Whims and Whispers

This is a short post to share just one idea revealing the true value of money.  Our financial security is based on trust; trust that available currency can be exchanged for a loaf of bread or anything of real value.  All of the sophisticated financial analysis, all of the currency in the world is only relevant when the true value of money is seen in this light.  In this light, the exchange of currencies, stocks, bitcoin, and so on among themselves, are based on whims and whispers and can be very dangerous when they quickly erode trust in currencies and financial systems.  What a shaky foundation we have built for our financial security.

When we learn enough to build a financial system based on real value (1 coin = 1 basic loaf of bread, 5 coins = 1 hour of heavy labor) then the real value of money is evident.  A crypto currency based on exchange of goods and services would be of real value.  Of course, all of the sophisticated analysis would still apply, but it would really mean something more than just whims and whispers.


Redox Signaling — A Universal Principle of Life

Breath of Life
With every breath you take, oxygen from the air rushes into your lungs, is absorbed into the hemoglobin in your blood and pumped by your heart throughout the trillions of cells in your body. If you doubt the importance of this, you can perform the simple experiment of holding your breath for a minute; as you turn blue, you will entirely convince yourself that oxygen is vitally needed by the cells in your body.

What do your cells do with all these oxygen molecules? Oxygen molecules are used by the cells to capture electrons from other molecules. Oxygen molecules have two unpaired electrons (called free radicals) that are hungry for companions.O2 These oxygen free radicals capture available electrons from other molecules; when electrons are captured this is called “reduction”; oxygen is said to be “reduced” when it captures electrons. These electrons are stolen from other molecules; when electrons are ripped off of these molecules, this is called “oxidation”, these other molecules are said to be “oxidized”. Thus oxygen “oxidizes” other molecules by stealing their electrons and becomes “reduced” at the same time, by capturing such electrons. The special name REDOX (REDuction/OXidation) is given to this process.

Why is this REDOX process so important to cells? The metabolism of sugars, fats and keytones takes place within hundreds of power-generating mitochondria (my-toe-con-dree-ah) inside the cells. These mitochondria produce the energy needed to power our cells. Oxygen is needed as part of the final step of metabolism inside the mitochondria to capture the electrons that participate in the electron transport chain (ETC) (electrons are quickly transported to “charge the batteries” of the mitochondria). If oxygen were not there to capture these electrons, they would quickly leak back in, discharge the mitochondrial batteries, and in turn would cause our cells to run out of fuel and energy. Thus oxygen is vital to stop the electrons from leaking back, to keep these cell batteries charged, and to keep the cell’s machinery working. More than 80% of the oxygen we breathe is used in the mitochondria for this purpose.Electron-movement-is-shown-through-the-mitochondrial-electron-transport-chain-ETC-and

When an oxygen molecule (O2) captures an electron, it transforms into a new type of reactive oxygen called the “superoxide anion” free radical (O2*-). This type of oxygen radical is highly reactive. An enzyme called “superoxide dismutase” (an antioxidant made inside the cell) donates yet another electron to the superoxide and transforms it into a “peroxide”. This peroxide state of oxygen attracts two hydrogen atoms to become hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). From here, other enzymes in the cell (such as “catalase” and “glutathione”) again reduce this type of oxygen into its most reduced state, “water” (H2O). There are several other transformations that reduce oxygen, one of them combines oxygen with the chloride ion (from salt) to form the “hypochlorite anion” (OCl-). We will not mention any more of them here for simplicity’s sake.

Oxyen ROS
And so we see that the story of the oxygen molecule inside our cells involves a series of transformations as it is reduced from oxygen gas to water and the other states of oxygen. The types of molecules that are produced in these transformations (O2*-, H2O2, OCl-), as mentioned above, are given the name “reactive oxygen species” (ROS). These also are part of a group known as “redox signaling molecules”.

This story of how oxygen is used and transformed inside cells is as old as aerobic life on earth. Even earlier in the earth’s story, green plants on earth, through photosynthesis, were able to use the energy from the sun to run these oxygen transformations in reverse. Plants start by using sunlight to “bump” electrons off the plentiful oxygen atoms in the water molecules (H2O) to start the reverse transformation. In the plant cell, when an electron is removed from oxygen in the water molecule, the oxygen is transformed into various forms of ROS. Finally (after all the reverse transformations) the oxygen is transformed into the oxygen gas molecule (O2). This oxygen gas is released by the plants into the atmosphere. Thanks to plants, about 20% of the air in our atmosphere is now oxygen (O2). The story of how oxygen transforms from water to oxygen gas in plants, is released into the atmosphere, and then is transformed from oxygen gas back into water in animals is a vital part of the story of life, as we know it.

