Health Page

Written by John H. Akhavan, M.D.

new How to prevent cancer ?(in english) (in persian)
What is the "Whole Medicine"?
United States' Health System in jeopardy!
Why weight management?
What are Free Radicals?,What are Antioxidants?

What is the "Whole Medicine"?

We need more Doctors like Dr. Andrews Weil to improve people's health. Conventional Physicians in the United States have deteriorated to the level of "Technicians", mostly prescribing drugs and performing surgery while "Whole Medicine" should include disease prevention, health promotion and healing practices. Ancient Persian physicians (Hakim) like Bu Ali Sina (Avecina) were expert in philosophy, poetry, religion even physic and chemistry. They knew that more than 90% of people's diseases could be prevented and healed without the help of drugs or surgery. Their belief in the healing power of physician was a big factor in healing their patients. Although they didn't know about DNA's repair phenomenon, they were cognizant of the mind's power over the body and its behaviour.
Let us help Dr. WeilDr. Weil in his effort to revitalize the US medicine.

(Some of Dr. Weil's writings are included in this discussion, with appreciation)
How to prevent cancer ?
Cancer is a fatal disease with ever increasing occurance. Though we don't have any cure for it yet, recently , there has been some progress in the etiology of cancer and how to prevent it.
Malignancy forms in three phases:

  1. DNA phase.
  2. Localized phase.
  3. Metastasis or spreading phaseand immune system.

  1. DNA phase and intera-cellular controle
    Molecular structure of DNA(Desoxyribo Nucleic Acid) which contains genetic codes may be damaged and altered by exposure to "Carcinogens" like radiation, chemicals, viruses, physical irritants, etc. This abnormal DNA molecule is immediately recognized and removed or repaired by an intra-cellular mechanism before the cell's division occurs, unless :
    A-There is some genetic weakness of this regulatory mechanism, like what we see in some patients with breast cancer or patients with carcinoma of colon. This defect is hereditary and detectable by chromosome studies. Those with this genetic defect are predisposed to cancer but for the predisposition to express itself, other factors have to be present.
    For example colon polyp formation is genetically controlled. If you have not inherited the gene for polyp formation, your chance of ever getting colon cancer is close to zero. If you do have the defective gene, your risk may depend on what you eat. The epithelial cells covering polyps are unstable and tend to turn malignant, but the chemical environment of the colon may promote or retard that tendency. The colon chemistry of people on high-fat, high-protein, low-fiber diet promote that tendency.
    Similarly, breast cancer shows a familial patern. If you are a woman whose mother and mother's sisters had breast cancer, your risk of getting breast cancer is increased. That doesn't mean you will get cancer, it means you have to avoid other risk factors to minimize the risk.
    You should be aware that high levels of female hormones - estrogens - in your blood favor the development of cancers of breast and reproductive system, because estrogens stimulate cells of these tissues to devide and proliferate. You can lower your estrogen level and reduce your risk by having your first baby early(before age 35), by nursing, by maintaining normal weight, by doing regular aerobic exercise, by eating a low-fat, mainly vegetarian diet and by avoiding consumption of alcohol. A diet high on meat, poultry and dairy product may be dangerous because these foods often carry residues of estrogenic hormones used in animals to promote growth and increase milk production.
    Recent research implicates a large number of chemical toxins, including common pesticides and industrial pollutants, as xeno-estrogen (xeno means foreign) that increase estrogenic pressure on women.
    Some protection may be offered by eating soy products which contain phyto-estrogen (phyto means plant) that may prevent xeno-estrogens for occupying hormone receptors on breast tissues. The low breast cancer among Asian women could be due to their high consumption of soy foods.
    More obvious source of estrogens are birth control pills and the hormone replacements given at menopause. It is recommended not to take these pills if you:
    a- have family history of breast cancer,
    b-have a history of fibrocystic breast disease,
    c-did not have a first child until after the age of 35,or
    d-are over 45 and still menstruating.

