magnesium peroxide (MgO2):
a salt composed of the magnesium cation and the dibasic peroxide anion. MgO2 has been used orally for broad spectrum medicinal purposes. Upon reaction with water it slowly releases H2O2.

malic acid (COOH-CH2-CHOH-COOH):
hydroxysuccinic acid; the acid found in apples and certain other fruit. Malate is part of the Kreb's cycle and is dehydrogenated within mitochondria to produce NADH. Malic acid can also enter the mitochondria from the cytoplasm so as to shuttle in reducing equivalents.

malondialdehyde (MDA) (CHO-CH2-CHO):
a small 3 carbon molecule with a central methene group attached to 2 aldehyde groups. MDA is a breakdown product of lipid peroxides, which were produced by peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

manganese (Mn):
a multivalent transition metal. Cations of Mn can dismutate superoxide an important protective role in mitochondria and in bacteria. Mn activates several other types of enzymes.

the method or means by which molecules interact; the explanation for how a chemical reaction takes place; the details pertaining to how an enzyme functions.

vitamin K3; 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone; a synthetic form of vitamin K and potent activator of prothrombin synthesis. Menadione has demonstrated hydrogen shuttling, antiallergic, antibacterial, and antineoplastic effects.

mercaptide (RSH):
a thiol; any organic compound with a thiol group. All such compounds form strong ligand bonds with mercury II (Hg++).

2-mercaptoethanol (CH2SH-CH2OH):
a analogue of ethyl alcohol having a thiol group at the alpha carbon atom. 2-mercaptoethanol is useful in research as a test reductant. Many enzymes, which were converted to disulfides by oxidants and thereby inhibited, can be reactivated by this compound.

mercapturic acid:
N-acetyl-L-cysteine-S-xenobiotic; the final excretory product of xenobiotic conjugation with glutathione. Elevated urinary mercapturates is a sign of excessive xenobiotic exposure and suggests secondary glutathione depletion.

mercury (Hg):
a heavy metal which is oxidizable in vivo by peroxidases to become mercury II (Hg++). Hg++ binds readily and tightly to virtually all thiols/mercaptides (RSH). This characteristic makes Hg and most compounds of Hg such as methyl mercury (Ch3Hg+) highly toxic at very low levels. Many oxidoreductases require redox active thiols as part of their reactive mechanism. Ligand binding to mercury can permanently inhibit these enzymes at doses as low as one Hg++ cation per enzyme equivalent. Only other thiols such as specialized chelators can reverse this inhibition.

the chemical activity of living things; a biochemical process; the pathways by which certain substances are processed in vivo.

substances which are chemically produced by living things; any biochemical product such as: a nutrient activation product, an intermediary product, a waste product, or a detoxified xenobiotic.

metal toxicity:
enzymatic inhibition by attachment of metal cations to certain electronegative ligands of the enzyme; or the production of oxyradicals by redox cycling of metal cations as they undergo single electron shifts of valence. The cations of various heavy metals tend to bind tightly to thiol groups, rendering them nonfunctional. Nitrogenous groups such as amines and imines can similarly be disabled by toxic metals.

metallothionein (MT):
any of several proteins rich in cysteine and found in most organisms studied. MT binds metal cations as a chelating agent or carrier molecule. MT can bind up to seven cations per peptide. MT is also induced in response to oxidative stress, its numerous thiol groups serving as rechargeable reductive antioxidants. Oxidized MT forms mixed disulfides with itself and with other thiols such as glutathione. MT is released in response to inflammation and is responsible for a the temporary decline in free zinc levels found in acute infections. MT can hold toxic metals such as mercury (Hg++) inside stressed cells preventing its release to chelating agents.

a disabled form of hemoglobin in which the iron atom in its functional center has been oxidized from the ferrous (Fe++) to the ferric (Fe+++) condition. Unlike oxyhemoglobin, methemoglobin is unable to hold nor deliver diatomic oxygen.