Only in the past decade have scientists realized the true importance of the intermediate forms of oxygen (ROS) in this transformation and the role they play inside living cells. We have found that these ROS forms serve as fundamental redox signaling molecules inside the cell. In short, they turn off and on the genetic switches that control what happens inside the cell, they are used to move electrons around inside the vital salt-water fluids that fill the cell. They cause transformations in the protein-based machinery of the cell that allow it to move (fold, unfold, change shape, break apart, come together, etc.), they serve to inform the cell that something is wrong when too many of them accumulate (a condition called oxidative stress). Depending on how many of them are in the cell, key functions of the cell are regulated. For example, too much hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in plant cells will slow down photosynthesis (this keeps plants from “burning out” in full sunlight) and in animals, too much H2O2 will slow down the metabolism (this also prevents animal cells from “burning out”). These redox signaling mechanisms act like the controlling “gas pedal” in your car, they control the speed of the “motor” in the cell and keep it from “burning out”. In short, without these redox signaling molecules, it would be impossible for the cells to live, breathe and regulate themselves.

A knowledge of how these most universal and fundamental processes in life work gives us great power. As these oxygen transformations and the resultant redox signaling takes place in most every cell on earth, the reach of redox signaling technologies is almost universal. These redox signaling molecules effectively kill primitive bacteria (they are the primary weapon of the immune system), they turn on the alarms and repair genes inside cells, they participate in energy regulation (as already mentioned), they participate in electrical and chemical signaling networks everywhere. They are also the primary actors in the networks that recognize and kill defective cells and regenerate healthy cells. They are part of the networks that allow our cells, tissues, organs, and systems to cooperate and function together. Their life-saving potential is well known, we all know that administering oxygen can save lives. No longer are these reactive oxygen species (ROS) thought of as enemies, they are redox signaling molecules, a vital part of the primary tool chest of life. We can use them to live, and to live more abundantly.


Can We Save the Planet?


Many agree this is something we need to do and soon. But what exactly does it mean to “Save the Planet”? Imagine a visionary legislator coming home after passing key piece of legislature to fund a massive recycling program considered to be a major victory for the planet. His 16-year-old son is in the kitchen heating up a pizza when he comes through the door. The kitchen is a mess, the garbage is full. He walks into the kitchen, “Hi, son”, he says, “my bill passed today, it is a major win for the planet!”, then looking at the kitchen he adds, “This kitchen is a mess and you need to take out the garbage.” All he gets is a groan and a mumble, “I’ll do it later”. “Don’t forget to sort the recycling”, he says in a commanding voice, as he walks out of the kitchen. An hour later, after some phone calls, he comes back to the kitchen to find a bunch of mixed garbage, with greasy pizza boxes, stuffed in the recycle bin, the kitchen is still dirty, and his son has gone out with friends. Things like this happen throughout the world, as witnessed by the millions of tons of garbage we bury or export, vile contaminated rivers flowing into the oceans, the radioactive poisons, heavy metals, and carbonic acids circulated by ocean currents, along with the floating islands of garbage that are larger than some countries. Entire global ecosystems are affected.

The real battles to save the planet are fought at home. They have much more to do with the inherent human behavior in our homes, streets and businesses and the established routines that drive the current social systems. How can we win? How can we change inherent human behavior and the systems they drive? Scientists have long realized that social systems are chaotic. Like traffic patterns and weather patterns, billions of individual factors and decisions determine how the overall system works. There are no exact solutions to chaotic systems – they are not predictable. Like tossing dice or flipping coins, there is no way to predict what the exact results will be beforehand. We can determine, however, the probability that certain patterns will appear. We are getting accustomed to this concept. if the weather channel says there is a 50% chance of rain, for example, millions of individual measurements and data from satellite images have detected storm systems that might or might not result in rain in your region. Only the probability that it will rain can be determined.

Global Warming is a hot topic, many now believe that it is a major problem. We know that cutting down oxygen-producing rain forests and increasing carbon emissions (from carbon fuels and even more so methane from cow droppings) absorb and retain the energy that comes from the sun, and thus heat our atmosphere. The resulting consequences of climate change are by nature chaotic and not predictable. Will carbon accumulation lead to massive storms, melting polar ice caps, or an ice age, massive death of ocean life as predicted, or toward shifts in climate that might be less destructive or even beneficial? The exact effects cannot be determined. Things we cannot control, like varying solar cycles and magnetic field collapse, also are major factors that affect what could happen to our climate. I have heard that attempts have been made to “cool” the planet by introducing reflective metal particles into the atmosphere (released by large arrays of planes flying in formation over large areas). These metal particles in the atmosphere are designed to reflect solar energy away from our planet. Let us understand, we cannot predict the results that such measures will have to control our climate. Placing more artificial substances in our atmosphere could make it much worse rather than make it better (not to mention the effects to our health). There are far too many factors to consider and even if we knew everything, predictive models by nature do not exist.

