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Schematic representation of mechanisms accounting for mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilisation

by: Michael Ash BSc DO ND F.DipION+, Prof. Garth L. Nicolson, Ph.D.*

+Clinical Education, Devon UK

*Department of Molecular Pathology, The Institute for Molecular Medicine, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

If the fundamental biological maxim– ‘structure subserves function’ – remains paramount, the evolutionary commitment to generating, managing and maintaining the vast array of lipids required by humans to survive and prosper has presented science with a complex task to fully elucidate our lipid repertoire and determine their biological functions. .  Arguably the most important of these lipids are the phospholipids that are the mainstay of all cellular membranes. The wide variety of cellular and organelle membranes and the existence of special membrane lipid regions and domains allows for the design of specific lipid replacement therapies to support and maintain the structure and function of cellular membranes. The authors discuss some of the biological processes and evolving strategies related to lipid replacement therapy and its use along with antioxidants for the constitutive management of mitochondrial and other cellular membranes as well as the functional gains from the utilisation of lipid replacement to improve cellular membranes biological functions.

Looking at Life Through Redox Glasses

Thursday, 20 October 2011 by | Comments: 1

Richard Deth, Ph.D., is a neuropharmacologist and professor of pharmacology at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Deth has published scientific studies on the role of D4 dopamine receptors in psychiatric disorders, as well as the book, Molecular Origins of Human Attention: The Dopamine-Folate Connection. His current research is directed toward understanding the roles of redox and methylation in autism, and he has served on the scientific advisory boards of the National Autism Association, the Autism Research Institute and Generation RescueFocus: You say you view life through redox glasses—not the proverbial rose-colored glasses—and that this perspective has changed how you see life and health. Can you tell us about that?

RD: In the simplest terms, maintaining life can be viewed as the ability to resist oxidation. Oxygen is essential to life, but oxygen is like fire. It can be very damaging and needs to be controlled by antioxidants, known as “reducing” molecules. Balancing reduction and oxidation—or redox–is the fundamental challenge of life. What’s great about that word, redox, is that it shows that they are profoundly linked and that we need both. Once you understand this relationship, it leads to all kinds of new insights.

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