methylene blue:
an organic molecule composed of 3 adjacent rings and an extensively conjugated system of pi bonds enabling its uv-viz spectrum to strongly transmit blue. The middle ring is heterocyclic with 1 atom of nitrogen and 1 atom of sulfur and a positive charge causing attraction towards negatively charged reactive groups, hence its usefulness as a stain. Methylene blue also functions as a weak oxidant in vivo oxidizing thiol groups (RSH) resulting in broad spectrum antibiotic and disinfectant effects against bacteria and parasites. Once reduced it can go on to donate extra electrons to stronger oxidants, hence its ability to shuttle electrons from glutathione (GSH) to methemoglobin.

methylglyoxal (MG)(CH3-CO-CHO):
2-oxopropanal; pyruvic aldehyde; a three carbon aldehyde with a keto group alpha to the aldehyde group. MG can be rapidly cleared by the action of glyoxalase which converts it to lactic acid. Reduced glutathione (GSH) is a cofactor required for glyoxalase to function. Like certain other alpha-keto-aldehydes, MG is an antiproliferative agent.

methylguanidine (CH3-NH-CNH-NH2):
a product of protein putrifaction involving the anaerobic metabolism of arginine.

preferring to live and multiply in an environment of low oxygen tension; able to live optimally with little oxygen.

microgram (mcg):
one millionth of a gram; 10 exp -6 gram.

mild silver protein:
an antiseptic/antibacterial colloid composed of small amounts of silver cation (Ag+) bound to the ligands of various proteins.

milligram (mg):
one thousandth of a gram; 10 exp -3 gram.

mitochondrion / mitochondria:
a tiny intracellular organelle which possesses two membranes, specialized enzymes, and its own DNA. Mitochondria serve several functions including: oxidative deamination, the conversion of ammonia to urea, the processing of numerous carboxylic acids to generate NADH and CO2, the phosphorylation of ADP, and the absorbtion of reducing equivalents from the cytosol by shuttles.

mixed function oxidase (MFO):
an enzyme complex which adds one atom of oxygen to a wide variety of substrates or xenobiotics; phase one of xenobiotic detoxification. MFO converts aromatic compounds into epoxides and phenols. It consumes two reducing equivalents to convert one of the atoms of diatomic oxygen to H2O, while delivering the other to the substrate. Its several redox active components catalyze other reactions such as: the reduction of quinones to hydroquinones, or the reductive conversion of chlorocarbons to chloride anions plus carbon centered free radicals.

molybdenum (Mo):
a metalloid which is part of the active center of certain oxidoreductases. These dehydrogenate xanthines, aldehydes, and sulfites. The sequence is believed to occur first by reduction of Mo, then FAD, and then O2. Superoxide radical (-OO*) is produced. Deficiency of Mo has been associated with sulfite intolerance.

monoamine oxidase (MAO):
an oxidoreductase which dehydrogenates monoamines converting them to terminal imines which spontaneously hydrolyze to release ammonia and an aldehyde. MAO is found between the inner and outer layers of mitochondria. It physiologically degrades certain neurotransmitters and detoxifies numerous other amines.

monoatomic oxygen (O or *O* or [O]):
one atom of oxygen. This product of the high energy split of diatomic oxygen (O2) adds to other O2 producing ozone (O3). Ozone (O3) and chlorine dioxide (ClO2) can release one atom of oxygen to certain organic compounds. O is produced and held by cytochrome P 450 within the MFO system and added to xenobiotics. The reaction produces epoxides and phenols.

an atomic or molecular species which has exchanged only one electron; the characteristic of having lost one electron; for a metal, possessing the charge of plus one.

able to exist in more than one oxidation state. The concept is normally applied to transition metals but can also apply to redox active organic molecules.

an oxido-reductase which reduces hydrogen peroxide to produce water and which removes electrons from the chloride anion and thereby generates hypochlorite anion (ClO-). This enzyme increases the variety of strong caustic oxidants produced by immune cells to attack invading pathogens.