Even though chaotic patterns in human behavior may not be predictable, the overall trends are measurable. Obvious examples include increases and shifts in world populations, life spans, shifts in education, aging populations, early mental decline in adults, increase of autism in children, regional increases in suffering due to diabetes, obesity, allergies, cancers and other major health issues related to local diets and contaminated environments. When carefully analyzed, the latest trends are disturbing, to say the least. If current trends are projected into the year 2040, the next generation will be living in a world where half the adults will be diabetic or pre-diabetic, a quarter of the children will be on the autistic spectrum, the chances of having cancer will be 50% in some regions, almost everyone will have food allergies and early dementia, and a dwindling amount of young working adults will have to support huge aging and sick populations with staggering health-care costs. The larger part of the world populations will be uneducated, poor and highly motivated by strong ideologies. It is unclear on how much of this society can take before becoming heartless and unstable.

On the positive side, there is great hope. There is much greatness in us, our technical capacity is almost unlimited. The best chances to save the planet are most probably found in motivating human behavior at home toward different habits and implementing sustainable systems across the planet. Offering the homeless or unemployed people rewards to find and sort recyclable resources, offering real incentives to clean up dirty environments, conveniently placed recycling bins, recycling trash, education, self-sustaining ecological and social systems, alternative energy options, methods of purifying water, reducing insecticides and harmful chemicals, managing industrial contaminates, agricultural waste, and by respecting natural laws (genetic and otherwise) that have existed since the beginning of time. Hundreds of emerging nanotechnologies and biotechnologies have much to offer in these areas. There are answers that now exist in science. In my experience, above all, the real solutions are ultimately found in the true intentions of our heart.

Through current nanotechnologies, we now have the technical abilities to eliminate the wide-spread contamination and depletion of large water supplies. Biotechnologies exist to cure spoiled ecosystems on the small and large scale. We can let beneficial natural bacteria grow back into our soils and digestive systems. Through aquaponics and natural farming methods, we can grow plants almost anywhere on earth that are replete with all the beneficial (and tasty) nutrients we need through natural genetic processes. There are biotechnologies that help us recover from and eliminate sugar and narcotic addictions. Biotechnologies, such as redox signaling and stem cells, give our body the ability to quickly regenerate damaged tissue. The list of solutions is endless. We can survive and even thrive through the most difficult of circumstances. We just have to want it bad enough.


Does Your Brain Grow Back?

From centuries of science, the answer to this question is unmistakably “Yes”. Scientists have watched nerve cells grow back, both in the peripheral nervous system (muscle and sensory) and the central nervous system (brain) after they have been injured. The more interesting questions might be: How fast does brain tissue regenerate? How fast do brain cells die? and can we slow down brain-cell death and speed up brain-cell regeneration? If brain cells are growing back faster than they die off, then the brain is growing back. If brain cells are dying off faster than growing back, then the brain is degenerating.

As with most questions that effect our health, the real answers to these questions (and more) are found in how brain cells work, live and die. The difference between Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, MS, age-related dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases can be found simply in what type of brain cells die off or stop functioning and which are not replaced quick enough.

There are estimates that the human brain has about 100 Billion nerve cells and 1 Trillion glial cells (the cells that help the nerve cells out). The glial cells produce the materials, hormones and neurotransmitters (proteins, serotonin, dopamine) that are needed for the nerve cells to function. In the brain, these vital materials get shuttled around by the flow of the brain fluid (cerebral-spinal fluid) created in the brain that flows through channels (ventricles) inside the cholesterol jelly that holds our brain together. To maintain normal mental ability, you need only about 20 Billion (20%) of the nerve cells in the brain to be working and the brain fluids must keep flowing.

What causes brain cells to die or stop functioning? The answer is always related to stress. Stress can be related to many things, such as toxins (like heavy metals, neurotoxins, alcohol, anesthesia) that have somehow made it into the brain, or the lack of beneficial minerals (like copper, magnesium, selenium, lithium) that are needed by the brain cells. Stress can also be related to nervous overuse (like worry, emotional trauma, stimulatory drugs) that cause a build-up of oxidants and free radicals. Stress can also be caused by a traumatic injury (like an accident, fall or blow to the head) that physically damages the soft tissues or something that limits blood and oxygen flow to the brain cells.

Another type of stress that is a factor in Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease comes from the build-up of protein “nets” (like amyloid beta proteins) in the brain that choke the brain cells and have not been sufficiently washed out by the brain fluid flow. Some recent exciting advances toward reversing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease involve chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck that clear the brain-spine fluid channels and increase the flow that washes out the built-up proteins in the brain.

