Rust Proofing Our Bodies

Antioxidants, an essential utensil in our anti-ageing tool box

What makes the difference between average health and optimal health? The answer lies not in the genetic blueprint of your family tree, but in our body’s ability to be well nourished and ‘rustproofed’. Our three top killers in the developed world are cardiovascular disease (encompassing heart attack and stroke), cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes. Your risk of developing any of these diseases has been proven to be directly related to the amount of antioxidants your diet provides. Antioxidants found in food protect our cells against the damage done by free radicals, known as oxidative stress. Damage is particularly intense in the powerhouse of our cells known as the mitochondria. Free radicals are unbound oxygen molecules that bombard and damage our cells and capillaries. Recent research indicates that poorly nourished cells are more vulnerable to oxidative stress and have a higher requirement for antioxidant-rich food and supplements. This creates a double insult, with poor nutrition leading to micro-malnourished, vulnerable cells and an increased need for antioxidant protection in the presence of a diet inadequate for optimal health.

Most natural therapists will be aware of the importance of antioxidants for skin health, rejuvenation, collagen production and the prevention of skin cancers. More importantly antioxidants forge a resilient barrier of protection to cells undergoing renewal. It is at this time of cell division that the mistakes in genetic messages may lead to uncontrolled growth which we call cancer. Incredibly, medical research has only recently confirmed what natural therapists and vets have known for decades: that over 70 percent of the Australian population are micronutrient-malnourished. Regardless of body weight the average Australian on an average Australian diet (the traditional meat and three veggies for dinner) is lacking in at least one or more essential nutrients, in particular the antioxidant group of nutrients. The cause for this is clear.

In 1992 a World Health Organisation survey reported that Australian soils are the most mineral and vitamin deficient of all the soils of the world’s continents. It makes commonsense that the fruit, vegetables and grains cultivated on these soils are also lacking in the nutrients required for optimal human health. Our vets regularly provide supplements for cattle, sheep and horses to prevent and treat nutritional deficiencies, but the medical profession has been kept in the dark about these facts for years.

How to Assess Your Risk of Oxidative Stress

Live blood analysis is a useful health practitioner tool. This can instantly confirm the cellular consequences of poor diet, oxidative stress, by examining a droplet of fresh blood under a microscope. These damaged cells look somewhat like a dried up sultana on live blood analysis. Compare this to a healthy hydrated cell, full of antioxidants, which looks like a luscious, full-bodied grape. The most important defence we have against unfavourable environmental chemicals and our major health challenges is a well nourished body. Sensible supplementation is essential for optimal health when deficiencies are suspected. Plant extracted organic supplements, with high ORAC scores and phenolic content are preferred, together with a balanced organic diet and a healthy bowel.

Dr Karen Coates August 2008 MBBS, Dip Obstets, RACOG

So What Are Free Radicals Anyway?

Free radicals are atoms, molecules or ions that are usually highly reactive and can be produced within the body by natural biological processes or introduced from outside via tobacco smoke, toxins, pollutants and sub-optimal eating habits. Oxidation is a phenomenon that occurs when free radicals ricochet wildly throughout the body and damage cells. Many forms of cancer are thought to be the result of reactions between free radicals and DNA, resulting in mutations that can adversely affect the cell cycle and potentially lead to malignancy. They are also believed to accelerate the progression of cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, and age-related diseases.

Why Do You Need Antioxidants?

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. ORAC, short for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a standardised measurement of the total antioxidant power of a substance. Antioxidant power is the ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. The more free radicals a substance can absorb, the higher it’s ORAC score. Radically Tested! Berry Radical is PROVEN to be rich in antioxidants by Brunswick Laboratories, a world leader in research and diagnostic services related to antioxidants and oxidative stress. The ORAC score of 1 gram of Berry Radical is 1448. So, one 5g sachet of Berry Radical contains over 7000 ORAC units! One 150g box contains over 217,000 ORAC units. ONEgroup Organics Catalogue Update: The test results from Brunswick Laboratories are not reflected in the current 2008 catalogue edition which displays 4,000 ORAC units. These new test results represent an increase of over 75% to 7,000+ ORAC units per serving.

What Are ORAC Units And How Many Do We Need?

ORAC, short for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a standardised measurement of the total antioxidant power of a substance. Antioxidant power is the ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. The more free radicals a substance can absorb, the higher it’s ORAC score. Nutritionists recommend that we consume around 5000 ORAC units per day to significantly impact antioxidant activity in the body and reduce free radical damage. One serving (half a cup) of fruits or vegetables provides approximately 500 ORAC units. If you’re not eating at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, you’re not getting the recommended amount of ORAC units to mop-up the damage caused by free radicals in your body every day. The ORAC (total) score of

Below is the published data of the ORAC score of some high antioxidant foods and supplements:

Food/SupplementAC Score / Serving

100g blueberries - 2400 ORAC units

100g strawberries - 1540 ORAC units

100g raspberries - 1220 ORAC units

30ml YL Berry Young - 1130 ORAC units

30ml Xango - 530 ORAC units

30ml Himalayan Goji Juice - 380 ORAC units

30ml Tahitian Noni Juice - 165 ORAC units

5g sachet of Berry Radical - 7000 ORAC units!

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Article by Narelle Chenery Onegroup.Pty. Ltd