    B-Environmental carcinogens:
    When carcinoges are causing too many mutations, intra-cellulary mechanism becomes overwhelmed and ineffective. For the first time, years ago, it was noted that exposure to the coal tar could cause cancer.Nowadays we can test any suspecious agent in the lab to find out if it is carcinogen. In general any agent capable of causing DNA damages and mutations is likely to increase the risk of cancer. The most dangerous carcinogens are:

    • Toxic forms of energy:
      Nuclear energy and x-rays can knock electrons out of their orbits creating charged particles (ions). The dangers of ionizing radiation are well known; it can kill in high dosage, in low dosage, however, it damages DNA and causes both the immune system deficiency and the development of cancers that may not manifest themselves until years after exposure.
      You can protect yourself from ionizing radiation by not working in an occupation that expose you to it (such as uranium mining, nuclear power plant maintenance, radiology department,etc); by not living near a source of it , either natural or man made (such as nuclear waste disposal site); by not letting doctors and dentists x-ray you without good reason and by getting informed about radiation hazards of manufactured products and taking appropriate precautions, if you are in high risk category for cancer. Radioactive materials are used in many familiar products including luminous dials of watches and instruements, some eye glasses, gems (that are bombarded with x-rays to make them look nicer in color and higher in price, these gems are radio-active for a long time), some chinaware and many others. If you live in areas where radon is a problem, you have to be sure that your house doesn't have dangerous levels of it. Radon is an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas, a natural element that seeps out of the earth and can enter basements of homes through cracks and pipes. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
      Ultra-violet(UV) radiation from the sun is not ionizing, its waves are longer and less energetic, still it is powerful enough to damage DNA in skin cells, making it the major cause of skin cancer which its incidenc is increasing at an alarming rate. One reason for this increase is weakening of the earth's protective ozone layer as a result of atmospheric polution. This is all the more reason to protect yourself by standing out of the sun when it is at a high angle in the sky (10AM- 2PM), by wearing protective clothing, and by not going to tanning parols in the belief that they offer " healthful tanning". All kinds of UV radiations are harmful to skin (also to eyes promoting the development of cataract and macular degeneration). Unless you are black or otherwise darrkly pigmented, UV radiation from the sun or sun lamps can give you skin cancer (also accelerate aging of the skin). Red haird, faie-skinned people have the least protective pigment and so are at greatest risk . Tanning is the skin's protective reaction to minimize UV radiation's effect, not a sign of health. People wrongly consider suntans a sign of well-being.
      High voltage wires and even some familiar appliances like electric blanket, heating pad, electric clock radio, hair dryer, shaver and computer cause electro-magnetic field which can be hazardous to cell function.
      Microwave and ELF (extremely low frequency) radiation can agitate molecules of plant and animal tissue, generating heat ( the basis for their use in microwave ovens). Some scientists warn that these forms of energy can dirupt delicate biological control system damaging the complex healing system.
    • Toxic chemicals- We have heard so much about cancer-causing chemicals that many people have stopped listening. Some say:"everything gives laboratory mice cancer" or "why wory about exposure, it all cause cancer!" In fact it does not all cause cancer. Only a small percentage of known substances are carcinogen. In general, any chemical capable of causing mutations is likely to increase the risk of cancer. Chemical carcinogens are probably responsible for more cancer than radiation is. As with radiaton, no level of exposure to these substances can be considered safe. Any exposure might initiate the process of malignant transformation or promote one that has already begun. Also, every exposure adds to the burden on the body's systems of defense against malignancy. Some chemicals like coal tar and tobacco smoke interact with DNA directly causing mutation and starting cells on the road to malignant transformation, others like asbestos only potentiate the activity of the first category.
      One of the difficulties in specifying the exact harmfulness of any of these substances is the long interval between exposure and first appearance of cancer, 5-30 years may elapse between those events. Here are some guidelines about hazardous chemicals:
      Be wary of all the chemicals in your life. Even when chemicals do not directly cause cancer, they may do so indirectly by adding to the cumulative stress on our immune systems.
      The liver bears most of the burden of metabolizing and detoxifying unwanted substances that enter the body. Although the liver is not part of immune system, it is closely allied with and protective of it. When the liver fails, as in alkoholism, the organs of the immune system become more susceptible to damage and their function declines. In the twentieth century our livers are sorely taxed. Not only do they have to deal with all the naturally occuring toxins, they now have to face a staggering array of man-made compounds like medicinal and recreational drugs, food additives, pollutants and contaminants of air, water and foods, and the dangerous chemicals people are exposed to on the job and in the home. The sum of all this chemical stress may over the years, contribute to decreasing immune system defenses against cancer. We should reduce or eliminate exposure to all the chemicals in our life that we can do without. We should minimize exposure to pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc ... and use mask and protective clothing when using them. Many household products like paints, paint strippers, solvants and cleaning products contain carcinogens.
      Be aware of products containing artificial dyes and coloring like food additives, colored pills, capsules and liquids even cosmetic products ( although topical use is less risky). Do not live near areas of heavy industrial pollusion like oil refineries, chemical factories, paper mills or toxic dumps. The drinking water in industrially polluted areas is likely to be contaminated, protect yourself by purifying the drinking water.
      One of the most important cause of cancer is tobaco smoke. It is full of carcinogens and cocarcinogens. Cigarette smoking is the principal cause of lung cancer, a bad cancer because there are no symptom in its early stages and by the time it is discovered, it has spread, killing most of its victims within a few years, treated or not. Of course, lung cancer is only one of the medical consequences of the cigarette smoking, it also causes bladder cancer and arterial diseases. If you are a non-smoker, be aware that living or working with smokers ( so called passive smoking) exposes you to significant risk. Habitual smoking of any plant including Maijuana increases the risk of lung cancer.

