the animal's body is constantly bombarded by free radicals it is virtually impossible for the antioxidant defense system to be consistently at peak performance. To a great degree, immune activity is aided by antioxidants such as vitamin C. This essential nutrient not only increases the number of white blood cells it also enhances antibody formation. The only logical solution is to help the ailing antioxidant defense system through the use of antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that act as shields or barriers to prevent the invading free radicals from doing harm to cells. The body produces antioxidants such as the enzymes catalase and superoxide dismutase, and, in most mammals, vitamin C. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, and the trace mineral selenium are commonly found in most consumed diets.
The components of the antioxidant defense system combine in a synergistic manner, a deficiency of one will cause the others to be less effective. Certain antioxidants are more effective attacking free radicals in body organs, such as the liver and kidneys, others the lining of the body openings. as the air passages and the digestive tract. The important lesson here is, there is no one antioxidant that is a panacea or "cure all." The skilled health professional must be able to select the proper combinations of antioxidants to be most efficacious for the condition that is to be treated, prevented, or controlled.
The products presented at this website, Mega C Plus, Vital Tabs, Vital Liquid were developed by the author for specific disease processes encountered in his small animal practice. It is important to remember that nutritional therapy, prevention, and control of diseases is not a "quick fix." The process can be a slow one, the biochemical changes that occur will take time, six to eight weeks.
For those of you who are interested in more detailed information on this topic, Mosby, publisher of veterinary textbooks has available a new textbook, "Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine and Practice." The author has contributed a chapter, "Orthomolecular Medicine In Veterinary Practice." This new and exciting textbook is the first of its kind and is targeting veterinary practitioners and educators.
For information concerning the availability of this textbook contact
Mosby-Year Book, Inc.
11830 Westline Industrial Drive
St. Louis, MO 63146
Phone 800 426-4545
Fax 800 535-9935<