In all cases, stress on the nerve cells causes a build-up of oxidants (oxidative stress) inside the nerve cells. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is good because oxidative stress can stimulate the redox signaling network (reduction oxidation) inside the nerve cell to repair damage in the cell, restore the blood flow, reduce the inflammation, reduce the oxidative stress and clean up the proteins and take out the toxic garbage. The bad thing is that if this repair process doesn’t happen fast enough, then the build-up of oxidants will inflame the brain cells and eventually cause them to undergo programmed cell death. Most brain-cell death in an injury is not caused by lack of oxygen, but by oxidative stress that has gone on too long.

Timely reduction of oxidative stress in the brain helps promote brain-cell health and longevity. New redox signaling technologies have produced compounds that are perfectly safe, can make it into the brain, and are shown to increase oxygen, reduce oxidative stress, reduce oxidation, reduce oxidized cholesterol, reduce neuroinflammation, open detoxification channels, and enhance the redox signaling networks. Much research still needs to be done. The timely reduction of oxidative stress in the brain is an important key also to the regeneration of nerve cells. As mentioned above, nerve cells can regenerate or form new connections that help to restore brain function when they are in an optimal environment surrounded by the fluids and materials they need to thrive.

Another important factor is that brain-cell regeneration is also stimulated by use. If you are using your brain to near exhaustion (just like in muscle cells) the brain will generate new cells to keep up the activity. Otherwise, non-exercised brain cells will eventually die off. It is the old “use it or lose it” syndrome.

Sadly, the slow processes of brain-cell death in degenerative diseases (as mentioned above) are not obvious until more than 80% of the brain cells have already died or stopped functioning. This means that reversing these degenerative diseases, if possible, requires large-scale regeneration of the brain. Nerve regeneration is generally a slow and careful process. So even if we succeed in slowing the degeneration down and speeding brain regeneration up to the point where the brain is growing back, we can expect that the restoration of full brain function will still be a long and difficult process. The good news is that the brain can grow back and we are developing the technologies that make this process happen faster. There is hope and a wonderful future with these emerging technologies, if we will let it be.


Weighty Matters


It is safe to say that millions of people want to lose weight. Many are looking for the perfect diet, the best exercise program, the easiest way to peel off the pounds. Some of us have given up. Some have become fanatic over one method or another. Others hope that there is a perfect pill for weight loss and are even willing to suffer painful, dangerous surgery. In truth, the only way of finding the real answers is through a basic understanding the way our body works on a cellular level. At this level, the real answer to gain a sustainable healthy body has very little to do with losing weight and more to do with the truly weighty matters: Nutrition, Hydration, Exercise and Sleep.

Fat cells are as important as any other types of cells in your body. Their job is to store the energy that your body needs. Fat is concentrated energy, more than 80% of the energy that our cells use daily comes from fat. Every 10 pounds of fat stores as much energy as 60 pounds of sugar. Just 7 pounds of fat can supply the body with enough energy to run 10 marathons end to end without stopping (compare that to how many batteries a robot would need). When we eat carbs and sugars (unless we are running a marathon) insulin is produced that causes the cells to convert the excess sugars into efficient fats and store them away in fat cells. Even thinking of eating sweets can trigger insulin to stimulate fat storage. Even worse, fat cells “eat” insulin and other hormones that are necessary to maintain healthy hormone levels, too much fat causes hormonal imbalance; eating carbs and sugars provides only a temporary emotional lift, but ultimately only adds to the problem as sugars are readily converted to more fat. This cycle is a recipe for eternal misery.

By looking closer at how fat cells work, we find the real answer about how to reduce excess fat. Better yet, we find the real answer to generating a healthy body. Most fat cells live on or near muscle cells. When muscle cells need energy, they are programmed to extract and burn the stored fat from the nearby fat cells and use it for energy. The more muscle we have, the faster fat is burned. The only way to naturally burn large amounts of fat is to build more muscle. Building muscle might not necessarily result in weight loss, because muscle weighs more than fat, but it certainly will help us burn the excess fat. Again, the answers on how to build muscle can be found by understanding how muscle cells work. When a muscle cell is challenged to the point of near exhaustion, it begins to ask for more muscle cells to be made and it creates redox signaling molecules that aid the muscle cells in repairing damage and regenerating stronger muscle tissue. This will only happen when the muscle cells are challenged to near exhaustion. Muscle cells also need water, proteins and the nutrients necessary to repair themselves and build the new cells.

Did you know that you do not have to exercise heavily to get muscle growth? To bring a muscle to near exhaustion only requires that you lift a weight or have resistance just big enough to challenge the muscle over 7 to 15 repetitions. Lifting weights while moving the muscles slowly, 3 seconds up, 3 seconds down, avoiding jerking, also drastically reduces the amount of soreness and tearing of the muscle. Lifting a weight slowly that is about as heavy as you can comfortably lift 7 to 15 times in a row will bring a muscle to near exhaustion (and feels satisfying), in contrast lifting an easy light weight 50 times has much less of an effect because the muscle is not challenged (and it is boring). You know you have done it right when you feel a “burn” and slight shaking when exercising the muscle, but little or no soreness afterwards. Using exercises like this that challenge and build one individual muscle at a time and alternating the muscle groups (especially muscles that are near the fat you wish to burn) are most effective. After doing a regular exercise routine like this for several days in a row, you will find that you need to increase the weights or resistance to get the same effect. An easy example of exercising your abdominal muscles, can be done lying flat on the floor or in bed: fold your arms, slowly lift your shoulders and feet at the same time off the floor, crunching the abs, hold a second and slowly relax, repeating 15 times.

