Antioxidants -- A Review 
Compiled by Walter

Posted August 25, 2010 

Disclaimer The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice.

What is this about? Getting rid of the poisons that build up in your body is essential to good health. Your body immune system does this with antioxidants.  Unfortunately, we do not get enough of these poison fighters in our daily diet; such deficiency may cause many health problems.  This article summarizes information about antioxidants.  Documentation: You can validate the information in this article by viewing the original sources yourself. 

So what do you need to know in order to understand antioxidants?  To begin we need to understand what an antioxidant is? What it does and why we need them? What are free radicals? And what causes free radicals? Why free radicals are bad for you?  And how to get rid of them. 

 Everyday activities that use oxygen:  Lets start with what we all do every moment of the day. We breathe oxygen all the time.  Oxygen is essential for our body to breakdown food or oxidize it and release energy [ ATP in the mitochondria ] in cells. This demand for oxygen is referred to as oxidative stress.  Without oxygen you die! 

Oxygen reacting in the body is a similar process that also occurs in nature, as when oxygen reacts with iron, causing iron to rust; referred to as oxidation.  A similar rusting happens to our cells as when oxygen releases ATP as energy in the small mitochondria cells of our body. 

In a much similar fashion, rusting or oxidation takes place in all of our activities.  Our bodies are constantly breaking down sugar and releasing energy.  In doing so, we are always releasing many waste products, one of which are free radicals. Free radicals are bouncing around looking to steal an electron from nearby cells.  In the process of looking to steal an electron, the radicals are bombarding normal cells all the time! And this often damages normal body cells. 

How do you stop this constant barrage inside your body? The answer of course is antioxidants. The great thing about antioxidants is that they can give these free radicals an electron – neutralizing  -- stabalizing them. While releasing an electron, the antioxidant has become a free radical itself [ although a less dangerous one ]. This means that the antioxidant needs to be regenerated and it does this by borrowing an electron from another antioxidant. This regeneration becomes a constant process as long as there are ample antioxidants available. 

This is why we need a fresh supply of different antioxidants. Because some antioxidants will only be regenerated by other specific antioxidants. So if you only get one type of antioxidant, like vitamin D, then you are actually not doing yourself any favors. This is because it will become a free radical itself, and with little other antioxidants around to regenerate it, it will damage your cells. Also some antioxidants may only work in certain parts of the body. For example, vitamin C is concentrated in blood plasma, connective tissues and within the cytoplasm of cells. So each antioxidant is highly compartmentalized, like having its own zone of defense – like football. Thus you need a large range of antioxidants.  Let us explore free radicals and antioxidants in more detail.

 Free radicals:  The oxidants are really waste products of metabolism or energy conversion that lack an electron in the outer shell. This makes the oxidant unstable and jump all over in a desperate or radical manner, while seeking to steal another electron from a nearby cell, to make itself stable.  Hence it is referred to as a free radical.  We are constantly creating free radicals at an astonishing speed. Bruce Ames, a well-known scientist [ University of California, Berkley, Ca. ] in the field of antioxidants, estimates that just one cell in the human body is hit about 10,000 times a day by a free radical. Im Sys: Immune system   If such bombardment is multiplied by the trillions of cells in the body, then the magnitude of this activity is tremendous. We have a super need for antioxidants all the time. 

To view a brief video animation of how free radicals are formed:  free rad

Esta página está disponible ¿ Que son radicales libres? en Español

ageing What kind of damage are we talking about? Pretty much every kind you can think of: the deterioration of bones, joints and connective tissue; the wearing out of organs; the decline of the immune system; and the aging process ; and even perhaps chronic diseases. Morris: nutritional status of flax

While in a free radical state, the oxidants, also referred to as superoxides, can damage other nearby cells, like DNA and normal cells.  Damaged DNA can also result in mutations that are suspected of causing cancer, aging, atherosclerosis, liver damage, emphysema, osteoarthritis, lupus and other chronic diseases.  The same free radicals can participate in unwanted side reactions with environmental pollutants, like chemicals, heavy metals, EMF [ electricity ], radiation and sunlight, resulting in additional cell damage. Higdon:  LPI Lignans 

 Antioxidants: 

Antioxidants are substances that reduce, neutralize, and prevent the damage done to the body by free radicals.  Antioxidants scavenger for and get rid of free radicals. 