      Free radicals, anti-oxidants and their role in malignancy:
      The theory that free radicals have the potential to damage DNA causing mutations that can initiate malignant transformation, also harming the immune system, has led researchers to look for ways to neutralize them. Actually the body has its own biochemical mechanisms that scavenge free radicalls. We can help the body in its task by supplying it with natural substances that act as antioxidants. These substances block the chemical reactions that generate free radicalls in the first place and can help destroy already formed ones. Some of the safest and most effective antioxidants are familiar vitamins and minerals required in human nutrition:

      1. 1- Vitamin C: Human being and monkeys are the only two speces who can't make vitamin C and should receive by vitamin C containing foods or by supplement, otherwise would develope a disease named " scurvey ". The daily dose of vitamin C to prevent scurvey is only 50 mg. Vitamin C also is a potent antioxidant but with doses of 2000 to 6000 mg per day. Vitamin C is not toxic even in very large doses (like what Mr. Linus Pauling, the chemist and Nobel laureate recommends), but as you increase your intake of it, you will eventually reach a dose level that will give you unacceptable flatulence and then diarrhea. This is your bowel's tolerance level, stay under that limit. Ordinary vitamin C is ascorbic acid. It taste very sour, can upset your stomach and can damage the enamel of your teeth. I prefer Calcium ascorbate, it taste somewhat bitter and costs more but it won't bother your teeth or stomach and provide Calcium which most of us can use.
      2. 2- Vitamin E: Another potent antioxedant. Although it is naturally present in grains and seeds, it is impossible to get large enough amount from dietary sources to give the kind of antioxidant effect we need. Recommended antioxident dose is 400 IU once a day, twice a day if over the age of forty. Most vitamin Es in the market are synthetic dl-alpha-tocopherol, but the natural one, d-alpha-tocoferol (together with beta, gamma and delta forms) is better. Vitamin E is fat-soluble and to ensure absorption, it should be taken with meal.
      3. 3- Selenium: Selenium is a trace mineral with antioxidant and anticancer properties. Selenium and vitamin E facilitate each other absorption and should be taken together, whereas vitamin C may interfere with the absorption of some forms of selenium and should be taken separately. Recommended dose for selenium is 50 to 100 micrograms per day. For those with increased cancer risk it may be increased to 200 to 300 micrograms per day. More than 400 micro per day may be toxic and should be avoided.
      4. 4- Betacarotene:, the water-soluble precursor of vitamin A, is one member of a large familyof carotenes, yellow and orange pigments that may help prevent many kinds of cancer. The best dietary sources of carotenes are yellow and orange fruits and vegetables like tomatos, carots, squash, sweet potatos, mango and dark leafy greens like kale, collards and bok choy. Recommended daily dose is 25 to 50000 IU. Too much intake of carotenes (or foods containing them) may cause orange discoloration of skin especially in palms and nose area which is harmless and is called hyper-carotenemia.