You will also need to change your diet to feed the muscle cell growth. Cut down to near zero all sugars and carbs that are not needed (breads, processed cereals, sugary drinks, sweet berries, and so on) and then eat tons of green salads with tuna, eggs or chicken breast that are needed to build muscle until you are satisfied. You can actually come up with some very creative and delicious ways to do this with little effort (fried salmon with red onion over a crisp spinach and cilantro basket is my favorite). Good natural absorbable supplements can also be helpful. You will only need to keep this up for a few weeks before starting to feel a real difference. This also has the advantage of switching your body’s metabolism over from burning sugars and storing fat to a metabolism of constantly burning fat all day long. You will feel so good that you might even lose your desire to eat lots of carbs and sugars after a while. You will find yourself “popping” out of bed in the morning without effort and feeling so much stronger and able to do things.

Clean fresh water in abundance, maybe with a little lemon slice, is always refreshing and needed for cell growth. Keep a pitcher or container handy for anytime you are a bit thirsty. It is amazing how good drinking plenty of water can make you feel. With good hydration and exercise, sleep also comes easier. Sleep is when the cells in the body switch over from regular daily activities to repairing themselves, building muscle, brain, gut, blood vessels, and so on that have been used during the day. All this repair and building work is done very efficiently by your cells while your body rests, making you ready and stronger for the following day. You can imagine that mental attitude and awareness also is heightened.

The lessons we learn from a basic understanding how our cells work seem almost natural, like we have known these things all along. We sometimes make it much more complicated than it really is. As the body becomes healthy, muscle is built, fat is burned for fuel and our health and ability to enjoy life is enhanced. It is the way it was meant to be. Let’s do it.


When What Works Wins

I love good stories. A friend referred me to a great mechanic. His shop was small and the cars he was working on were overflowing his parking lot. On the wall of his office were pictures of him working on Formula One race cars with his dad. It was obvious that I had come to a place where what works wins. After a minute of listening to me tell him what my car’s problem was, he walked me out to my car and popped the hood. “It’s simple,” he said, “an engine works by compressing air and fuel in a cylinder and igniting it with a spark; if an engine doesn’t work then something is wrong with one of those things”.

He took a wrench out of his pocket and unscrewed a spark plug and replaced it with a sensor he pulled out of a case he was carrying. “This measures the compression and air-gas mixture in the cylinder.”, he said, “Now turn on your car.” In a few minutes he was telling me that not enough fuel was getting into the cylinder and that my spark was weak; he even let me watch the defective spark. How masterful! I had no problem paying the high labor rate, he had diagnosed and explained the basic problem in less than 5 minutes. He always has had more work than he could handle and has long since retired.

The greatest minds that drive successful businesses also think this way. “It’s simple,” they say, “a business works when costs are less than sales and you have a good market; if a business doesn’t work then something is wrong with one of those things”. If you want to fix a business, find a way to bring costs below sales and find a bigger market. I have realized the stark truth of this the hard way.

The U.S. government has not figured it out yet. For many years my wife ran a child care business to get me through graduate school. We bought an old building and fixed it up. The government required that we have a federally funded food program. In their system, they paid us to give nutritious food to the children. The more food we bought, the more they paid us. They made us keep track of every glass of milk we gave the children, hours were spent filling out reports. It turns out that the “market” for many of the nutritious foods they forced on the children was not that great and we ended up throwing most of the food out anyway. Costs were high (the more we spent the more they gave us), sales were non-existent and there was hardly a market for the product, a dismal business model. But we didn’t care, we were getting money for filling out papers and “Mama Anita” cooked great natural foods that the children loved anyway, no credit given to the government.

When it comes to our bodies, maybe we ought to care. If they don’t work, we die. It’s simple, the cells in your body take in water, nutrients and oxygen, they produce energy and provide the activity that fulfills your needs; if your body doesn’t work, then something is wrong with one of those things. Perhaps there is one difference from a car engine, the cells in your body can attempt to fix themselves when they detect that something is wrong.

Our cells are all about “What Works Wins”. The cells know that if the costs to run our body are more than the activity our body provides then they need to fix something; provide adequate oxygen, adequate nutrients, reduce threats and maintain a desire to always win. Cells are built to win! So are we.

