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Balances the Immune System
A Matter of Balance
Our bodies are made up of cells. Inside of every cell we have mitochondria (some cells have thousands). With regard to chronic infection and chronic disease — viruses, bacteria, and parasites thrive in bodies that have compromised mitochondrial function.
We now know the redox signaling messengers inside the mitochondria are the place where life happens. After more than 17 years of clinical trials and millions of dollars spent, we are just beginning to connect the dots in this ever-expanding exploration of redox signaling, disease, and wellness.
The National Institute of Health (NIH), Stanford, Harvard, Cornell, and many other top medical research institutions are utilizing huge sums of money and dedicating entire labs toward studying these tiny molecules, after finding they are a cornerstone to preventing disease.
When functioning optimally, mitochondria produce redox signaling molecules called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). The ROS molecules fall into two categories: reductants that cause reduction reactions or oxidants that create oxidation reactions.
The redox signaling process takes place in nature every time there is a chemical reaction, including inside our cells. Both reductants and oxidants are important, and in order to maintain optimal health, we require them in balanced numbers.
Oxidants remove electrons; when they are exposed to oxygen they oxidize and change color—think rust on a nail or an apple turning brown.
Reductants deliver electrons. One of the most important redox signaling processes that takes place in the mitochondria is the addition of electrons to oxygen molecules.
Our cells require balance or homeostasis for peak performance. When oxidants build up in our cells it leads to a damaged and poorly functioning cell. The buildup of oxidants is called oxidative stress.
The redox signaling process can be likened to smoke signals. Oxidants inside our cells can go rogue and result in major health damage if they aren’t cleaned up and controlled. The overabundance of oxidants in cells are the mechanism that tells the cell something is wrong and initiates the process where the body begins to repair, kill, or replace the cell.
When there are too many oxidants in the cell, it signals the genes inside of the nucleus to fix the problem. Hopefully, the action from the genes will fix the problem and homeostatic balance will be restored again inside the cell—this is the redox signaling process. This process is of the utmost importance for the detection of damaged cells, as well as repair, and replacement of damaged cells inside of tissue.
Redox imbalances have been correlated with every single disease including aging, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, cancer, dementia, ALS, chronic infections, gut disorders, arthritis, and more.
“All illness is expressed in one of two ways: a predominance of oxidative stress-related symptoms and signs (similar to rusting but in a biological sense), or a predominance of inflammatory (reactive) signs and symptoms. Health can be achieved by addressing imbalances in these areas and then moving the redox needle back to the balance point,” writes
Each person’s cell redox potential affects the whole mechanism of every cell in the body including the expression of genes. When redox signaling is operating well, genes then express the molecules that are necessary to restore the homeostatic balance that is either replacing, recycling, or repairing the cell.
This homeostatic restoration balance takes place through redox signaling. Plainly put, if our redox signaling molecules are not functioning optimally, our genes cannot function optimally.
The importance of this cannot be overstated: redox signaling processes in the cells are the fundamental processes by which the cell detects damage and then start the repair and replace mechanisms taking place in the mitochondria, including autophagy and apoptosis.
Redox Signaling is KEY to cellular health and repair -- if you want to be well if you must heal the cell.