      5. C- Cell's division:
        DNA damages which happens all the time, is usually repaired or removed before the division of cell. But if damage happened near or during cellular division, it will remain un-repairable after cell's division and an abnormal cell will be resulted which could be a cancerous cell. So cells with high rate of division like blood forming cells (stem cells), epithelial cells of skin, gastro-intestinal tract , respiratory tract, etc... are more suseptible to develope malignancy. Also in old age when total number of cellular divisions are at maximum, cancer developement is at its peak. Recently, some researchers believe that eating less may be beneficial in decreasing the cellular division which may result in longevity also less chance of malignancy.

  2. Localized phase:
    When malignant cell is formed by DNA mutation, it devides and replicates endlessly causing a focal patch of cancer. At this stage, the cancer remains localized by body's defense machanisms. Fibroblasts form a fibrous sheet around the malignant cells keeping them capsulated, and immunocytes remove any cancerous cell entering the circulation before they are trapped and lodged in the capillaries of other organs. If the cancer is diagnosed early in this phase, surgical excision of cancerous tissue plus radiotherapy and chemotherapy may cure the disease or at least put it in a long remission, Unfortunately many cases are diagnosed too late because of not having any symptom or for lack of medical attention.
  3. Metastatic phase:
    Sooner or later the immune system becomes overwhelmed by so many cancerous cells forming and spreading. It seems to become paralized (anergy) resulting in faster progress of cancer and development of secondary infections. Now we have many foci of matastasis in lymph nodes, lungs, liver, brain etc.. proliferating rapidly without any control. In this phase surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are mostly palliative causing partial remission.

    In phase 2 and 3 the immune system has the vital role of combating the cancer and the healthier immune system the better chance of not getting cancer. Our immune system is our interface with the environment. If it is healthy and doing its job right, we can interact with germs and not get infections, with allergens and not have allergic reactions, and with carcinogens and not get cancer. A healthy immune system is the cornerstone of good general health. Its problems are of two general sorts: underactivity, which predisposes to infections and cancer, and overactivity, which predisposes to allergies and autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is a disease process in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues.
    The immune system comprises the tonsils and adenoids, the thymus gland, the lymph nodes throughout the body, the bone marrow, the circulating white blood cells and other cells that leave blood vessels and migrate through tissues and the lymphatic circulation, the spleen, the appendix, and patches of lymphoid tissue in the intestinal tract. The essential job of this system is to distinguish self from not-self, to recognize and take appropriate action against any materials that ought not to be in the body, including abnormal and damaged components. For example, it can seek out and destroy disease germs and cells infected by germs, as well as recognize and destroy tumor cells.
    In deciding what belongs in the body and what does not, the immune system pays particular attention to details of protein chemistry, because of all the molecules that make up living organisms, proteins are the most distinctive and the most specialized. Like the nervous system, the immune system is capable of learning. It analyzes its experiences, remembers them, and passes them on to future generations of cells. Because its tissues are very active and very involved in processing information, its cells divide very rapidly and so, as you learned in the last chapter, are unusually susceptible to injury by types of energy and matter that can alter (mutate) DNA. All of the recommendations I gave you for decreasing your risks of cancer also hold for protecting your immune system.
    Here are some further guidelines:

    1. Do Not Allow Infections to Persist:
      One of the greatest strains on the immune system is an infection it cannot eliminate.Never ignore such symptoms as unexplained fevers, night sweats, or tender, swollen lymph nodes ("glands") they can indicate a hidden infection. One area of the body where infection often goes unnoticed is the mouth. Pockets of germs in the gums and teeth may cause few symptoms yet use up a lot of the body's immune resources. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene and to have the teeth and gums examined regularly to detect any areas of infection.
    2. Do Not Use Antibiotics Indiscriminately:
      Whenever the immune system deals successfully with an infection, it emerges from the experience stronger and better able to confront similar threats in the future. Our immune competence develops in combat. If, at the first sign of infection, you always jump in with antibiotics, you do not give the system a chance to test itself and grow stronger. There are less drastic methods to try first with ordinary infections you don't have to bring out the heavy artillery until simpler measures fail. Antibiotics are powerful medicines that should be reserved for situations that demand them, for instance, when the immune system cannot contain a bacterial infection or when a bacterial infection establishes itself in a vital organ like the heart, lungs, or brain. Another strong reason to be cautious about overuse of antibiotics is the possibility of selectively breeding new strains of antibiotic-resistant, more virulent bacteria. Even people who are aware of that danger seldom realize that frequent use of antibiotics can lead in the long run to weakened immunity.
    3. Avoid Immunosuppressive Drugs:
      Examples of immunosuppressives are the drugs used in cancer chemotherapy and those used to suppress rejection in patients receiving organ transplants. Another class of drugs with similar effects is cause for greater concern because it is much more commonly used. It is the corticosteroids, or steroids, derivatives and relatives of cortisone in widespread use for the treatment of allergies, autoimmune diseases, and inflammatory conditions. I consider them dangerous drugs, much misunderstood, abused, and overprescribed. Doctors prescribe them in many forms: as pills, injections, inhaled aerosols, and topical creams. Steroids cause allergies and inflammation to disappear as if by magic. In fact, the magic is nothing other than direct suppression of immune function. I have no objection to giving these strongdrugs for very severe or life-threatening problems, but even then I think they should be limited to short-term use: no more than two to three weeks. I deplore prescription of steroids for illnesses of mild or moderate severity or for months and years at a time. I have known them to be given to patients with mild cases of poison ivy, infants with diaper rash, and adults with back pain and undiagnosable fatigue. Steroids are terribly toxic, cause dependence, suppress rather than cure disease, and reduce the chance of healing by natural methods of treatment. Moreover, they weaken immunity.Even topical steroids are dangerous in my opinion. The medical profession is so unconscious of the hazards of these drugs that it allows steroidal ointments and creams to be sold over the counter. Many people apply them every day to skin rashes and irritations that could be much better dealt with by simple remedies. All of these products are absorbed through the skin to one degree or another, and all of them can suppress activity of the thymus, the lymph nodes, and the white blood cells. In summary: Do not use steroids in any form until you have exhausted all other possible treatments.
    4. Avoid Blood Transfusions:
      Blood transfusions and injections of blood products may transmit viral diseases hepatitis, especially that cannot be treated. They also stress the immune system by flooding it with foreign proteins. Obviously, in an emergency it may not be possible to do without blood, although synthetic blood replacers that are safer may soon become available. If you know in advance that you are going to have surgery, have some of your own blood drawn and stored for any replacement you might need.
    5. Avoid Exposure to Radiation:
      Be aware of a special danger to the immune system from any radiation treatments (usually for cancer), as opposed to diagnostic X rays, directed to the head, neck, or chest.The thymus gland, behind the breastbone, is very vulnerable. Insist that a lead shield be placed over it if you ever have to undergo radiation therapy. If the therapist will not comply, refuse treatment. Many doctors continue to believe that the thymus has no function in adulthood. It does; it is an integral part of your immune system.
    6. Avoid Exposure to Harmful Chemicals:
      All of the chemicals that cause cancer may also damage the immune system. Please follow the recommendations about harmful chemicals in the previous chapter.
    7. Eat a Healthy Diet:
      Avoid polyunsaturated vegetable oils and products made from them. Their tendency to form free radicals makes them dangerous to cells of the immune system. Eat less protein.Residues of protein metabolism can irritate the immune system, especially in people prone to allergy and autoimmunity. A low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber is good for immunity as well as general health. Do not eat many foods of animal origin. Meat, poultry, and dairy products often carry residues of antibiotics and steroid hormones that can weaken immunity. Minimize consumption of milk and milk products, especially if you are prone to allergy or autoimmunity. Milk protein is a common irritant of the immune system.
    8. Take Antioxidant Supplements.
    9. Learn about foods and herbs that enhance immunity.
      Medical doctors know a lot of ways to hurt the immune system but few ways to help it. With AIDS and other manifestations of weakened immunity much on people's minds, a great many products have appeared in health food stores that claim to boost resistance. Usually, solid research to back these claims is nonexistent, but in some cases the evidence is there.
    10. Work at improving your mental and emotional health.
      For many years immunologists maintained that the immune system was the only autonomous system of the body, the only one that operated free of external controls. This is a silly idea. No system of the body is autonomous. All are interconnected, especially with the nervous system. In addition, the clinical experience of doctors who work with immune disorders is that a strong correlation exists between the ups and downs of these disorders and the ups and downs of emotional life. For example, a typical onset of rheumatoid arthritis in a young woman may be a flare-up in many joints of the body within hours of a severe emotional trauma. The young science of psychoneuroimmunology is demonstrating the interconnections of mind, nervous system, and immune system. In many cases the connections are chemical, with small protein molecules called peptides being the messengers that take information from cell to cell. It is clear that the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems are in constant biochemical communication, linked by a web of peptide hormones. Wherever nerves are, the activities of the mind can travel. Clearly, emotional states like grief and depression can interfere with immunity, just as loving can enhance it. You do not need to know any more than that to be motivated to improve your emotional health. Do not try to stop or fight negative mental states. Instead, put energy into creating a positive state, and the negativity will tend to resolve.

