NHE wrote:Hydrogen peroxide is so counter intuitive for anyone who knows anything about biochemistry that it's inconceivable that someone could recommend this type of treatment to anyone. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidant. When it breaks down it forms free radicals. These free radicals will indiscriminately attack other molecules in the body, everything from DNA to lipids. It's the very thing that biology has evolved antioxidants to get rid of. For example, catalase is a naturally occurring antioxidant enzyme found in liver. It has the highest turnover number of any known enzyme. This means that it reduces dangerous hydrogen peroxide to harmless substances faster than any other known enzyme reaction in the body. This fact exemplifies the importance of getting rid of hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, a quick search through PubMed will yield many articles which report the involvement of various oxidants in MS. Several antioxidants actually have anti-inflammatory activity. These include curcumin, EGCG from green tea, r-lipoic acid and others. Clearly, oxidizing your body isn't a great idea especially for someone with MS.
By the way, if you want to see the fastest known enzymatic reaction in action, then the next time you cook a chicken, save some of the liver, grind it up, and then add some hydrogen peroxide. It'll bubble and foam so put it in a container with adequate room.
NHE wrote:Let's discuss a bit of chemistry. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizing agent. The H-O-O-H breaks down to the free radicals H-O• and H-O-O• which are the hydroxyl and peroxyl free radicals respectively. The single dot indicates that these molecules have a single unpaired electron. It is this unpaired electron which makes them free radicals. Free radicals are inherently unstable and they will attack other molecules stealing an electron and thereby turning that molecule into a free radical which goes on to attack other molecules. In contrast, antioxidants are molecules and enzymes that have the ability to donate an electron without becoming a free radical themselves. One of the examples that I used in my prior post was lipoic acid. This antioxidant has two sulfhydryl groups situated right next to each other. As such, each sulfhydryl group can donate an H• to a free radical and the two remaining sulfur atoms, R-S•, will bind to each other forming a disulfide bond, R-S-S-R (note that R symbolizes the rest of the molecule). In essence, lipoic acid can reduce two free radicals without becoming a free radical itself. A similar process occurs with ascorbic acid, except that here it is the R-OH bond located next to a carbon carbon double bond (C=C) which donates the H• and is converted to an R=O bond. This process is identical to what occurs with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea except that there are many more R-OH's available, 8 in EGCG versus 2 in ascorbic acid. This is what makes EGCG a more potent antioxidant.
So, now that we understand that hydrogen peroxide produces free radicals and thereby induces oxidative stress, it is important to note that oxidative stress is one of the means by which the immune system attacks foreign invaders such as cells infected by bacteria or viruses or cells which posses epitopes which the immune system mistakenly identifies as foreign such a myelin proteins in MS. In essence, oxidative stress can worsen MS. Injecting a substance such as hydrogen peroxide which increases oxidative stress is thus biochemically counterintuitive.
Another example of the dangers of oxidative stress is with an overdose of acetaminophen. The metabolites of acetaminophen are toxic and are rendered less harmful by the liver by using up some of its stores of glutathione (a naturally occurring antioxidant in the body). Under normal dosages, the body is able to compensate for this activity. However, an overdose of acetaminophen will use up a large percentage of the liver's available glutathione resulting in liver failure.
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