Nutritional Protection: Free Radicals and Aging (Part 3 of 3)

The following is the third and final piece of a three part series that comprises a white paper report on Nutritional Protection Against Excitotoxins.  In this series we explore the importance of nutrition in protecting the body and brain from harmful toxins and free radicals.  To read the complete report on Nutritional Protection, click to download. This is for reference only, all rights are reserved. Free Radicals: Research now shows us that as we age our cells, including neurons, lose a significant amount of their ability to generate energy. Most cells generate the majority of their energy from electrons passing through a series of enzymatic reactions within the mitochondria, known as the electron transport chain. These electrons are derived from the breakdown of glucose in the kreb’s cycle. The various steps in energy generation by the electron transport chain have been designated Complex I through V as listed in the table below: Electron Transport Chain: Complex I-NADH – Ubiquinone oxidoreductase Complex II – Succinate: ubiquinone oxidoreductase Complex III – ubiquinonl: ferricytochrome c oxidoreductase Complex IV – ferrocytochrome c: oxygen oxidoreductase Complex V – ATP synthease Anything that blocks one of these enzymatic steps severely interferes with the cells’ ability to produce energy, primarily in the form of ATP. But to better understand how energy deficits occur we must go back one more step. Even before energy production declines another process begins to develop as we age — the cells begin to accumulate free radicals in larger amounts. We know that free radicals can damage cell membranes, intracellular components, and even the DNA itself. One reason for all of this increase...

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