Antioxidants typically come in two varieties: water soluble and fat soluble. A few, such as lipoic acid, are both. This dual nature allows lipoic acid to function in both fatty and aqueous regions of the body, an ability that is the reason why lipoic acid is often termed "universal antioxidant."

Because free radicals are necessary for life, the body has a number of mechanisms to minimize free radical induced damage and to repair damage that occurs. This is where antioxidants [ "against oxidation" ] come in. The body can make its own antioxidants [ superoxide dismutase  or SOD ] as when a baby is born; but quickly loses most of this ability as we get older. Losing superoxide dismutase  |  Wiki: SOD  |   Wiki: radicals  Consequently, it would appear that we are always starving for antioxidants to help us get rid of free radicals. 

Body First Line of Defense: Superoxide dismutase, or SOD, is the first line of defense against free radicals or superoxide. For more information: Kiefer: SOD  | about SOD

Body Second Line of Defense: In absence of or a minimal first defensive line of SOD, we also have a backup system of getting antioxidants from eating foods rich in antioxidants, like broccoli, cabbage, greens, ground flax seed, melons and fruits. 

Unfortunately, foods provide such a weak second line of defense against free radicals that free radicals can over accumulate and disrupt [ stress ] our immune system. The immune system is particularly compromised by smoking, pollution, exposure to sunlight [ UV radiation ], infection, processed foods, junk foods, sugars, physical activities, aging and even strenuous exercise; resulting in "oxidative stress." [ a condition where oxygen wastes or free radicals accumulate faster than can be removed by antioxidants from the body, causing stress on cells to survive. ]

 Sources of antioxidants:   Foods contain a very small amount of antioxidants. This comprehensive list was compiled by Sorochan from a review of the literature: 

1. SOD [ superoxide dismutase ] -- SOD1 is located in the cytoplasm, SOD2 in the mitochondria and SOD3 is extracellular

flaxseed

2. Lignans -- plant seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, bran, whole grains, rye, buckwheat, millet, soy, barley, beans

3. Carotenoids -- carrots, oranges, yellow squash, apricots

4. Flavonoids -- broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, lemons, limes, oranges, apples, fruit juice and skin, apples, vegetables, onions, red wine, resveratrol found in grape skin

5. Anthocyanins -- mild anti-bacterial effect [ berries, grapes, eggplant ]

6. Zoochemicals -- glutathione (meat), ubiquinone [ coenzyme Q10, meat, meat organs, fish ]

7. Vitamins: A, C, E

9. Minerals -- selenium, copper, manganese, zinc [ cofactors ]

10. Lipoic Acid

11. Red blood cells -- bilirubin [ recycled from red blood cells ] and uric acid can act as minor antioxidants

12. Supplements -- GliSODin, Brevail. Beutler: Brevail  GliSODin® is purported to stimulate the body to make its own internal antioxidants, including the major one --- SOD  Kiefer: SOD  

The amount of antioxidant available in each of these sources is different. 

 Best Sources: 

Confusion:  Commercial online stores toot their own products and make it sound like their products are the best and that these will save one from a disease or ill health.  Most of these commercials are a great "snake oil" deception in a free enterprise system!

There is no standardized online list of antioxidants and this makes it difficult and confusing to choose food-plant antioxidant(s); there may be no best.  Antioxidants are not all alike. Then there is the issue of network antioxidants and the world expert on antibiotics, Professor Lester Packer, recommends lipoic acid as the unifier substance that makes all the other antioxidants work in concert and be more powerful. Adding more confusion is the lack of a comprehensive and central clearing house for antioxidants, that would also take lignans and controversial supplements like GliSODin into review. Finally, new research has been accelerating since 2000; thus making much previous information cited in the commercials as needing an update. 

For example: Many informative and commercial sources recommend eating fresh fruits and vegetables and/or supplements as a way to get more antioxidants.  Although this recommendation is good, eating fresh foods is insufficient; as pointed out earlier.  Recent information that flax seeds contain a super rich source of antioxidants found inside the ground up hull shells [ but not in flax oil ] claim that flaxseeds have over 100 to 800 times more antioxidant that fresh fruits and vegetables.

Another recent discovery by Lester Packer of the University of California, Berkley, Ca.,  found that network antioxidants, when taken at the same time, reinforce each other and bolster the preventive effects of all antioxidants. 

All this new information suggests that there is no one best antioxidant food.  These foods need each other and appear to work in concert. Antioxidants are not all alike.  Clearly, we are not dealing with a ‘one size fits all’ situation.

