The monooxygenase also is the focus of explanations for why radiation suppresses the immune response and causes cancer. Radiation breaks an essential cofactor in the monooxygenase, riboflavin, into either lumichrome or lumiflavin, depending upon the conditions of exposure. Instead of oxidizing the vitaletheine modulators in a controlled fashion, these breakdown products churn out reactive oxygen species when exposed to light and air, underscoring the importance of protective antioxidants in our diets. Anyone who has been out in the sun too long can attest to the health consequences of too much UV exposure. Blistering of the skin is a direct consequence of this exposure and the monooxygenase is further implicated in this process by the observation that many unnatural substrates for the monooxygenase that also uncouple its activities (such as the cysteamine analogue, o-aminothiophenol) are vesicants that cause blistering when they contact the skin.
The reactive oxygen species supra produce lipid epoxides when they contact the fat in our bodies. Lipid epoxides in turn react with (soak up and inactivate) both therapeutic vitaletheine modulators and ones that the body produces naturally. There also is evidence that irradiation with UV light causes a direct rearrangement of vitalethine-like molecules into tetramers that promote the growth of both, tumors and natural cells, instead of having the potent tumor-negating activities of vitalethine or its sulfenate-linked benzyl derivative.
These observations reinforce concerns that too much light pollution and exposure to radiation can be very harmful to us by destroying the very mechanisms our bodies use to fight off cancer and other diseases. Destruction of riboflavin by light to produce antagonists of this important nutrient and enzymic cofactor also means that our foodstuffs need to be adequately shielded from light and irradiation exposures. This reality seems to be lost on a food industry that would irradiate our food to enhance its shelf life and appearance in the store. If bacteria won't eat it, we should ask ourselves if there is enough nutritional value remaining to justify purchasing it for our own consumption.
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