by Dr Peter Dingle in black type
Comments in Blue By Karl Loren
Also Re: Cancer
Some 3.5 million years ago, life
apparently rose spontaneously from the reactions of amino acids,
nucleartides and other basic chemicals produced from the simple
reduced components of the primitive atmosphere by free radical
reactions initiated primarily from ionising radiation from the
This is pure nonsense. I accept the validity of many
scientists when they stay within the boundaries of their science,
but Dr. Dingle, in his quest for "explaining all" ventures into
territory on which he is obviously not expert. Any
explanation of "life" that ignores any spiritual content is
foolish. I do not hesitate to bring my knowledge and
viewpoint into these "learned presentations!"
• It appears that evolution, a new beginning, was dependent upon
the sun initiated free radical reactions which were essential for
the origination and early evolution of proto-cells.
Karl has created an electronic course which teaches enough
atomic physics to understand much about free radicals. You
can click on the image on the right to jump immediately to that
free course. Register as a student, then return to do the course.
oxygen is essential for our survival, the relatively high
reactivity of oxygen enables it to form free radicals readily.
• It is the unique architecture of the oxygen molecule that
accounts for much of its behaviour in free radical reactions which
renders it particularly susceptible to one
which produce potentially toxic highly reactive derivatives, the
activated oxygen species.
• Oxygen contains two unpaired electrons and preferentially
accepts single electrons as a consequence.
This view of "two unpaired electrons" is correct, and is based on
Quantum Atomic Physics. If you look at classical physics you
may find that Oxygen is NOT considered a free radical because it
has six electrons in its outer ring. The assumption was
made, in classical physics, that these six electrons meant that
they were all "paired." Quantum Physics established the
truth of the matter. One reason I have included Dr. Dingle's
presentation on these pages is that he acknowledges the Quantum
• A number of highly reactive free radicals are generated from
oxygen in living systems as an unavoidable consequence of
– O2- (superoxide),
– HO (hydroxil radical)
– 1 O2 (singlet oxygen)
– H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide).
– All these are
partially reduced species of oxygen that are all
• However suitable control mechanisms have evolved so that steady
state concentration of potentially toxic oxygen derived free
radicals are kept in check and relatively low in number under
normal physiological conditions.
What are free
Free radicals are an atom, or a
group of atoms with an unpaired electron.
• Free radicals are a chemical molecular species which are
extremely reactive by virtue of having unpaired electrons.
A free radical has an odd number of electrons and a single
unpaired electron in an outer orbit of the nucleus.
• It is the unpaired electron which is responsible for the
instability and reactivity characteristic of free radicals.
• The term oxidation refers to the process whereby a molecular
species loses an electron.
• Reduction refers to the process whereby an electron is gained.
• Many of the cases of beneficial or detrimental effects of metals
in living systems is a consequence of its tendency to stimulate an
electron transfer and free radical production through its valance
Simply by losing or gaining an
electron, any non radical compound can be converted to a free
radical form and thereby undergo dramatic changes in its physical
and chemical properties.
Once initiated, free radicals tend to propagate by taking part
with other, usually less reactive species. These chain
reaction compounds, generally have longer half lives and therefore
extended potential for cell damage.
• Thus the toxicity of a single radical species may be amplified
with subsequent reactions.
FR, ageing and
free radical theory of aging was first formulated in 1954 and
suggested that there is a single basic cause of aging modified by
genetic and environmental factors and that free radical reactions
are involved in the aging and disease.
• In the parallelism between cancer incidence and age, it is
probably due, at least in part, to the increasing level of
free radical reactions with age, coupled with the
apparently progressively diminishing capacity of the immune system
to eliminate the altered cells (Levin & Kidd, 1985).
It is a curiosity that many of the changes brought about by free
radicals, inside a cell, are to make that cell "live
longer" than is normal for
that type of cell. Just for that reason, alone, the area
would soon be taken over by just such cells. As this
"changed cell" lives longer, it also continues to reproduce more
cells with that same characteristic. Eventually, all the
cells in that area would become these "live longer" cells.
If the change caused by a free radical ALSO causes the cell to
reproduce more frequently than the other, normal, cells in that
area, then the changed cell will take over that area all the more
quickly. That, put in
its great simplicity, is cancer!
Health stress and
When the stresses of one side
outweigh the beneficial inputs from the other side, then our
capacity has been exceeded. Minute levels of chemicals and stress
can precipitate acute symptoms.
• Using this analogy, all forms of stress can contribute to
Damage from FR
– increase the likelihood of cancer and birth defects.