 The Antioxidant Advantage 

A list of network antioxidants, also referred to as Antioxidant Advantage, was coined by Professor Lester Packer Packer: Table antioxidants, the world's leading researcher on antioxidants.  The antioxidant advantage implies that each antioxidant gets a booster advantage when other antioxidants are present; thereby making all of them more powerful and effective.  The booster advantage is comparable to catalytic muffler exhaust action in automobiles: unique property of a single antioxidant being able to regenerate itself while at the same time continuing to disable many free radicals, much like a chain reaction.

Packer strongly advocates ingesting a variety of foods and supplements to provide antioxidants in his book: The Antioxidant Miracle by Lester Packer and Carol Colman. Packer: Table antioxidants  Missing from Packer's list are lignans.

 Flaxseeds  can provide the richest amount of food antioxidants as well as good source of other nutrients. Morris: nutritional status of flax   The condensed table below [ compiled by Sorochan ] compares the antioxidants in various foods to flaxseeds: 

Comparison: Lignan content of selected foods contrasting Milder [ second column ] and Higdon [ fourth column ]: [ collated by Walter Sorochan ]

Food Unit μg/100 g
fresh edible weight Milder: Lignan list
Serving
Higdon LPI Lignans
Unit:mg
Higdon LPI Lignans
Flaxseeds 301,129 1 oz 85.5
Sesame seed
39,348
1 oz 11.2
Wholegrain flaxseed bread 12 474    
Curly kale chopped   2321 ½ cup 0.8
Broccoli chopped
1325
½ cup 0.6
Sunflower seed
891
   
Garlic
536
   
Apricots 450 ½ cup, sliced 0.4
Cabbage chopped   1/2 cup 0.3
Brussel sprouts   1/2 cup 0.3
Tofu   1/4 blk 4 oz 0.2
Strawberry
334
1/2 cup 0.2
Dark rye bread 320 1 slice 0.1
Peach
293
   
Cauliflower
185
   
Carrot
171
   
Wheat bread, whole grain 121    
Orange
78
   
Melon, galia
71
   
Black tea English
71
   
Red wine, France
69.1
   
Tomato 58    
White wine, France
25.5
   
Iceberg lettuce
11
   
Cola 
0.0
   

The significance of this table: it points out that seed foods, referred to as lignans, and especially flaxseeds, are the richest source of antioxidants in edible foods.   Most online sources fail to mention this information.  This is in sharp contrast to the "Antioxidant Values of Foods Sorted by ORAC " the oxygen radical absorption capacity of different foods and natural substances as developed by USDA researchers at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts [ 2007 ].  ORAC test  The ORAC version distorts the real values of antioxidant sources.  Issues With The ORAC Value

 Supplements:   Superoxide dismutase powder, when ingested, is destroyed in the digestive system and is not absorbed into the blood stream. But GliSODin is a recent product originally made in France that is reported to have SOD encased by wheat gluten capsule. Kiefer: SOD This protective cover allows the SOD to be absorbed into the blood stream. Sorochan: Glisodin  GliSODin is reputed to be thousands of times more powerful than flaxseeds or other fruits and vegetables. 

"Superoxide dismutase therapy using GliSODin opens up a whole world of new clinical possibilities, providing clinicians with a targeted tool which gets much closer to addressing disease at a more fundamental source."   Collection abstracts on Glisodin

 Lignans:  flax flowersHigdon:  LPI Lignans

Although lignans were discovered about 1950, these have only recently been given the acclaim they deserve.

Modern Diet Lacks Lignans: Researchers believe that the western world's digression from a lignan rich diet of 50 to 100 years ago, abundant in quality whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits, to a refined "Standard American Diet" may be a contributing factor in the escalation of breast cancer and other diseases. Slavin: wholegrain-health

Most women and men are not getting an appreciable amount of lignan in their everyday diet. The quantity of lignans in most fruits and vegetables sources is very small, and the food sources highest in lignans are often missing. Even the most lignan rich foods, flaxseeds, can vary up to 300% in lignan content. Furthermore, because lignans pass through the human system within 24-48 hours, it is important to ingest adequate quantities of lignan daily to maintain their protective effect.

With the industrial revolution came the processing of natural foods, with the resultant reduction of lignans in the food chain. Welch: Food processing changes  Compound this with a shift in dietary patterns away from whole foods to refined and processed shelf-stable foods, and the result is a diet significantly lacking in lignans compared to approximately 100 years ago.