There are certain things that mark a “What Works Wins” system. Costs go down, efficiencies go up, and customers are given more choices of the “cool” options they need and want. The modern electronics industry is a keen example of such: bigger memory, better screens, more features, less cost, generating huge profits. As health care costs are ever increasing, government is subsidizing such costs, and the “not-so-cool” options are often only ones offered the menu, our health care system does not really look like a “What Works Wins” system. In fact, there is even confusion as to “What Works” because options are not explained well and the cost-effectiveness of treatments is rarely emphasized.

If our health care system, being a business, were to adopt the same “What Works Wins” philosophy, what would happen?

In a “What Works Wins” world we would be told a treatment wins because it helps give the cells more of the water, nutrients, and oxygen they need, it helps them produce more energy, defend themselves, and fix themselves better. In this system we would be offered better and better options every day and the best options would eventually become more cost effective.  Such a “What Works Wins” system sounds less like our current health care system and more like the “Integrative Medical” system that is gaining popularity. In Integrative Medicine, people can decide between several options: modern medication and surgery (to reduce back pain for example), a chiropractor to adjust bones and muscles, nutritional supplements (that help rebuild cartilage and bone) and/or Chinese methods that have worked for thousands of years to block (back) pain.

To be in this “What Works Wins” world, we all need to be able to find what options really work best and be able explore the cost-effectiveness of each option.  We are all are evolving to move toward such systems as a matter of survival.  As populations increase exponentially around the world, the demand to provide the stuff that healthy cells need is growing.  Good water, good air, good nutrition, good environments are at the very top the list of priorities in many communities around the world.

The only thing that we have to fear about a “What Works Wins” world is that in this world what doesn’t work so well will eventually lose.


Why Redox Signaling will Transform Medical Science

As medical science advances, it appears to become more and more difficult to find treatments that are not harmful to certain parts the body and yet offer real benefits to the patient. Normally, after billions of dollars of research, the treatments that promise the best results often come along with long lists of side effects that may be much more detrimental to some people than the original medical condition itself. Medical science compensates by conducting billions of dollars of research to find treatments for the undesirable side effects. While such efforts keep medical researchers busy and pharmaceutical companies profitable, at some point these advances need to be weighed against the needs of the patient. In general, the cost of medical treatment is escalating and results can still be quite detrimental on several fronts.

Looking for potential cost-effective treatments that have minimal negative side effects would seem to offer the best remedy. As our understanding of biology advances, it is also becoming obvious that our body is only built to take into itself the things that grow in and around us in nature, everything else is treated by the body like unwanted garbage. Processed chemicals, engineered molecules and highly concentrated specialized extracts may fit the model of current food and medical industry, but they have the tendency to fight against basic biology and produce negative side effects. Naturally occurring biocompatible remedies, on the other hand, fit well with our basic biology, yet they might not fit well with the current medical industry and philosophy.

As medical science starts to transform toward seriously studying inexpensive biocompatible natural substances as treatments, there is finally much hope for the discovery of ideal cost-effective remedies. Funding the research for such remedies remains an economic issue. The incentive is not there; large profits cannot be made in our current medical industry from inexpensive easy-to-find-and-produce natural solutions no matter how effective they may be as treatments. It still appears to be the tendency of medical professionals to doubt that natural solutions are real solutions, even as they are witnessing many of their patients get sicker and sicker under current treatments and lose hope for the future. In general, they also tend to ignore nutrition, exercise, hydration, positive attitude and sleep as key players.

Redox Signaling is one of the best-positioned technologies that promises to lead the transformation of medical science. It has all the right stuff. Redox signaling is a fundamental process inside our body that reduces and oxidizes (redox’s) the salt water and biomolecules inside us, it plays a fundamental role in cellular communication, helping the cells to optimally do what they are already programmed to do. It helps the body locate the damaged cells inside us, kill them or replace them and to better regenerate healthy tissue. Balanced compositions of reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been found that are relatively inexpensive to produce, have shown no negative side effects after 20 years of studies and can actually enhance the ability of the body’s antioxidants to protect healthy normal cells from damage and accelerate normal cellular regeneration.

Such redox signaling molecules come in a clear liquid form and can be ingested, placed in the eyes, ears, nose, breathed into the lungs, placed anywhere inside or outside the body without causing harm of themselves. They can be used in gels to be placed on the skin, they can be used as irrigation. They stop bleeding, sterilize the tissues within seconds, enhance antioxidants, increase hormone reception, open cell communication channels, increase reducing agents (NRF2, antioxidants), decrease oxidative stress and decrease oxidized cholesterol, decrease inflammation and irritation, and reduce germs and pain among other things. Redox signaling technologies can also be used in conjunction with other promising technologies like stem cells, nutritional and mineral therapies, exercise programs (to reduce muscle damage and pain) and detoxification therapies. It is a truly versatile and fundamental natural technology that stands as an example of what could lie ahead of us in the future of medical science.


