Last issue our health detectives explored the body’s main purification system, the lymphatic system, that carries the toxins away from the tissue. This issue they look at testing how well this vital system is working. Regular readers will know that from day one we are starting to rust and rot. When we cut an apple it goes brown quickly, a process known as oxidation. In the body free radicals attack tissues and organs and start the oxidation, rusting, process, so a major key to maintaining good health is minimizing this process.
Free radicals – the double-edged sword
Free radicals are generated in our body just through living and breathing: that is the bad news. But there is also a positive side, as free radicals are produced through exposure to toxins, viruses, germs or fungi. They are an active part of our body’s immune defense and some free radicals contain extra oxygen so they destroy the unwanted invaders through the process of oxidation. To create these free radicals the cells need extra oxygen, and this is why exercising, eating food which maximises oxygen production and maintaining the right pH balance are so important. Looking at the bad news again, after producing free radicals for own protection, the body’s own cells can become targets. When free radicals attack unprotected cells, they disturb the work of the cellular DNA, which directs key cellular activities. Damaged cells are no longer good conduits of the electrical life energy, they stagnate and can become sites where degenerative diseases and cancers can take hold. This kind of damage also accelerates the aging process, directly causing wrinkles and age spots and placing a heavy load on the immune system. Free radicals are also generated as a response to stress from lifestyle as well as chemical toxins in the air, water, radiation, cigarette smoke, and poor nutrition such as overheating fats and oils, margarine and micro-waved food.
Pictures of Dry Blood – the footprint of rust
Using a high powered microscope to look at Dry Blood for patient education has a unique ability to observe the extent of free radical activity taking place in the body. This procedure is called the ‘Dry Blood Oxidative Stress Test’ and is very simply a drop of blood from the finger tip placed on a glass slide in a series of layers. Blood is an interesting indicator of health and where free radicals are concerned, their activity impacts blood morphology. When free radicals attack cells damage is done. The stuff that lies between the cells and holds them together is the interstitium, the extracellular matrix. Through free radical attack, cells get damaged, enzyme activity is altered and the extracellular matrix around the cells becomes compromised. Water soluble fragments of this matrix get into the blood stream and alter the blood clotting cascade. When this happens we find that blood does not coagulate perfectly. This is one mechanism that can alter a “normal” blood pattern. Reading the layers of Dry Blood is like reading an ink blot, and can reveal a lot about the overall state of someone’s health. Blood from a healthy person will be uniform in coagulation and tightly connected. In an individual with health problems and excess of free radical activity, the Dry Blood layer profile will be discontinuous, showing puddles of white polymerized protein. The more sick the patient is from free radicals or oxidative stress, the more disconnected the dried layer of blood will be. See the box out for a description of healthy and unhealthy analysis.
Let this be for your information and education on your path to Health, Vitality and Well being.
Free Radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons on an open shell configuration. Free radicals may have positive, negative or zero charge. The unpaired electrons cause the free radicals to be highly chemically reactive. If they run freely in the body they are believed to be involved in degenerative diseases and cancers.
This article is part of a series and you can read more
Pernille Knudtzon, MD
Tel: 678 253 510
This post is also available in: Spanish