The Antioxidant Prescription: How to Use the Power of Antioxidants to Prevent Disease and Stay Healthy for Life

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9780307355850: The Antioxidant Prescription: How to Use the Power of Antioxidants to Prevent Disease and Stay Healthy for Life

Dr. Bryce Wylde, one of Canada's most popular and respected health care practitioners, gives us individualized step-by-step treatment plans to fight disease and stay healthy.

In The Antioxidant Prescription, homeopathic doctor and nutritionist Bryce Wylde addresses what science has discovered to be the true underlying cause of disease: free radicals. These deadly little molecules have many causes, from injury and stress to environmental toxins, genetic predisposition and even the natural by-products of your body's metabolism. Free radicals cause oxidation, a process that damages cells and can lead to rapid aging, heart disease, Alzheimer's and even cancer. We all make free radicals. Some people, however, produce them at alarming levels, and those who do are almost certain to battle disease and live shorter, unhealthier lives.

Luckily, free radical damage can be avoided. Antioxidants stop free radicals form damaging other cells in your body and protect you against disease. With The Antioxidant Prescription, Dr. Wylde enables you to recognize the warning signs of free radical damage and make an accurate assessment of your body's free radical load. He'll introduce you to the medical testing available to determine whether you will benefit from high dose antioxidant therapy as well as the new research around mind over health matters. With his help, you will be able to design and implement a customized antioxidant plan based on your age, lifestyle, environment, stress levels and medical history.

As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With The Antioxidant Prescription you'll be equipped with tools to take preventive action against conditions that lurk within your genetic code. This book is the perfect prescription for lasting health.

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About the Author:

One of Canada’s leading alternative health experts, Bryce Wylde is a respected homeopathic doctor and functional medicine nutritionist and the director of the Vaughan Medical Centre, a 6000 square foot medical facility in Ontario which integrates conventional medicine with natural medicine and physical therapies. Wylde has his own call-in television show, Wylde on Health, on CP24, lectures and makes many appearances in the media "debunking the junk" in this burgeoning area of health care, and empowering consumers to make educated choices in the realm of natural and alternative therapies. He is on the advisory board of the Ontario Homeopathic Association and teaches at the Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

THE HUMAN HEALTH THRESHOLD

We live in an era strangely cursed and blessed. We’re increasingly surrounded by invisible dangers our great-grandparents could not have dreamed of. In fact, until recently, most of us hardly dreamed of them ourselves. But what we once suspected or heard rumoured, we now know for certain: Our air, our water, our food and many of the everyday objects we employ are a constant threat to our health and safety. And yet – and this is the blessed part – this same knowledge is our hope for a bright future for ourselves and for humanity at large.

The subject of human health is almost unimaginably vast, and our body’s interactions with our surroundings are almost too complex to grasp. But in this book I’m going to zoom in and focus on the meaning of human health through the lens of a single natural phenomenon – I’m tempted to say “drama” – that plays out at a scale so tiny that ordinary microscopes cannot see its workings. There are villains in this drama but, as in any good story, these characters are dynamic. The fact is they often spend much of their time doing us a tremendous service. Even if we were able to round every one of them up and do them in, we’d be the ones to suffer in the end. That’s why our task will be to understand them first, then deal with them wisely – perhaps I should say “humanely,” since they’re a necessary part of life.

This gang of wild molecules are called “free radicals.” They’re notorious these days and almost everyone has heard their name. Wanted posters appear regularly advertising methods for their capture and execution. I recently saw a video game devoted to a free radical mission. Yet a great deal remains to be conveyed about their behaviour and how we need to respond to that behaviour in order to stay healthy or to regain our health. Much of this hasn’t been conveyed, in part because it’s a breaking science story.

We hear even more these days about antioxidants, the molecules that neutralize free radicals and are supposed to be on our side in this battle. Are they the cure-alls they’re made out to be? Are some antioxidants better than others? Can we swallow too many antioxidants? To establish your knowledge level about both free radicals and antioxidants before you carry on, take a moment to do the quiz you’ll find in Appendix A.

In this book, I’m going to set out what you need to know about free radicals. I’m going to show you how and why free radicals lie at the root of all disease. I’m not just talking here about chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and allergies. I’m also talking about diseases that stem from infectious agents – bacteria, parasites and viruses. I’m then going to show how and why the antioxidant family of molecules works to offset the destructive impact of free radicals. Finally – based on the latest science – I’m going to show you how you can determine your own free radical and antioxidant levels and provide you with a simple prescription for supplements, diet and lifestyle that will balance your body’s supply – or burden – of both these families of potent molecules.
THE SPROUTS AND I