A Journey of Discovery Published


Today marks a milestone in my own personal journey of discovery.  I appreciate the freedom I have to express this journey, knowledge and vision in words so that others can profit thereby.  I appreciate the chance to do so, as time permits, here on this blogsite.  My new book has “hit the bookstands” in Amazon today.  To take a look, you can search “Amazon Kindle” books for “redox signaling”.  I will also place the link below, if permitted.  I ever hope that the truths of nature and science will be heard and understood.




Book Excerpt — Vast Potential Applications


Vast Potential Applications – Expansive, Beautiful Terrain

With new insight opened to me by the burgeoning field of redox signaling, I realized that these same molecules helped the immune system to find and repair or destroy damaged cells. In fact, as outlined above, they participate in multiple pathways of tissue regeneration, hormonal reception, oxidative stress response, signaling gene expression and so forth. Each new insight opened up more to my view until before my eyes was laid a nearly endless landscape of possibility, extending far off into the horizon. This terrain was just starting to be explored and had pathways that led into virtually all areas of medical science. Such was my fascination that I immediately wished to share this experience with my colleagues. I went back down the trail, marking the way, in hopes that I could convince someone to come back up the trail with me and see what I had just seen and maybe help me explore it.

Invitation for Collaboration – You have just got to see this!

Some of the first people that I invited to explore the trail were those that had themselves blazed some of the trail; researchers that had participated or done some of the earlier studies on this work. As expected, they were already involved in other work and did not always have the time or ambition to take off work to go and explore more of this trail with me. A few said they would come but, of course, they expected some sort an agreement. The same thought kept repeating in my mind, “good science requires good business”. Unfortunately, I felt that I did not have much of a hand in the business aspects at the time, and often felt a hesitance to get too involved with the business. Thus I was reliant on those that were more experienced in building a business and the management teams that controlled the intellectual property.

We were able to get some limited funding in order to get a senior researcher at a national lab involved. This researcher was able to do some fundamental research with lung endothelial cell cultures and opened up several other vistas to view. He was the one to discover that this Redox composition has the effect of increasing antioxidant efficiencies and that it activates the NRF2 pathways, with all that that implies (as already discussed in this book). He also found that it drastically increases death rates in damaged cells and enhances TNF-alpha action to kill damaged cells and yet has only protective effects on normal healthy cells. These new results opened much more unexplored terrain to view, including antioxidant activation, oxidative stress reduction, accelerated healing, accelerated detection, and disposal of damaged cells. This aspect is very promising; the propagation of damaged cells and tissues, as well as slow healing, is responsible for a vast array of health challenges, including aging.  Unfortunately, after a year when funding ran out, so did the possibility of continuing the research.

Third Party Investigation – Sharing the Journey of Discovery

In as much as possible, third party independent laboratories were sought to find researchers to join the journey; laboratories with competent engaged professionals trained in diverse related areas of science and research. At this point, the business management team was closely involved in helping to find and identify the best areas of research to pursue and the best research institutions. Over months of phone calls, contacts, professional reviews, trips to laboratories, contract negotiations, and meetings, we started to find the right people to help us continue forward on the path of discovery. I fondly recall one such trip we made to the middle of an area called “the research triangle” in North Carolina, USA; an area where most of the medical and pharmaceutical research in the United States is done. The North Carolina Research Institute (NCRI) houses a collaboration of researchers from surrounding universities (Chapel Hill, UNC, Duke, Appalachian State, NCS, and others) inside a beautiful billion dollar research campus (NCRC) built by David H. Murdock (of Dole Foods) with the world-class David H Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI). This facility is a shrine to research devoted to advancing health, wellness, quality of life, and longevity. It was there we found a group of researchers specializing in the effects of exercise and other agents on the metabolism.

Over the period of two years, results from studies verified this Redox Composition had broad effects on murine (mouse) and human metabolism. Mice ran 29% longer with this Redox composition in comparison to an unprocessed saltwater solution. In human blood and fluids, hundreds of metabolite concentrations are shifted, indicating changes to the metabolism. There were several follow-up studies to see how this metabolic shift varied with time and conditions. Large human studies again verified safety by monitoring major systems and organs of mature adults. One result, for example, is that this Redox composition appears not to affect beneficial, bacteria inside the gut and reduces oxidative stress in the blood. Studies continue on to find out how this Redox composition works and what it means.

Studies are now being conducted around the world on this Redox composition. For example, in Europe, another research group found that in human skin, surface blood circulation dramatically improved, skin-cell turnover accelerated, cellulite globules shrank, smoothness and color consistency improved. There are also various studies that characterize nature of this Redox composition. Besides funded research, there are also completely independent studies that I know of being done by curious private researchers in universities, institutions, and industry, and probably many more that I do not know of.