• Inflammation including
– Parkinson's disease,
– Alzheimer's disease,
Good free Radicals
These free radicals are common
and, in fact, important components in biological systems and they
are, in fact, essential for the maintenance of
Free radicals perform many critical functions in our bodies in
controlling the flow of blood through our arteries, to fighting
infection, to keeping our brains alert and in focus.
cells involved in body defence produce and mobilise
oxygen free radicals to destroy the bacteria and other cells of
foreign matter which they ingest
• Similar to antioxidants, some free radicals at low levels are
signalling molecules, – ie they are responsible for turning on and
• Some free radicals such as nitric oxide and superoxide are
produced in very high amounts by immune cells to poison viruses
• Some free radicals kill cancer cells. Many cancer drugs are
actually designed to increase the production of free radicals in
of bad FR
The susceptibility of a given
tissue or cell to damage from oxidated stresses appears largely
determined by the net balance between factors acting to promote
oxidation and those that exert reduction reactions such as
Note: "Reduction reactions" are those which add an electron
to some particle. "Oxidation" relates to the removal of an
electron from a particle. These terms are so
"counter-intuitive" that you might well want to understand them
better. These terms are featured within my electronic course
-- Free Radicals, Part I.
• Both emotional and physical stress are likely to contribute to
oxidative stress due to the tendency of the catechol hormones
norephenephrine and cortisol to become oxidised to free radical
• increased level of other naturally occurring chemicals and
hormones in the body breaking down to form free radicals and the
increased oxidation occurring as a result of increased metabolism
within the cells of the muscles and the body.
• Then add the
estimates of the number of oxidative attacks daily per human cell
are about 10,000.
• Multiply this by the trillions of cells in the body to gain an
understanding of the magnitude of the numbers of free
radical-antioxidant reactions which can occur around the body.
radicals and fats
Because oxygen is 7 to 8 times
more soluble in nonpolar environments such as the fatty acid rich
lipid byways of cellular membranes it is able to spontaneously be
involved in oxidation of ubiquinone (CoQ10), polyunsaturated
lipids, sulfhydryl proteins – unless sufficient antioxidant
enzymes and nutrients are available to protect the membrane.
• Consistent with its di-radical
character, the oxygen molecule can abstract the electrons from
most reactive compounds, for example, molecular oxygen can
abstract an electron from a susceptible hydrocarbon or unsaturated
fatty acid thereby oxidising [stealing an
electron] it to a free radical form.
Put more simply, oxygen is called a "di-radical"
because it has two different electrons which could, either one of
them, cause the atom to be a free radical. If they are both
there, oxygen is a free radical. If one of them is removed,
oxygen is a free radical. If the other is removed, the atom
is still a free radical. So, Oxygen is particularly hungry
to steal an electron from anywhere it can, and still not be
"satisfied." Thus, any stray "atom" in anything nourished by
oxygen is capable of being, itself, turned into a free radical
when the Oxygen atom steals away an electron from that other atom.
While "oxygen" is vital to life, and the key to much healing, we
must realize the harmful forms of oxygen and how good oxygen can
become bad oxygen.
• The free radical hydrocarbon form now has the potential for
propagating free radical chain reactions at ambient oxygen levels.
• In the lipid membrane, unsaturated lipids contain mutually held
electrons which allow them to be fluid and mobile.
• Free radicals are also produced in significant quantities by the
spontaneous oxidation of biological molecules in so-called
auto-oxidation reactions which commonly involve non-enzymatic
Heavy Metals as
free Radical Generators
The mechanisms of heavy metals
toxicity through electron transfer most often involve the cross
linking of the sulfhydral groups of proteins.
• Platinum, mercury, cadmium and lead are highly toxic to enzymes
by this mechanism.
• Lead and other heavy metals can also generate free radicals
directly from molecular oxygen in a two step process to produce
• In the continued presence of the heavy metal, the superoxide
anions formed can then combine with protons in the dismutation
hydrogen peroxide in the process.
• Heavy metals are also able to catalyze the generation of the
highly toxic hydroxyl radical from superoxide anion and hydrogen
Light and Radiation Free
Some molecules are sensitive to
light and other radiation becoming electronically excited as they
absorb radiant energy.
Radiant energy can boost one electron of a matched pair from a
lower orbital to a higher orbital without changing its skin
two unfilled orbitals each with a single electron and establishing
the single state.
The image on the left shows how an electron can emit light.
An electron can also absorb light. In the case of emitting
light, the electron would lose energy and sink toward the center.
If you watch closely you can see that happening. When an
electron absorbs light, it gets "excited, and can move toward an
outer orbit, or fly away!
• The outer, more loosely held electron becomes more susceptible
to removal by oxidising agents.
• The hole left in the lower orbital while promotion of one
electron to the other orbital will make it likely to pick up an
electron more readily and
render the molecule more susceptible to reduction by electron
transplant into that orbital.
• Radiant energy can therefore make a molecule more reactive both
as an electron donor and as an electron receptor.
• Oxygen is a molecule which can become activated photodynamically.
Singlet oxygen generated in this manner is thought to mediate many
of the pathogenic manifestations of photodynamic damage.
The image on the left is of a "singlet of oxygen." That
means TWO atoms of oxygen which are joined and have a net of one
unpaired electron in the outer ring of the combination.
There are about the most reactive of all the free radicals.
Because of its "net positive charge" (more protons than electrons)
it can easily attract another electron. Because it has an
unpaired electron it can easily give up an electron. So, it is
reactive either way.
• The biological toxicities of xrays and gamma rays probably are
mediated photo - oxidatively.
