Actually this extends to all aerobic exercise, but I’ll get to that. I used to jog in my 20s and 30s, but despite its head-clearing and apparent energy-boost, I instinctively felt that such intense exercise was questionable. And this wasn’t due to the jarring impact on my knees and ankles. No, it took me another thirty years to figure it out. Today, in my late 60s, I do half-mile sprints on the treadmill at the gym once a week, but I’ve learned to counteract its downside effects.
I’ve been a writer and editor for fifty years, which is very sedentary work, but I’ve kept in shape and disease-free all these years by practicing yoga daily, starting in my late teens. Ten years ago my agent sent me a manuscript by a Nobel-prize-nominated scientist, Dr. Richard Lippman, an expert in anti-aging, who wanted to write a book about his specialty. I was fascinated by his research on antioxidants going back to 1980 — and then a light went off.
The first line that grabbed my attention was, “…Our bodies convert an exact percentage of the oxygen we burn daily into the deadliest poisons on the planet, free radicals, which is more deadly than cyanide.” Like everybody into health, I had known about free radicals and antioxidants for years, but until Lippman equated them with cyanide, it wasn’t driven home.
Without getting too technical, the mitochondria of every cell is where glucose and oxygen are combined to produce the body’s energy supply, ATP (adenosine triphosphate). During this oxidation metabolism, an enormous amount of oxides of various kinds are formed — free radicals, unbounded electrons. Fortunately for us humans, unlike other mammals like our dogs and cats, primates have evolved a defense mechanism in the form of enzymes like SOD (superoxide dismutase) and others that absorb most of these free radicals under normal circumstances, i.e., sitting home and watching TV or driving your car, and not running five miles at a time.
What happens with intense aerobic exercise is that the body is called upon to produce too much energy too fast, and the natural enzymes that protect us from free radical damage are overwhelmed and they flood the body. In fact, the ratio Lippman came up with is 8x, or eight times as many free radicals are formed, which is the same ratio produced by drug addicts using methamphetamine. So, as I point out in my book, A Guide to Energetic Healing, that is the “high” runners feel, or so it is assumed.
But, before you stock up on vitamins C, D and E, with minimal benefit, let me tell another story. After Richard self-published his book, Staying 40, I edited another book. At one point, an out-of-the-blue synchronicity, I told the author about Lippman’s research, and he told me about Dr. Patrick Flanagan and his Microhydrin. Flanagan is a maverick scientist, the guy who brought us the pyramid-shaped, food-storage craze in the 1980s and who discovered a way to fuse hydrogen ions into silica for the most powerful antioxidant imaginable.
He had worked with a Romanian scientist, Dr. Henri Coanda, who had spent 60 years looking for “the fountain of youth,” going to villages in the high-mountains areas where everyone lived disease-free into their 100s. It was from drinking the glacier water. Flanagan analyzed the water samples and discovered huge amounts of hydrogen ions, which are also present in the waters of Lourdes, France. One capsule of his Microhydrin, later sold as “Hydrogen Boost,” has the antioxidant equivalent of 10,000 glasses of orange juice. I’ve been taking one or two a day for the last ten years.
So, by taking a strong antioxidant like “Hydrogen Boost,” or “Mega Hydrate,” as it is now sold, you can run a marathon and let the hydrogen ions gobble up the extra free radicals. And if taken daily, it could add thirty healthy years or more to your life. This claim is based on research by Richard’s hero, Dr. Denham Harman, who was jogger into his 80s. He became fascinated with “the puzzle of aging,” and in 1968 published his anti-aging research in which by feeding mice a strong antioxidant he produced a 45 percent increase in their lifespan. He died at the age of 98 from a short illness.
You do the math.