For years it’s been believed that dose related response to any element introduced to the body was linear. We expect to see a response increase in direct proportion to the dose given.
We’re so used to living in the land of Costco, Big Lots, and bulk purchase mentality where more is better, that we’ve lost sight of something far greater, balance. Giving more of a substance, doesn’t always equate to improved response.
What’s known as biphasic response is where initially we see benefit from a substance, only to see a greater negative response as the dose increases. This phenomena with a shift from one extreme to the other is what’s called “hormesis”.
Homeopathy employs a principle where using small or low dose treatments stimulate a desired response in the body, where a high dose would actually subdue function.
Hormesis is a biological phenomenon where a beneficial effect (improved health, stress tolerance, growth or longevity) results from exposure to low doses of an agent which is otherwise toxic or lethal when given at higher doses. High potency vitamin supplements can be dangerous!
Paracelsus (1493-1541) stated that “All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison.” In the 1800’s, Friedrich Nietzsche stated that, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) is known as the father of homeopathy, in which the greater the dilution, the greater the metabolic response. This was an early form of using hormesis to effectively treat patients.
In the 1980’s there were only 10 to 15 citations of hormesis in literature. Because of an increased awareness of dose response in the last years, there have been nearly 6,000 citations of hormesis/hormetics in 2013, with over 2,000 peer reviewed scientific papers on the subject.
With this foundation, I want to show how antioxidants can be dose specific, and when found in nature, are present for purposes which we tend to overlook. Consider first that plants make antioxidants. The purpose of plants producing them may surprise you.
Our body runs on oxygen, creating carbon dioxide as waste. Carbon dioxide is toxic to our body if not removed. Without oxygen, we die! Too much carbon dioxide we die!
In the process of photosynthesis, plants convert solar energy and carbon dioxide, into chemical energy and oxygen. Just as carbon dioxide can be harmful to our system, oxygen can damage the structure of the plant.
So, you may ask, “Don’t we need antioxidant’s?” If antioxidants stop the action of oxygen, don’t you think they’re counterproductive to our system? Shutting down oxygen utilization in the body is just the opposite of what we want to do. Controlling oxygen is a totally different story.
Effects of vitamin C 1000mg and vitamin E 400IU on insulin sensitivity in young healthy men after 4 weeks: Exercise improved insulin sensitivity only in the absence of antioxidants. Natural, internally created antioxidants, (superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase) which control oxygen action were improved only in those not taking the antioxidants. Most supplements on the market have 1000mg of vitamin C and 400IU of vitamin E.
Why do certain plants contain high levels of antioxidants? If your local bank has a lot of bank guards hanging around, you might suspect they have a lot of money. A stupid bank robber runs off with the guards, leaving the money in the vault. That’s what high potency supplements are all about. Whole food nutrition provides the functional components your body requires.
If a food is known for high levels of antioxidants, it’s obvious the nutritional value of that food is excellent. Rose hips are a good source of vitamin C. The quantity of ascorbic acid in rose hips is about one percent. The remainder is responsible for vitamin C’s action.
In the past, I placed a lot of emphasis on eliminating Reactive Oxygen Species, believing they were our enemy. Surprisingly, these are part of our body’s defense against diseases like cancer. Oxygen is critical to how our body fights! Don’t restrict it, increase it!