 Metabolism and Bioavailability 

When we consume milled ' meat ' flaxseed or flaxseed lignan concentrate, bacteria in the colon convert the plant lignans into compounds known as “mammalian lignans” (enterolactone and enterodiol). The mammalian lignans are absorbed from the colon into the bloodstream for circulation to sites in the body where they are needed.

"When plant lignans are ingested, they can be metabolized by intestinal bacteria to enterolignans, enterodiol and enterolactone in the intestinal lumen (4). Enterodiol can also be converted to enterolactone by intestinal bacteria.

Substantial amounts of ingested plant lignans are available to humans in the form of enterodiol and enterolactone. Considerable variation among individuals in urinary and serum enterodiol:enterolactone ratios has been observed in flaxseed feeding studies, suggesting that some individuals convert most enterodiol to enterolactone, while others convert relatively little (1). It is likely that individual differences in the metabolism of lignans, possibly due to gut microbes, influence the biological activities and health effects of these compounds."  Higdon: LPI Lignans

 Dietary Recommendation:    There is no established dietary recommendation regarding lignans although the Flax Council of Canada suggests that 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of flaxseed or ½ tsp (2 mL) of flax oil daily contributes to better health. Whether to use flax oil or flaxseed is partly a matter of preference and convenience –- the oil has a higher essential fatty acid content with its own attendant health benefits whereas the ground seed [ hull ] is also a source of dietary antioxidants, other nutrients and fiber. Butler: Lignans | Canada: Flax info  Morris: nutritional status of flax  Obviously ground seed has a distinct advantage over flax oil.

 Safety and Adverse Effects 

Lignan precursors in foods are not known to have any adverse effects and are considered safe. Flaxseeds, which are rich in lignan precursors as well as fiber, may increase stool frequency or cause diarrhea in doses of 45-50 g/day in adults   Cunnane: safety lignans  |  Clark: safety & Lupus info   ALERT:    The safety of lignan supplements in pregnant or lactating women has not been established. Therefore, lignan supplements should be avoided by women who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to conceive. Higdon:  LPI Lignans

Food Allergy: "Food allergy to flax appears to be fairly rare, with only a handful of allergic reactions reported in the medical literature (457-461). The prevalence of flax allergy is not known. Likewise, there are no data on cross-reactivity of flax with other allergens. Flax is an oilseed and has a different taxonomic classification than peanuts, which are legumes. Individuals who suspect an allergy to flax should seek the advice of their physician." Morris: nutritional status of flax

 Testing for antioxidant level in foods and body: 

Large scale public monitoring of human levels of antioxidants in blood and urine have not been tested on a large scale. There is a definite need to monitor the effectiveness of ingesting all forms of antioxidants in humans.  Are flaxseeds [ lignans ] or fresh fruits and vegetables and /or supplements really absorbed into the blood stream , resulting in increasing the antioxidants in the body?  No one at this time has a viable and inexpensive test to do this kind of assessment.  This does not imply that we should not eat flaxseeds, fruits or vegetables! 

Numerous plant derived preparations are currently sold as supplements. These supplements claim to have beneficial health effects (including prevention of aging) in humans due their antioxidant properties. But no real good way to validate same.  Most of these products have only been tested in simple in-vitro [ test tube ] screening trails and there is no evidence that these are also effective in humans.   Understanding ORAC testingHaenen: TRAC shortcomings

Ingesting any antioxidant foods or supplements is no warranty that you are getting an  adequate amount of antioxidant. What you eat or ingest may not be absorbed into the blood stream.  It is what is in the blood stream that counts --- that is available to your body.  The problem health consumers have is that we do not have a reliable and inexpensive blood or urine test for SOD antioxidant levels in our body at this time [ August 20, 2010 ]. 

Incomplete list of ways to evaluate antioxidant activity-level:

1.  ORAC Test [Oxygen radical absorbance capacity test, Tufts University]   McBride: ORAC test

This is a test on plant foods and not human bodies!  Published ORAC values of vegetables and fruits are not comprehensive. Importantly, the most published ORAC results are obtained using variable methodology; therefore values can be greatly distorted and misinterpreted. Issues With The ORAC Value  |  Wiki: ORAC

2.  GSH: glatathione whole blood test or TAS. [ Measurement of the decrease in the amount of antioxidants ]

3.  GSSG glatathione test

bioscanner2

4.  SOD test attenuated blood lactate conc  Iwama: Superoxide stimulates SOD

5.  Carotinoid skin scanner test Lorocca: BioPhotonic Scanner  Smidt: Pharmanex Study  This test does not measure all antioxidants, like SOD.

