By William Misner, Ph.D.
In the next 10 years "Antioxidants"(AO) may occupy a place in the prescriptive pharmaceutical halls under lock and key. If one wants a powerful antioxidant (today), you simply go to the health food store, drug store, or super market and buy whatever you so chose. Pharmaceutical companies are viewing alternative medicine practices with somewhat a jealous eye due to the research results some of these over-the-counter AO's have achieved.
The more potent AO's, such as L-Glutathione, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide(NADH), Proanthocynadins(Grape Seed Extract or Pycogenol), Superoxide Dismutase(SOD), Catalase, N-Acetyl-Cysteine(NAC), Gingko Biloba, Vitamins C, E, B-12, B-6, and Folate are presently being studied in terms of how optimal daily allowances(ODA) reduce the risk of certain degenerative diseases.
One of the most dramatic studies completed to date on Vitamin E found that doses of 400-800 IU reduced heart attacks in those patients who were over age 61 by 77%! These patients had defined Angiographic Coronary Atherosclerosis and were destined to suffer heart attacks. Fatal heart attacks were prevented at the rate of 3 out of every 4 patients.
Those supplementing with 400 IU Vitamin E had a 49% blood serum elevation in Vitamin E, while those who took 800 IU enjoyed an 88% blood serum elevation in their d-alpha tocopherol-"E" levels.
These findings were even more remarkable when one considers that those who dosed vitamin E were at "High Risk" for suffering a cardiovascular fatal event. Over 37% had been diagnosed with serious coronary heart disease or had already had a TRIPLE BYPASS surgery, while 24% were said to have severe left ventricular dysfunction. A pharmaceutical executive sees these kind of results and immediately wants to control the d-alpha tocopherol vitamin E by packaging it as a prescription drug and charging the consumer-patient triple what the current rate of exchange is from over-the-counter purchase.
Most cardiovascular disease results from a combination of genetics, dietary intake, exercise habits, and the production of free radicals. Free radical activity influences cholesterol accumulative plaque on artery walls at a rate which the body cannot keep pace. Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) reduces platelet adhesion, platelet aggregation, vitamin-K-dependent clotting, oxidation of LDL-mediated reactions, and inhibits production of nitric oxide. Researchers noting the benefits of vitamin E to far exceed both aspirin and prescriptive cholesterol-lowering drugs are beginning to look at the plausibility of marketing d-alpha tocopherol as a medicine of choice to prevent and/or treat degenerative disease from FR-origin.
Recently other researchers have linked the free radical build up, oxidative stress syndrome, or lack of a strong antioxidant internal immunity with both (1)Bovine-Spongiform-Encephalopathy (BSE=Mad Cow Disease) and (2) Creutzfelt-Jacob Disease (CJD).A weak immune system is fertile ground for all degenerative diseases. Many physicians have suggested that some endurance athletes who weaken their immune systems by poor dietary choices or overtraining syndrome are likely candidates for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
CFS is caused by the same virus that causes mononucleosis, herpes, shingles, and it is called the Epstein Barr Virus. It is highly contagious and likes to establish itself in a "Home" where low resistance will not give it a bad time.
The immune system that produces high levels of free radicals must counter with exogenous AO's daily in order to neutralize, scrub and scavenge both FR's and their relatives, the opportunistic viral invaders of CVA and CFS diseases. This is a charge to all of us to counter the effects of free radical accumulation from exercise, water and food sources, and the air-borne toxic materials we breathe by taking AO's with pre & post-workout meals. Recovery and health are the definitive support pillars of optimal performance and long-term health.
Only a few years ago they laughed at those of us who practiced taking AO supplements calling us "health freaks". Whose laughing now?
Attention to minute details of our health and fitness eventually will show up in a competitive performance event. It was Liane Cardes who said, "Continuous effort--Not strength or intelligence--is the key to unlocking our potential."