    Why weight management?

    Diseases of dietary excess and imbalance rank among the leading causes of ilness and death in the United State. According to the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Diet and Health, high-fat diet are linked to five of the 10 leading causes of death. You owe it to yourself and your family to live and eat smart.

    Weight management is important to all people regardless of shape, size, or background. Smart nutrition(with an average of 20% or less fat calories from your total caloric intake), exercise and supplementation plays a vital role in a realistic weight management lifestyle system.

    United States' Health System in jeopardy!

    United States' Health System in jeopardy, this is an unpleasant opinion of many medical scholars whose voices are not heard clearly by the society. I read a Commentary by the Editor-in-Chief ofthe New England Journal of Medicine which was very similar to my views so I am very pleased to bring to everyone's attention some of his warnings. He writes:

    Physicians have adhered to a distinguished code of professional behavior for centuries. The recent dramatic changes in the system of health care threaten this noble heritage and tempt us to abandon these principles at a time when preserving them is more important than ever.
    This is arguably the most tumultuous time in the history of medicine in the United States'. Because of the enormous cost of care and the political ineptitude of our national leaders, the delivery of care is in a volcanic state, reforming itself day by day under market forces. Instead of yesterday's familiar and comfortable model of one patient and one physician, we now have market-driven health care with vertically integrated systems, massive health maintenance organizations, huge for-profit conglomerates with money hungry stockholders, and armies of health care lawyers and consultants.
    At the same time, the amount of money that reaches physicians for the care they provide is shrinking. Less money is available from the government, employers, and insurers, and some is globbled up by the new participants in health care. As the dollars available for patient care shrinks, the temptation for physicians to maintain their income grows, and in this environment difficult conflicts of interest emerge. Let me consider only two, both of which threaten physicians' integrity and professionalism. The first is a familiar one-- an arrangement in which physicians benefit financially from referring patients to facilities the physicians partly owns such as laboratories or radiation therapy centers. The second, more important one, is a consequence of the change from fee-for-service medicine to a system that rewards physicians for restricting services. In this new arrangement, physicians' loyalty to patients is threatened. As managed care takes over in a community, some physicians are forced to join managed-care organizations or risk being left with few patients. When physicians join, they may be compelled to sign contracts that contain "no cause" nonrenewal clauses. Then their contracts can be terminated for any reason at all. In addition, some companies' contracts contain nondisclosure clauses that forbid physicians to tell their patients what a plan does or does not offer. Physicians under such restrictions can easily be torn between their loyalty to their patients and their loyalty to their families, because with one or two false moves they can be out of their job.
    Tese divided loyalties that threaten physicians' livelihood is wrenching. The incentive for physicians to keep their jobs may be so strong that they may no longer be willing to act exclusively as patients' advocates. They may even be unwilling to advocate for a patient with management when they think that a given service is needed but is being restricted inappropriately. Physicians placed in this position simply cannot tolerate it, and that can produce an even greater threar--namely, a loss of their integrity. Soon some of them will find themselves conforming to the restrictions and deceiving themselves that what they are doing is best for the patient. In short, they will be living a lie.
    These are some of the realities that threaten the preservation of medicine's noble heritage. Our ethical standards, which have evolved over two millinnia, never envisioned a market-driven health care system with incentives to undertreat patients. As members of our profession, we alone must be its keepers. We must continue to be vigilant in case the consequences of our market-driven delivery system go too far and prevent us from giving the kind of care we think appropriate.

    What are Free Radicals?,What are Antioxidants?

    Free Radicals are unstable molecules(mainly oxygen molecules) or molecular fragments which are highly reactive because they contains one or more unpaired electrons.They try to stabilize their unpaired electron by "stealing" an electron from a neighboring molecule. This can set up a chain reaction as each succeeding molecule is made reactive which then tries to stabilize itself. Free radicals do a lot of damage to the body structures, attacking cell membranes and even the DNA that regenerates those cells. This in turn may be the cause of many diseases like Cancer, Auto-immune Diseases, Arthritis and even Senility disorders. Once free radicals are produced, they mutiply geometrically by chain reactions unless they are quenched by antioxidants or other free-radical scavengers.

    Antioxidants are compounds that react easily with oxygen and thus protect neighboring compounds from damaging reactions of oxydizing free radicals. However, they do more than that. They help repair tissiues by improving and stabilizing the skin protein (collagen) and improving the condition of arteries and capillaries.

    There are four biochemical properties :

    1 - Free-radical scavenging,
    2 - Collagen binding
    3 - Inhibition of inflammatory enzymes, and
    4 - Inhibition of histamine formation.

    of these substances that are responsible for their many benefits:

    • Improves skin smoothness and elasticity.
    • Strengthens capillaries, arteries and veins.
    • Improves overall circulation and enhances cell vitality.
    • Reduces capillary fragility & improves resistance to strokes & bruising.
    • Reduces risk of phlebitis.
    • Reduces varicose veins.
    • Reduces edema and swelling of the legs.
    • Helps restless-leg syndrome.
    • Reduces diabetic retinopathy.
    • Improves visual acuity.
    • Helps improve sluggish memory.
    • Reduces the effects of stress.
    • Improves joint flexibility.
    • Fights inflammation in arthritis and sports injuries.