6. TAC (total antioxidant capacity)

 Lipoic Acid: 

Lipoic acid [ also referred to as alpha-lipoic acid ] is synthesized in small amounts by humans. The main function of lipoic acid is to generate the energy required to keep living organisms alive and functioning. Lipoic acid plays a key role in a variety vital energy-producing reactions in the body that turn glucose (blood sugar) into energy. Lipoic acid is a potent biological antioxidant that has been shown to slow the oxidative damage in cells, [ it functions in both water and fat ] and in many cases stabilizes or even reverses cell damage.

Lipoic acid [ LA ] is a dark horse in that the dosage is controversial and there is a lack of information about adding it to the mix of complementary plant antioxidants.  Wollin: Lipoic acid  Adverse reactions from various versions and formulations of lipoic acid have been reported in research.

"Today R/S-LA and RLA [ two forms of lipoic acid ] are widely available as over-the-counter nutritional supplements in the United States in the form of capsules, tablets and aqueous liquids and have been branded as antioxidants. This label has recently been challenged."  Wikipedia: lipoic acid info  

Alpha lipoic acid [ ALA ] is a naturally occurring anti-oxidant in every cell of the body. but daily dosages can greatly improve chances of fighting off various diseases.

Linus Pauling Institute recommends a daily dose of 200-400 mg/day of racemic LA for generally healthy people. Linus Pauling Institute:Lipoic acid  If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Lipoic acid has been successfully used as therapy in numerous diseases and disorders. Wikipedia: lipoic acid info  But there is a lack of confirmative "over the counter use" as in the antioxidant manner as suggested by Professor Lester Packer. In light of the lack of more definitive information, it may be wise for health consumers to hold back on use of lipoic acid as a super antioxidant. Berkeley Wellness Alert: lipoic acid  Wollin: Lipoic acid

Recommended Daily Antioxidant Food Intake:

Get your antioxidants from plant foods. These are readily available, inexpensive and your body loves them!

1. Flaxseeds: ground hull and powder  [ 1 tablespoon per day = 8.8 g ]  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed on food like cereal, toast, salad, etc..  Suggestion: Mix the ground flax seed with low-fat cottage cheese. You need to mix this properly to get the full benefit.

2. Fresh fruits: minimum two servings per day of blueberries, apricots, oranges, grapes, apples, lemons, limes

3. Fresh green vegetables: minimum two servings per day of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots

4. Lipoic acid [ ingest on empty stomach ] if you can afford it. 

Take all four ingredients together as often as possible. Eat a variety of foods. Buy cold pressed ground flax seeds and store in refrigerator.  [ or you can buy whole golden seeds and use an inexpensive coffee grinder to grind a tablespoon of flaxseeds each day ]

 Conclusion: 

Research since 2000  SOD  | Packer: e-Book summary  | Slavin: wholegrain-health has opened a new chapter into using antioxidants to prevent disabilities and chronic diseases. Morris: nutritional status of flax  There is a flood of information about antioxidants on the internet.  Most of it is basically propaganda that puts a spin on the information being presented, drumming up a product for sale or reporting a small piece of the antioxidant picture.  For example: "Products claiming "High Lignan Flax Seed Oil" tested by the University of North Dakota have been found to contain practically no lignans at all. That is expected because the lignans [ antioxidants ] are not in the oil; they are in the hull of the seed." Fresh Farm: Lignan info   The functional antioxidant picture is cloudy and incomplete. 

It is important to distinguish research and information on antioxidants done on plants versus that done on humans and that which includes all antioxidants measured or tested in the human body.  Evidence is lacking that one can infer from a single plant assay [ like the carotinoid skin test ] the amount of total antioxidant in the human body. 

A review of the research done for this article suggests the following:

1.  Complement eating a variety of the network oxidants [ fresh fruits and vegetables ] with milled or ground flaxseeds a and lipoic acid Wollin: Lipoic acid  as often as possible.  A variety of antioxidants empower each other and collectively intensify antioxidants. Eat a wide variety of antioxidant-rich foods.  

