Bestcare - Antioxidants: A Daily Regimen
There are many different types of antioxidants. Enzymes can be antioxidants, vitamins can be antioxidants and phytonutrients such as carotenoids can be antioxidants to name just a few. Recent studies have shown that many common foods have some antioxidant abilities, and marketers are starting to mention this in advertising and on product labels as a selling point. In just the last few years foods such as blueberries, spinach and oranges have been marketed as antioxidants. But we’re also hearing that coffee, tea and even beer are also antioxidants. Who should we believe?
To be honest, all of these products probably have some antioxidant properties. But there are two critical points to consider when judging antioxidant consumption and deciding what you should eat and what supplements you should take: First is antioxidant strength. In order to derive benefits from free radical elimination, for example, you can eat lots and lots of a food that has a low level of antioxidant activity, or you can take a concentrated supplement in pill form that has a very high level of antioxidant activity.
The second point to consider somewhat contradicts the first: Antioxidants are best taken with an assortment of other antioxidants. Antioxidants work together and can actually be synergistic: Two or three antioxidants can have a combined effect greater than the sum of the individual antioxidants. Here is where eating a varied diet with a minimum of five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables comes into play. You cannot get the variety of antioxidants in their natural states that exist in nine servings of produce from a bottle. But what you can and should do to ensure proper antioxidant protection is:
Eat a good diet each day with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably nine servings!)
- Take a high quality multivitamin
- Take a green food supplement like Spirulina
- Take a powerful antioxidant like Natural Astaxanthin
By following this diet and supplement regimen, you’ll get a great diversity of antioxidants from the produce with all its live enzymes and phytonutrients. You’ll get good amounts of vitamin antioxidants such as natural Vitamin E and C as well as commonly missed antioxidants like selenium from a good multivitamin. You’ll cover lots of potentially missed antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients from a good green food supplement like Spirulina. And last but not least, you’ll get powerful, concentrated free radical elimination and singlet oxygen quenching from Natural Astaxanthin.
Nature’s Ultimate Antioxidant: Astaxanthin!
Astaxanthin has been shown in many different experiments to be the strongest natural antioxidant known to science. There are many different ways to measure antioxidant strength. One popular measurement used quite extensively today is called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC, as developed by Brunswick Labs, Norton, Massachusetts, USA). But, according to Brunswick Labs, the ORAC test is not a good measurement for oil soluble carotenoids like Astaxanthin; so Astaxanthin is usually measured by alternate methods. And it’s important to remember that ORAC testing is only one of many ways to measure antioxidants; it is not necessarily a better way than others, and in fact, it only measures effectiveness against one free radical called “peroxyl radicals.” Since it doesn’t work well for oil soluble antioxidants, ORAC testing is limited in the scope of what it can tell us. The best way to measure antioxidants is in a series of head-to-head tests of important metrics such as free radical elimination and singlet oxygen quenching. Free radicals and particularly singlet oxygen are the substances running around in our bodies causing oxidation, damaging cells, and generally wreaking havoc; hence, it’s logical that the best way to measure anti-oxidant strength is to see how effective various substances are at neutralizing free radicals and singlet oxygen. This type of testing has been done many times pitting Astaxanthin against a variety of antioxidants; and Astaxanthin consistently comes out on top.
Many of the experiments done which prove that Astaxanthin is the world’s strongest natural antioxidant are very similar in nature. Rather than list fifteen or twenty such studies, we’ll examine a few of the most striking studies. Since singlet oxygen are so destructive, we’ll look at two experiments in which Natural Astaxanthin’s singlet oxygen quenching ability was measured against some very well-known antioxidants. And as an example of the superior free radical eliminating strength of Natural Astaxanthin, we’ll review a fascinating study done at Creighton University where Natural Astaxanthin was pitted against some commonly used antioxidants. (What makes this study so fascinating is that one antioxidant that is not commonly used was also included—synthetic Astaxanthin. Most people would think “Astaxanthin is Astaxanthin...Synthetic, Natural— what’s the difference?” Well, as we’ll find out later, there is a HUGE difference between these two seemingly related compounds—not only in terms of where they come from and how they’re shaped, but also in terms of their effectiveness.)
How much stronger is Astaxanthin’s antioxidant activity than Vitamin C and Vitamin E? How about compared to CoQ10? Alpha lipoic acid? Green tea catechins? If you’re guessing that it’s 25% stronger, you should guess again. Twice as strong? You’re still way off. Five times stronger? Not even close.
OK, we’ll end this game before you get bored. You can find the six products mentioned above sold in health food stores, pharmacies, supermarkets— pretty much anywhere supplements are sold. And all of these products have been touted as being great antioxidants. Yet in the studies below, Natural Astaxanthin ranged from 18 times stronger than Pycnogenol to as much as 6000 times stronger than Vitamin C!
The results are clear—Natural Astaxanthin is enormously more powerful in quenching singlet oxygen than other famous antioxidants. In the chart below, we’ve listed the antioxidants tested in this study, and we show how many times weaker in singlet oxygen quenching they are than Astaxanthin. Then, we list how many mg of these supplements you’d have to take to get the same level of singlet oxygen neutralizing activity that you’d get in one Natural Astaxanthin 4mg softgel, the most commonly used dose.
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