Oxidative damage is something everyone has heard of but might not really understand.
The patients I see in my Chicago area office often show me the anti-oxidants they are taking with great delight. They know the supplements are somehow combatting the negative effects of bad things they might be exposed to.
Oxidative damage can come from many sources: radiation of all sorts which includes background radioisotopes that are always around, excessive solar radiation especially when the ozone layer is damaged or in high altitudes and specific foods and chemicals that have reactive oxygen. Heavy metals can be a big contributor.
Oxydation is necessary and our body creates compounds that lead to oxidation in specific situations such as in infections when our immune system uses oxidative compounds to its benefit in order to kill dangerous bacteria.
Our bodies also produce oxidative compounds with excessive exercise, but the overall benefit is positive as this also stimulates high amounts of anti-oxidants in the body as well given good nutritional status.
The caveat is chronic and repetitive oxidative damage causes illness. And oxidative damage in infants can lead to neurological and behavioral problems.
Studies have shown that casein( an ingredient in dairy), and gluten ( a compound in un-sprouted wheat, rye and barley) prevent the absorption of an amino acid called cysteine. Cysteine is a vital constituent in the formation of glutathione a very powerful anti-oxidant.
Gluten also leads to a leaky gut and a leaky brain. This and the reduced glutathione could be a major contributing factor in children with autistic spectrum disorders and could be the reason that these children do better off of gluten and dairy.
It’s important to note that the receptors in the brain for casein and gluten are similar to the receptors in the brain for opiods such as morphine and heroin and therefore the desire for these compounds can be very strong despite that they might be doing harm. The intake of morphine and other opiod compounds such as those in prescription pain relievers also reduce cysteine and therefore anti-oxidant capabilities.
Reducing the inflammatory state that most pain patients are in via dietary changes and supplements and using an FDA approved prescription device called SCENAR which balances the autonomic nervous system input as well as altering the firing of pain fibers, is the most effective and immediate way to reduce the need for pain medication.