Besides the direct research being done on this specific Redox composition, the field of redox biochemistry and redox signaling with other compositions are expanding horizons daily. Some are starting to intersect trails that we are exploring, and the whole terrain is becoming more well-known. Over 100 related peer reviewed journal articles are being published monthly. New trails are being blazed by present and future Nobel laureates and top scientist in all fields of biology. All of these are making inroads to explore the new terrain through a whole new variety of angles. This beautiful virgin landscape is now beholden by thousands of people and I am hoping someday it will be enjoyed by the whole world.




Chapter Excerpt: Navigation Map of Pathways


The Cardiovascular and Pulmonary System – Heart, Lungs, and Blood…

In the cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary system, redox balance is strictly regulated. There are about 5000 mitochondria [producing redox signaling molecules] in every heart cell. As you can imagine, the level of superoxide free radicals (O2*-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) [redox signaling molecules] in heart cells must be carefully regulated and controlled. The heart can never take a break and so redox imbalance and cellular damage in heart tissue must be quickly detected and repaired. The redox signaling networks among heart cells are very efficient. Endothelial layers that line the blood vessels extend these signaling networks to the whole cardiovascular network, sending signals that regulate blood flow, pressure, and needed supplies throughout the whole body, along the whole river of life, in all of our cellular communities, creating a massively complex network analogous to the signaling capacity of our nervous system…

The Digestive System – Mouth, Stomach, and Intestines

In the digestive system, the cell linings in the intestines that process nutrients are exposed to acids, enzymes, toxins, oxidants, physical stress, and all manner of harsh environments. The turnover rate for these types of cells is one of the highest in the body; tens of billions of stomach and intestinal cells are replaced per day. In fact, the entire length of intestines themselves are completely replaced about every 7 days. This continual turnover of cells requires that damaged cells are quickly detected, repaired, or replaced. You can compare the intestinal lining to a “forest” of brush cells where there are frequent redox “smoke signals” sent by the damaged cells indicating “forest fires” that need immediate attention from the emergency responders. If this redox signaling system is not in excellent shape, then potential damage can spread too quickly, causing leaks and gaps that compromise the function of the digestive system…

The Nervous System – Brain, Spine, and Peripheral Nerves

In the nervous system, brain cells are not easily replaced and must be protected. Oxidative stress is the primary reason for nerve cell death, even more so than lack of oxygen. Mental stress and worry, as well as deep thinking, increases brain activity. Heightened brain activity incites a build-up of oxidants or oxidative stress…Oxidative stress triggers seizures and/or other irregularities. Regulation of blood flow through the brain is closely monitored, as the brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and sugars. All of this is regulated by redox signaling networks…Peripheral nerves in the body send pain messages when they are exposed to oxidative stress due to oxidants in the neighborhood. Even more, the redox signaling networks are also very active in helping maintain the balance of the hormonal axes in the brain and nerves (such as the HPA axis) that help keep the emotional balance we need to function. There is no question to the prime importance of the redox signaling networks in the brain. The brain contains most complex signaling network in the body integrally and intricately connected by such signaling networks.

The Endocrine System – The Pituitary, Thyroid, and Adrenals

In the endocrine system, glandular secretions (hormones) are triggered by stress and redox pathways. We have already discussed how important it is to our emotional and physical state to maintain hormonal balance throughout the whole network of the endocrine system. If oxidative stress is the trigger for hormonal secretions and redox signaling regulates oxidative stress, you can imagine the importance of redox signaling to maintain balance in the endocrine system. There is direct evidence that correct redox balance in the vital fluids around our cells also helps lubricate the “windows” and “doors” (receptors) that bring hormonal messages (and insulin) into the cells, which means that smaller numbers of hormones may be needed to do the job, making hormonal regulation lighter and faster and more readily balanced.

The Excretory System – The Skin, Kidneys, and Colon

The tissues of our excretory systems (skin glands, kidneys, colon, etc.) have the unsavory job of sorting through and eliminating the toxic garbage of the body. This requires efficient management of toxic response and extraordinary communication signals between specialized layers of tissue, as well as top-grade protective equipment (antioxidants) to do the job. There is perhaps no other system of the body where redox signaling is more active to maintain the immediate health of the tissues than in the kidneys and intestines. Their specialized layers of tissue are constantly sorting and pushing along the toxic garbage. These toxins cause oxidative stress and cell death due to toxic insult of the tissues. As always, the antioxidants need to be on call to quickly clean up the oxidative stress before it causes any serious damage and repair and replace damaged cells. The oxidative stress itself also helps identify the toxins and helps them to move out through the excretory channels. All these processes require a high level of redox signaling. Toxic stress, in addition, causes the release of certain hormones associated with toxic load. For example, the kidneys will release a hormone called renin when they are under a high toxic stress. Renin is designed to increase the blood pressure needed in order to push the toxins out faster. Of course, water (proper hydration) is always regulated and beneficial to excretory processes…