More About The Effects Of Hydrogen Peroxide

The article I sent you all last week about the “reverse Warburg effect” was well received on the whole. It’s a new theory that could deepen our understanding of how cancer lives and thrives.

There were three basic responses, all variations of the following:

  1. Great! Very interesting, thanks…
  2. You’re rubbish, condoning orthodox medical science again (those are the ones I called “holistic” bigots, always on duty to protect cherished bogus theories and hoot down anything that’s different to what they learned).
  3. I don’t fully understand the hydrogen peroxide thing. Please clarify.

2 and 3 probably lack data. The 1s could also benefit from increased understanding of what is really quite a tricky molecular biology subject.

I didn’t want the message to be too long and overwhelming, so I maybe gave too little data. I’m going to correct that now, with this posting.

The confusion, repeated again and again, was: “I thought hydrogen peroxide was good stuff and killed cancer cells; how could it possibly help feed cancer at the same time?”

Fact: hydrogen peroxide kills EVERYTHING! It’s very toxic; one of the most vicious of all the “free radicals”.

Oxidative Damage

Remember how we talk about “oxidative damage”? Oxidation means one of two things: donating unwanted oxygen, like in the rusting process, or ripping away electrons from biological molecules. They are actually similar but we usually think in terms of the second process.

Biological molecules get damaged due to having electrons ripped off; they may change into toxins or may themselves go on the hunt for replacement electrons, so they too become oxidative and swipe electrons from other molecules.

In fact a dangerous a chain reaction may get started, with everything going grab-grab-grab on the search for electrons. It’s like the game “pass the parcel” but everyone who touches the parcel gets hurt; see?

Hydrogen peroxide is so deadly that our white blood cells use it to wipe out pathogens (including cancer cells). But this is a very CONTROLLED process.

Leucocytes release hydrogen peroxide for a deadly “zap” but then it is neutralized almost instantly by our anti-oxidants, before it can hurt healthy tissue. This is the reason we need anti-oxidants, folks! We need them to protect us from ourselves. Without anti-oxidants present in excess, everyday metabolism releases excess free radicals, which then age us and may lead to cancer.

Also, the body secretes an enzyme called catalase, which instantly digests and neutralizes hydrogen peroxide, once it has killed the pathogens. Phew!

The thing is, this is all conventional science; nothing controversial here.

You might be wondering how cells, including cancer cells, can handle hydrogen peroxide at all, since it is so dangerous. Why don’t they get killed? Because of the protective effect of catalase.

It’s similar to the fact that stomach cells don’t get burned by the hydrochloric acid they secrete or the pancreas cells don’t get digested by the enzymes they produce. Nature has it figured out.

Incidentally, one of the reasons that glutathione is a powerful antioxidant is that it provides floods of electrons. To continue the metaphor, it neutralizes the parcel and puts it in the trash, so nobody gets hurt.

Now the use of H2O2 as an oxygenator is something else. You will see that hydrogen peroxide is almost exactly the same as water (H2O): each molecule has just one extra atom of oxygen. That easily splits off and releases oxygen. The oxygen is very violent on its own but as soon as it pairs up, it goes quiet, just like the friendly oxygen in the atmosphere.

Two hydrogen peroxide molecules will dissociate and release two oxygen atoms, which then pair up and keep each other happy. As a chemical equation, it looks like this:

H2O2 + H2O2 = (2 x H2O) + O2

Now I don’t think I need to go into the beneficial effects of oxygen. That’s what Otto Warburg started us off on. We’re back to my original article on Dr. Michael Lisanti’s theory he called “reverse Warburg”.

I hope this (incomplete) explanation helps. If you were confused before, you might want to go back and re-read the new theory, which I think is exciting and very credible.

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