2.  There is a lot of variability in the amount of antioxidants in food. Morris: nutritional status of flax   For example, broccoli, grown in different soils and environments, will vary in the amount of antioxidants.  "No two broccoli plants have the same amount or kind of nutrients." That is why one needs to eat a network of different oxidant foods to hopefully get a balance of antioxidants and other nutrients. 

3.  Supplement GliSODin appears to have the best potential to bolster the immune system, refresh SOD and prevent chronic diseases. [ But those allergic to gluten should be aware that it contains gluten. ]  Kiefer: SOD 

4.  Flaxseeds, as ground hull seeds [ no gluten causing allergy  Morris: nutritional status of flax  |   Fresh Farm: Lignan info ] and the crushed powder or  meat inside the seeds, provide the second best source of antioxidants.  Milder: Lignan list   Flaxseeds are also rich in omega-3.  Flaxseeds are the best and safest antioxidant source for those allergic to gluten.   Flaxseed is an inexpensive source of antioxidant compared to other commercial supplements and foods.

5.  We desperately need an inexpensive and reliable way of checking and monitoring the ingestion of antioxidants to see if we are really benefiting from taking them. Haenen: TRAC shortcomings Most of the tests are for plant foods, use old technology and are outdated! 

6.  Have an open mind for future innovative technology that updates information as well as new testing and monitoring for antioxidants in the human body. 

Research Collection abstracts on Glisodin  | Kiefer: Reversing athro  |  Morris: nutritional status of flax   strongly suggests that antioxidants can help prevent diseases, bolster the immunity system and slow down the aging process.  

Sorochan contacted several renown researchers requesting update information about antioxidants and lipoic acid.  As of August 25, 2010, he received just one response from them. 

We need an honest, independent, no vested interests  and reliable national clearinghouse for nutritional information [ other than FDA ].

Antioxidants rightfully take their place with new information about vitamin D, magnesium, osteoporosis, alkali body and other new updates on nutrition since 2005.  You just can't live a healthy and long life with your head in the sand and not keep up to date with the times!

References: 

AmAmazing-glutathione.com, "What are free radicals?"  Amaz Glut: Free radicals  Esta página está disponible en Español

Black Diamond University, "antioxidants and free radicals," Video free radical formation

Vitaminstuff.com, "Antioxidants," Article, Article: Antioxidant list  

Total Antioxidant sources:
Incomplete
 Acetylcysteine
 Alpha Lipoic Acid
 Selenium
 Superoxide  Dismutase
 Taurine
 Vitamin C
 Vitamin E
 Zeaxanthin
 Zinca>
Source:
Antioxidant list

Beutler Jade, "Lignans - Nature, Body and Balance," Brevail,   Beutler: Brevail

Butler Graham, "Lignans," Alive.  Butler: Lignans

Clark WF, Parbtani A, Huff MW, et al. Flaxseed: a potential treatment for lupus nephritis. Kidney Int. 1995;48(2):475-480. (PubMed) Clark: safety & Lupus  "30 g flaxseed/day was well tolerated and conferred benefit in terms of renal function as well as inflammatory and atherogenic mechanisms important in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis."

Cunnane SC,  Hamadeh MJ,  Liede AC, Thompson LU,  Wolever TM,  Jenkins DJ.  "Nattributes of traditional flaxseed in healthy young adults," Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;61(1):62-68. PubMed  Cunnane: safety lignans

Editors, "A Guide To High-Antioxidant Food Page 6: Issues With The ORAC Value," The Nibble, Last Updated August 2010.   Issues With The ORAC Value

Flax, "Flax seeds, ingestion and safety,"  Flax seeds & safety 

Flax Council of Canada, "General Nutrition Information," Canada: Flax info

Recipes:  Flax in Home Cooking
 Homestyle Recipes
Flax Food Products List

Free Radicals -- Why they matter,  Free radicals matter

Fresh Farm Lignans, "Health Benefits of Flax Hull Lignans," Fresh Farm Lignans, North Dakota,  Fresh Farm: Lignan info
"Products claiming "High Lignan Flax Seed Oil" tested by the University of North Dakota have been found to contain practically no lignans at all. That is expected because the lignans are not in the oil; they are in the hull of the seed."

Glisodin,"Backgrounder, "Glisodin Media Center. Excellent Background info

GliSODin, "Glisodin monographs,"  Glisodin monograph

Halliwell B., "Biochemistry of oxidative stress," Biochemical Society Transactions (2007) Volume 35, part 5, May 16, 2007.  Halliwell: Oxidative stress
Antioxidant: "The term is surprisingly difficult to define clearly and comprehensively, since the hierarchy of antioxidant capacity depends to a substantial extent on the assay methodology used – change the method, and the antioxidant ability of any given compound is different."