• Light in ultra-violet wave lengths initiates sunburn by similar
mechanisms as does over exposure to other portions of the visible
• Activation of an organic molecule by light or other radiant
energy from the atmosphere can initiate singlet electron transfers
to ambient oxygen thereby generating highly reactive oxygen
species. Radiation can be an important generator of free radicals
in biological systems.
Free radicals can also be
produced from relatively stable molecules by bond cision through
the introduction of various energy sources.
• Bond cision occurs when the bond is broken to produce two free
radicals. Chlorine, for example, a chlorine molecule Cl2 with the
energy such as heat, xray, or UV, can be broken into two separate
chlorine atom free radicals.
• Hydrogen peroxide HO2 or other hyper oxides can be degraded to
free radicals by similar bond cision mechanisms.
although not a free radical, promotes the formation of free
radicals and when breathed into the lungs can destroy the fluid
lining of the lungs, the nasal passages and the buccal/oral
image on the left shows how a "normal atom of oxygen" becomes
ozone -- one electron moves to a higher ring.
Recently the development of
asbestos related diseases have been related to free radical
• The asbestos particle is an unwieldy structure with jagged
edges. When it is inhaled into the airways the cells of the immune
system recognise it as a
problem and they send out specific cells called leukocytes to deal
with the asbestos particles.
However, the asbestos particles are too large and awkwardly shaped
for the leukocytes to control but they don’t stop. One of the
weapons of the immune cells is to use free radicals to destroy
• Should the leukocytes become locked into a battle with the
asbestos particle by injecting free radicals which paradoxically
are causing further damage,
this creates damage that never heals and it is critically inflamed
ultimately leading to lung cancer or a plaque of dead tissue on
When vitamin E quenches a free
radical it becomes a weaker free radical itself. The network
antioxidants will, however, donate electrons to vitamin E bringing
it back to its antioxidant state. The same occurs with
vitamin C, glutathione then they quench free radicals and
themselves become weak free radicals. These antioxidants can be
recycled back to their antioxidant by lipoic acid and vitamin C.
• Fat soluble vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 protect the fatty portion
of the cell
membrane from free radical attack while the watery portions of the
cell or blood, which is primarily water, are accessible only to
the water soluble antioxidants such as vitamin C and glutathione.
Glutathione is the most abundant
antioxidant in the network. It is produced by the body from three
amino acids found in food - glutanic acid, cysteine, and glycine.
Glutathione is found in virtually every cell and is an important
weapon against free radicals. However, when we reach the age of
40, our production of glutathione begins to decline.
– it can drop by almost 20% by the time we are sixty.
• At any age, low levels of glutathione have been linked to
premature death and disease.
• A stroke occurs when blood flow is cut off or restricted to a
particular region of the brain. It can be caused by a blood clot
or by a piece of debris
which breaks off from an atherosclerotic plaque and blocks the
artery delivering blood and oxygen to the brain. The actual damage
to the brain does not occur when it is being deprived of oxygen or
blood, but immediately following the stroke when the blood flow is
restored. This is referred to as
• When it happens there is a burst reproduction of superoxide free
radicals that can attack nearby tissue resulting in permanent
brain damage. This process can be exacerbated even further if iron
is released into sites where it is normally tightly bound or
• Free iron, that is iron that is not bound to a protein is
potentially very dangerous because it can trigger further free
• Free radicals are involved with both the onset and the
progression of heart disease. Heart disease begins early in life
with oxidation of LDL (low
density lipoproteins) often known as ‘bad cholestrol’.
• The process can take many years but if an artery becomes clogged
with plaque made up of cholesterol and calcium and other mineral
the result can be a sudden loss of blood and oxygen to the heart
• Similarly, with a stroke, much of the damage which occurs to the
heart muscle is caused by a burst of free radicals after the blood
flow is resumed.
• Free radicals are also instrumental in promoting
atherosclerosis, otherwise known as ‘hardening of the arteries’ as
it causes damage in the arterial
wall leading to a deposition and a buildup of plaque on the wall
and further free radical damage on the wall leading to the
arterial wall becoming
inelastic and lined or clogged with plaque.
No matter how brilliant this author is as an atomic physicist, he
has simply bought into the lies about plaque. The free
radical, indeed, does cause heart disease, but certainly not by
the mechanism described here. That
full story is HERE.
• Inflammation in joints or injuries is caused by the over
production of free radicals in a specific area of the body.
• Arthritis is a term that covers more than one hundred different
diseases that produce inflammation of the connective tissue such
as the joints and tendons and degeneration of the articular
cartilage allowing bones to rub together
without causing damage to the joints.
• A cataract is a cloudy opaque covering that grows over the lens
of the eye and is caused by free radical damage to proteins.
Cataracts are the result of years of exposure to sunlight which
can promote free radicals thereby depleting the body of
antioxidants. In experiments on rats given lipoic acid
supplementation the rats remained cataract free compared to
developed a high percentage of cataract.
• The studies revealed that glutathione levels were much higher in
the eyelids of the rats treated with lipoic acid and severely
depleted in the rats not treated with lipoic acid.
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