If you are getting enough antioxidants, your Antioxidant Need / Oxidative Stress w/ Supplements score will drop. If it is being reported as 'Minor', then you are taking enough. If 'Moderate' or Significant', antioxidants will be advised in your treatment section. Continued Antioxidants is advised when you are already taking some. The amount can be increased further as needed to lower the Antioxidant Need / Oxidative Stress w/ Supplements score.
Antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals in the body. However, each time an antioxidant molecule interacts with an antioxidant, it also is neutralized; thus, a constant replenishing of antioxidants in the system is necessary.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a term which encompasses all highly reactive, oxygen-containing molecules, including free radicals. Types of ROS include the hydroxyl radical, the superoxide anion radical, hydrogen peroxide, singlet oxygen, nitric oxide radical, hypochlorite radical, and various lipid peroxides. All are capable of reacting with membrane lipids, nucleic acids, proteins and enzymes, and other small molecules, resulting in cellular damage. ROS are generated by a number of biochemical pathways.
To combat these ROS requires a range of different antioxidants. Different types are more effective against different free radicals. A balanced diet (or supplementation system) will include antioxidants of several different types. Specific diseases may respond to some antioxidants better than others.
To protect the cells and organ systems of the body against reactive oxygen species, humans have evolved a highly sophisticated and complex antioxidant protection system. It involves a variety of components, both from within your body and from without, that function interactively and synergistically to neutralize free radicals.
These components include:
Nutrient-derived antioxidants like ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopherols and tocotrienols (vitamin E), carotenoids, and other low molecular weight compounds such as glutathione and lipoic acid. Lipoic acid (alpha lipoic acid) is somewhat unique in that it is both water- and fat-soluble. Cysteine (also as NAC) and glutamine are considered to be rate limiting steps in the production of glutathione and as such support the body's antioxidant defense system. Pycnogenol and grape seed extract are examples of nutrient derived antioxidants.
Numerous other antioxidant phytonutrients are present in a wide variety of plant foods. Phenolic compounds such as flavonoids are ubiquitous within the plant kingdom: approximately 3,000 flavonoid substances have been described. In humans, flavonoids appear to function as “biological response modifiers.” Flavonoids have been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral, antiaging, and anticarcinogenic activity. The broad therapeutic effects of flavonoids can be largely attributed to their antioxidant properties. The best way to ensure an adequate intake of phytonutrients is to eat a diet rich in a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrient supplements are also now widely available.
Regulatory molecules and antioxidant enzymes. Superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase catalyze free radical quenching reactions. The antioxidant enzymes require micronutrient cofactors such as selenium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese for optimum catalytic activity. An inadequate dietary intake of these trace minerals may compromise the effectiveness of these antioxidant defense mechanisms. CoQ10 is also synthesized in all tissues and in healthy individuals normal levels are maintained both by CoQ10 intake and by the body's synthesis of CoQ10.
Nitric oxide (NO), discovered to be produced by mammalian cells only in the 1980’s, is a regulatory molecule that has come under increasing interest and scrutiny due to its role as an important mediator of homeostatic processes and immunity. NO is believed to participate in the regulation of the oxidation/reduction potential of various cells and may be involved in either the protection against or the induction of oxidative stress within various tissues, depending upon its concentration. Emerging evidence suggests that some diseases are related to either an inadequate or excessive production of NO. Furthermore, changes in the concentration of arginine, an amino acid from which NO is formed, may influence NO generation and activity. Other nutrients that may have an impact on NO generation and activity include riboflavin, niacin, folate, folic acid, vitamin B12, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and various antioxidants. NO is made from the amino acid arginine.
Metal binding proteins, such as ferritin, lactoferrin, albumin, and ceruloplasmin that sequester free iron and copper ions that are capable of catalyzing oxidative reactions.
Protection against the hazards of modern life and illness is dependent upon the adequacy of various antioxidant
substances that are derived either directly or indirectly from the diet. Consequently, an inadequate intake of antioxidant nutrients may compromise antioxidant potential, thus compounding overall oxidative stress.
