Uit The Truth About Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide:
Hydrogen peroxide is NOT a free radical. In the presence
of iron, hydrogen peroxide rapidly breaks down into
hydroxide ions and hydroxyl radicals. (H2O2 > OH- + OH*)
Let’s take a look at these two compounds separately.
OH- designates a hydroxide ion. High concentrations
of hydroxide ions are THE definition of alkalinity.
OH* designates a compound known as a hydroxyl radical.
The hydroxyl radical is the second most highly oxidative
free radical known (The most powerful is fluorine).
“Hydrogen peroxide is almost inert until it meets iron,
regardless of whether the iron is in solution or embedded in
a protein. Hydrogen peroxide reacts [really, really] quickly
with iron to generate hydroxyl radicals… Hydroxyl radicals
attack all proteins, lipids and DNA indiscriminately, initiating
destructive free radical chain reactions that spread damage
and destruction. Hydroxyl radicals are extremely reactive
fragments, the molecular equivalents of random muggers.
They can react with all biological molecules at speeds
approaching their rate of diffusion. This means that they
react with the first molecules in their path and it is virtually
impossible to stop them from doing so. They cause damage
even before leaving the barrel of the gun. If you ever hear
someone talking about antioxidants that ‘scavenge’ hydroxyl
radicals in the body, they won’t know what they’re talking
about. Hydroxyl radicals react so quickly that they attack
the first molecule they meet, regardless of whether it is a
‘scavenger’ or any other molecule. To scavenge hydroxyl
radicals in the body, the scavenger would need to be present
at a higher concentration than all other substances put
together, to give it a higher chance of being in the way. Such
a high level of any substance, even if benign, would kill you
by interfering with the normal function of the cell.”
(Nick Lane, Ph.d., Oxygen, The Molecule That Made the
World, Oxford University Press, 2002, page115-116, ISBN