I grew up in Toronto, Canada, a vegetarian and unvaccinated. I had the sort of mom who you could imagine treating the common cold by putting garlic between her son’s toes, covering his feet with cold, wet socks to bring down a fever and maybe administering a twice-daily concoction of eye of newt and bat wing. In fact she did practise the cold-sock therapy and it turned out to be one of her good ideas. I also began every morning by swallowing ten vitamins and minerals. Our soaps and shampoos smelled of tea tree oil and were certainly free of harmful agents, though otherwise, er, not perfected. Junk food in my family was a sesame seed snap. Anything with sugar in it was considered to be deadly, and eating hotdogs was equivalent to swallowing poison. Birthday cakes were suspect. I went to school every day with a SoyPro, sprouts-and-tomato sandwich on thick German-style bread, the kind you could see the grains in. Needless to say, I kept this lunch hidden for fear of being ridiculed and possibly beaten. On occasion, I was able to “misplace” my lunch altogether and claim the peanut butter and jelly on soda crackers that the lunch room staff kept for those unfortunates who forgot their lunch.

Our family doctor, Dr. John McLean, was a chiropractor, a homeopath and a naturopath. Unless we were near death, my mother wouldn’t bring us near the regular medical profession for fear its practitioners would fill us with antibiotics or surgically remove some vital organ we’d most certainly need later in life. I should mention that my mother’s view of the medical profession was very different then than mine is now.

When I grew older, I determined to become a clinical psychologist and spent a year volunteering at Toronto’s Queen Street Mental Health Centre. My first day there was spent talking to a schizophrenic man in the patient library who was threatening to inject himself with Javex. After a year or so of similar efforts, I came to the realization that we were trying to make a difference for people who were little more than pharmaceutical overdose cases. One afternoon I stumbled across some old patient files in the facility’s basement storage room. In them, I found evidence that, back in the early 1950s, some clinicians in that very institution had been incorporating homeopathic medicines with considerable success to treat mental illness. I decided that from that point forward, I’d try to make a real difference in the lives of others, not simply struggle to supersede the side effects of powerful drugs. It would be my mission to prevent people from getting to the point of incarceration in one of these hellholes.

I went to the Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine in Toronto to study homeopathy, nutrition and medical sciences. I’d previously studied mainstream biology and psychology, so it was two years before I felt comfortable with the idea of homeopathy – an alternative medical system with its roots in the late eighteenth century and its practice based on carefully diluted and natural medicines.

Then came an epiphany of sorts: homeopathy did indeed work in the student clinic. It was indeed scientifically validated. There were no real side effects from its treatments. But it also suffered from a great shortcoming: a homeopathic remedy never held its course of healing unless the patient’s case was resolved for what homeopathic practitioners know as “obstacles to cure.” These are the obstacles – observed in almost every case – presented by diet, lifestyle and genetic code that impede the homeopathic medicine from having its full and lasting effect. Practitioners often seemed confused as to why a patient’s recovery was only temporary and the patients often judged homeopathy not to work. This insight – that homeopathic medicines, no matter how effective in the short term weren’t effective in the long term unless the practitioner addressed diet, lifestyle and constitution – led me to my passion for preventative nutrition, preventative antioxidant medicines and preventative vitamin/mineral supplementation. It was my search for the “obstacles to cure” that allowed me to grasp the idea that the actions of free radicals are the underlying cause of all disease. Ultimately, that insight led to my becoming a practitioner of what is now being called “functional medicine” as opposed to “alternative” medicine.

The shortfall of alternative medicine, as I came to see, was that it was stuck in the alternative posture, forever opposing the developments of science-based medicine. Conventional medicine, on the other hand, was stuck opposing many good ideas accepted by alternative practitioners. The medical profession has been highly effective in treating acute and life-threatening conditions and should be held in high regard for that ability. But where I saw regular medicine routinely fail was in the preventative realm and in the treatment of chronic disease. That’s where natural medicine’s search for the underlying causes of illness and its aim to resolve the patient of obstacles to cure can make a real difference. It was clear to me that integrating so-called alternative ideas with the discoveries of medical science was a rich field waiting to be explored.

One of mainstream medicine’s main concerns has been our vulnerability to bacteria, viruses and parasites – the bad guys of the traditional medical drama, which are collectively and politely referred to as “microbes.” We holistic practitioners recognize microbes as ancient agents of human misery, but we’re convinced that an individual’s personal level of health decides his or her reaction to infectious disease agents. Microbes have been with us for eons. Without them, we wouldn’t have evolved to what we are today. In other words, it’s not solely the trillions of agents themselves – the bacteria, viruses, parasites and all the other uglies – that cause disease. Our individual characteristics must play a role, or we’d all be dead from infection. Scientifically educated holistic practitioners recognize that pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and funguses are often major contributing factors in ill health, but they are never the reason why we succumb to illness and eventually die.

Some people get sick when exposed to a flu bug, whereas other (even unvaccinated) people show no debilitating symptoms. Granted, certain people are immune, or perhaps partially immune, as a result of a previous exposure to the organism. But others simply deal with the invader effectively, showing no symptoms of lon...

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