"....Oxidative stress is the result of an excessive formation of chemically unstable byproducts, called free radicals, within the cell. Under normal conditions, the cell is able to destroy the free radicals. However, when excessive free radicals accumulate, these molecules mount an attack against the cell in search of chemical stability. "During oxidative stress, it is as if the free radicals have only one leg," explains Pratico. "They are searching for the second leg in order to keep from falling. Unfortunately, the ability of the excessive free radicals to reestablish their chemical equilibrium comes always with a price for the organ -- irreversible cellular and organ damage."
Free radicals can damage cell membranes, proteins, and genes by oxidation -- the same chemical reaction that causes iron to rust. Pratico and colleagues measured levels of isoprostane, the chemical byproduct of free radicals attacking fat cells and found that patients with autism possess nearly double the level of oxidative stress than that measured in healthy controls......
Autism is a complex neurological disorder and oxidative imbalance is one feature of the autistic syndrome. Several lines of evidence support the hypothesis that oxidative imbalance may also play a role in this disease: autism is characterized by an impaired anti-oxidant defense system, higher free-radical production, and improvement of behavioral symptoms after taking anti-oxidants......"
Gary Moller comments:
This article gives a very comprehensible explanation about free radicals and anti-oxidants and why it is essential that we have sufficient anti-oxidant substances in our bodies; especially during times of oxidative stress, such as injury, infection, environmental pollution or excessive exercise. Anti-oxidants help keep you healthy by neutralising free radicals before they can do harm to healthy cells.
While the authors do not offer a cure for this controversy-ridden condition (autism), they do offer one line of action that parents can follow for its management: ensuring that the autisitc child has a nutrient rich diet that is packed with anti-oxidants. Berries, fresh fruit, leafy and coloured vegetables, Omega 3 oils, nuts and whole grains, for example. Included should be a multi vitamin and a mineral supplement that includes trace minerals like selenium and zinc. If these vitamins and minerals are in tablet form, they can be crushed and then blended into a Super Smoothie.