The natural antioxidant found in broccoli and BroccoSprouts® (glucoraphanin, also known as sulforaphane
glucosinolate (SGS)) has been shown to be longer lasting than Vitamin C, E and A in removing free radicals from the body. SGS activates the body's own natural antioxidant defense system, including Phase 2 Detoxification enzymes.
The long-lasting activity of SGS was discovered by scientists at Johns Hopkins University Medical School while studying the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Only Brassica teas are patented and licensed by Johns Hopkins University under US patents.
You can find Brassica teas in 4 Chinese Sencha green tea flavors (green tea with SGS, decaffeinated green tea with SGS, green tea with lemon and SGS and green tea with orange and SGS) and 2 Chinese black tea flavors (Black tea with SGS and decaffeinated black tea with SGS.) Our decaf teas are naturally decaffeinated and GMO and chemical free. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of all Brassica Teas will go to the Brassica Foundation for biomedical research on vegetables.
The largest and most advanced analysis of the antioxidant content of common foods to date shows that disease-fighting antioxidants may be found in unexpected fruits and vegetables, such as beans, artichokes, and even the much-maligned Russet potato. Researchers found that small red beans contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than both wild and cultivated blueberries, which have been heralded in recent years for their high antioxidant content. In fact, three of the top five antioxidant-rich foods studied were beans.
Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries were ranked highest among the fruits studied. Beans, artichokes, and Russet potatoes were tops among the vegetables.
Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts were the winners in the nut category, and ground cloves, cinnamon, and oregano were the top three antioxidant-rich spices. [Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 9, 2004]
Ruby Reds is an example of a dietary supplement containing antioxidants that helps make up the difference between the nutritional intake that you need to stay healthy and what you’re actually getting in the food you eat. Unlike vitamin pills, Ruby Reds is made from real foods. Ruby Reds is a nutritious power pack of fruit and vegetable concentrates, enhanced with key factors like probiotics, enzymes, fiber and grape seed extract.
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 27, 2007 — A new meta-analysis examining the effect of antioxidant supplements on all-cause mortality published in the Feb. 28, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) misuses meta-analysis methods to create generalized conclusions that may inappropriately confuse and alarm consumers who can benefit from supplementing with antioxidants, said the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry.
“Healthy consumers can feel confident in continuing to take antioxidants for the benefits they provide. This meta-analysis does nothing to change those facts,” said CRN’s Andrew Shao, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs. “While meta-analyses can be useful when the included studies are very similar in design and study population, this meta-analysis combined studies that differ vastly from each other in a number of important ways that compromise the results.”
For example, the meta-analysis included clinical trials that varied widely in terms of dosage, duration, study population and nutrients tested—such as data from a one-day study with a vitamin A dose of 200,000 IU mixed with data from other studies lasting years. In addition, many of the clinical trials included in the meta-analysis tested nutrients beyond those that were the focus of the article (vitamins A, C, and E; beta-carotene; selenium), including lutein and zinc, making it difficult to appropriately evaluate the contribution of those trials to the overall meta-analysis.
“It’s like comparing apples and oranges,” said Dr. Shao.
Moreover, the overwhelming majority of the clinical trials included in the meta-analysis tested for secondary prevention, looking at how a nutrient works in those who already are diseased, instead of primary prevention studies in healthy populations.
“Combining secondary prevention and primary prevention trials and then making conclusions for the entire population is an unsound scientific approach,” said Dr. Shao. “Additionally, many of the treatment trials had limitations, including the expectation that a simple antioxidant vitamin could be expected to overturn serious illness, such as cancer or heart disease. These trials likely statistically skewed the results.”
Dr. Shao further pointed out, “The study authors concluded that overall there was no effect of antioxidant supplements on all-cause mortality. It was only after the researchers divided the chosen clinical trials into ‘high risk bias’ and ‘low risk bias’ groups, using their own criteria, that they observed a statistically significant effect on mortality. This meta-analysis appears to be a predetermined conclusion in search of a method to support it.”