2007 July 2
In this letter we’ll focus on the issue of health supporting antioxidants as they can found in pollen, especially fresh pollen and beebread together with comb honey.
The antioxydative effect of pollen is responsible for the anti-cancerogene effect, anti-arteriosklerosis, alzheimer, cataract, anti-aging. On top of that the antioxydative effect of pollen is able to give relief regarding the following chronic diseases: cancer, alzheimer, diabetes. Consumation of pollen is working also against prostatitis (Apicultural Review Letters 2006, Vol. 5, Nr. 75).
But how does it work according recent scientific research? What are antioxidants doing? An interesting view on this topic has been carried out by several scientists, last but not least by Dr. Jack Pfeifer. Thus let’s listen to latest scientific research on the Oxygen-Free Radical: A Threat to Life and Health as well as protection by antioxidants:
„Normal oxygen molecules have paired electrons in orbit around a proton nucleus. During metabolism, 2 percent of the oxygen molecules lose an orbiting electron and are left with a single unpaired electron. This is an unstable state in nature. This resulting oxygen molecule is called an oxygen-free radical. To stabilize itself, the free radical will capture an electron from an adjacent molecule. However, this molecule will then become a new free radical, and it will repeat the process. We now have a chain reaction in the body.
The effect of these rapid electron transfers is called oxidation. It's the same process that makes nails rusty and apple slices turn brown. Bruce Ames, a noted antioxidant scientist, states that a single oxygen-free radical will create 3,000 new free radicals.
The mathematics of this free radical chain reaction is incredible. Do the math -one trillion molecules of oxygen go through each cell every day. We know that 2 percent of them will be converted to oxygen-free radicals, or 20 billion per cell each day. If each free radical creates 3,000 new free radicals (a process called biological magnification) the grand total loosed in the body can be as high as 60 trillion free radicals per cell per day. Ames also calculates that there are 100,000 free radical hits per day, directly on the cell nucleus, genes, and DNA (the programmer of life).
Passwater states that not only do free radicals rob normal molecules of electrons, they also destroy key enzymes, protein molecules, and even entire cells. Remember, the more of your cells that die each day, the sooner you die.
The body tries to neutralize these hits with antioxidant enzymes, which can repair 99 percent to 99.9 percent of the damage, leaving 1,000 points of damage per cell per day that are not repaired. This damage accumulates relentlessly. By the time you're 50, there are a few million oxygen-free radical lesions per cell. Thirty percent of your cellular protein has been damaged and has been turned into "rusty junk."
It is this cumulative damage that makes us age prematurely and acquire disease. Eighty to 90 percent of the diseases of mankind are due to free racial damage. Carper has stated that as we age, our defense against oxidation (free radical attack) is less and less, and damage to cells accumulates even more rapidly." (1-6)
However, it’s a kind of theory and reality looks even more complicated, especially if spiritual aspects (aetherical body, astral body, organisation of the I) are being included. Anyway scientists have found a way to describe how Antioxidants work. Let’s carry on listening:
„The classic definition of a vitamin is a compound that the body needs in trace quantities to maintain life, but which the body can't make. Thus, we must obtain this compound in our diets as a constituent of food. However, this definition has been modified to adapt to new data regarding the role of vitamins in the body: Vitamins are not a single group of chemicals, but a mixed group of chemical compounds having similar functions. Vitamins are not inorganic minerals, but organic constituents of food. The word 'organic' denotes complex compounds based on molecules of carbon, as are many of the compounds of life in living organisms.
Part of this change in our view of the role of vitamins has resulted from scientific data suggesting that a vitamin's dose plays a role in whether the vitamin acts as a simple food additive or as a life-saving antioxidant.
How Antioxidants Protect the Body: Packer has pointed out that there are literally hundreds of antioxidants. Some are naturally occurring and produced by the body. We obtain others from food or supplements. Cellular damage in the body results from free radical damage, which, in turn, contributes to many degenerative diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, cataracts and allergies, as well as the acceleration of aging.
The mechanisms by which free radicals are destroyed or neutralized are as follows. Oxygen molecules are made up of pairs of electrons in orbit around a proton nucleus. During the process of metabolism, 2 percent of oxygen molecules lose an electron from their normal orbit. The remaining electron is unstable in nature and immediately moves to attach an electron from a nearby molecule. This molecule does the same and attaches an electron from another nearby molecule in the same way, thus setting up a chain reaction involving 3,000 djacent molecules.
Halliwell and Gutteridge, in their text, "Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine," define a free radical in scientific terms: "… A free radical is any species capable of independent existence that contains one or more unpaired electrons. An unpaired electron is one that occupies an atomic or molecular orbital (orbit) by itself. … The presence of one or more unpaired electrons causes the species to be attracted to a magnetic field and sometimes makes the species highly reactive." Antioxidant molecules can donate the necessary electron to stabilize free radicals without becoming a new free radical.
Lester Packer, Ph.D., the world's foremost antioxidant research scientist, describes the steps in this process of neutralizing free radicals: "When an antioxidant encounters a free radical, it engulfs it, and the free radical then joins its molecular structure. The antioxidant itself becomes a free radical. These newly created free radicals are relatively weak and are not likely to do further harm. Therefore, you are sparing your cells and tissues from the destructive path of a free radical, out of control."
The observation has been made that multiple antioxidants working together are usually more effective than a higher dose of a single antioxidant. Packer gives an example of how some antioxidants work together: "When vitamin E disarms a free radical, it becomes a weak free radical itself. But unlike the "bad" free radicals, the vitamin E radical can be recycled, or turned back into an antioxidant by other antioxidants, specifically vitamin C and coenzyme Q10. These antioxidants will donate electrons to vitamin E, bringing it back to its antioxidant state."
Packer describes a group of antioxidants that he calls network antioxidants, whose primary job is to work in synergy to prevent antioxidants from being lost through oxidation. The effect of antioxidants is to prevent the damage of countless billions of free radicals before they can damage the individual cells of the body." (7-10).
Famous for their high content of antioxidants are natural beeproduce, especially pollen, comb in the comb and propolis. Antioxidants in beeproduce are only effective if the products are not being denaturated by heat treatment and wrong beekeeping methods.
The Centre for natural Api-Therapy is working together with the Centre for Ecological Apiculture in Germany and its certified apiaries and offers fresh pollen, propolis, run-honey, comb in the comb and the speziality comb in the comb + beebread + run-honey.
1. Feinstein, A. Editor, Prevention: Dealing with Vitamins, Prevention Magazine.
2. Ames, BN, Oxidants, Antioxidants, and the Degenerative Diseases of Aging, Proceedings of the Nation Academy of Sciences, pp 7915-22, 90(17),1993.
3. Carper, J., Stop Aging Now, New York, Harper & Collins, 1995.
4. Passwater, RA, PH.D., Mindell, E., The New Super Antioxidants Plus, New Canann, Keats Publishing, 1992.
5. Pryor, W., Free Radicals, New York, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 1966.
6. Packer, L. Ph.D., Colman, C., The Antioxidant Miracle, New York, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1999.
7. Passwater R., Ph.D., Mindell E., Ph.D., Vitamins, New Canaan, Conn., Keats Publishing Inc., 1983.
8. Passwater R., Ph.D., Mindell E., Ph.D., The Antioxidants, New Canaan, Conn., Keats Publishing Inc., 1985.
9. Halliwell B., Gutteridge JMC, Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1989.
10. Packer L., Ph.D., Colman C., The Antioxidant Miracle, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
Complete edition of letters published in Online-Magazine "Apiculture"