Higdon Jane, " Lignans, Micronutrient Information Center," Linus Pauling Institute [LPI], Oregon State University, Updated in January 2010 by: Victoria J. Drake, Ph.D. Reviewed in January 2010 by: Johanna W. Lampe. Higdon:  LPI Lignans

Houghton Christine, "General Principles of Superoxide dismutase in disease, Orgotein Therapy and SOD-mimetic Therapy," Abstracts on Glisodin. Australia.  Collection abstracts on Glisodin

Hoelzl C., et la., "Methods for the detection of antioxidants which prevent age-related diseases: A critical rewview with particular emphasis on human intervention studies," Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2005, 56, Supp 2, 49-64.  Hoelzl: detecting antioxidants

Im Sys, "The immune system,"  Im Sys: Immune system  

"10,000 Hits Per Cell Per Day: Bruce Ames, a well-known scientist in the field of antioxidants, estimates that just one cell in the human body is hit about 10,000 times a day by a free radical. If that’s multiplied by the trillions of cells in the body the magnitude of this activity is tremendous."

“Low levels of glutathione in the body are almost always a sign of illness, especially of poor immune function.” Dr. Jesse Stoff

Use Antioxidants As A Team, Not Singularly:    The current thinking is that antioxidants should be used together in a well researched way, not singularly. Dr. Lester Packer states, “Antioxidants are meant to work together, and in almost every circumstance, combinations of antioxidants have been proven to be more effective than single antioxidants.”

Network Antioxidants:&n   “Although there are literally hundreds of antioxidants, only five appear to be network antioxidants: Vitamins C and E, glutathione, lipoic acid and CoQ10. Vitamins C and E are not produced in the body but must be obtained through food. Glutathione, lipoic acid, and CoQ10 are produced by the body, but levels of these antioxidants decline as we age. That is why we need to supplement all of them.” Dr. Lester Packer Dr. Packer also says the best way to supplement glutathione, the cell’s primary antioxidant, is usually through the use of lipoic acid, not necessarily glutathione itself."

Non-Network Antioxidants Are Powerful Too  He goes on to say that some non-network antioxidants and even some things that aren’t antioxidants support members of the “network”. These include members of the flavonoid family of which there are several thousand plant based chemicals (phytochemicals).

These might include fruits, vegetables, and beverages like green tea and red wine. Ginko Biloba and Grape Seed Extract are in the flavonoid family. If you’re familiar with Pycnogenol, Grape Seed Extract has been shown, according to Dr. Ralph Moss, to be more potent. Grape Seed has a higher level of antioxidants; 92%-95% bioflavonoids compared to 85%..

Iwama, Hiroshi, et la., "Inspired superoxide anions attenuate blood lactate concentrations in postoperative patients," Critical Care Medicine: June 2002 - Volume 30 - Issue 6 - pp 1246-1249.   Iwama: Superoxide stimulates SOD

Kiefer Dale, "Reversing atherosclerosis naturally," Life Extension, July 1, 2007. Kiefer: Reversing athro

"... oral supplementation with GliSODin[R] was associated with regression of atherosclerosis in middle-aged adults (ages 30-60), as determined by ultrasonography,  the imaging of deep structures of the body by recording the echoes of pulses of ultrasonic waves directed into the tissues and reflected by tissue planes where there is a change in .....  This finding is especially exciting, in that atherosclerosis progression was not slowed, nor halted, but rather that it was actually reversed."

Kiefer Dale, "Superoxide Dismutase, Boosting the Body's Primary Antioxidant Defense," LE Magazine, June 2006.  Kiefer: SOD

Kinoyama Maki, "Blood superoxide dismutase (SOD) decrease following oral administration of plant SOD to healthy subjects," Journal of Health Science, 2007, 53/5/ 608-614.   Kinoyama: SOD monitoring

"SOD [ extracellular type ] activity in the plasma was measured using the improved nitrous acid method and the immunological content of Mn-SOD in the serum [ mitochondrial type: enzyme protein ] content was measured using the ELISA method."

Lacasse Marc, "Free radicals and your health," Lacasse: free radicals

Heavy metals in your body multiply those free radicals chain reactions several thousands, possibly several million times. ... The toxicity of lead, pesticides, cadmium, ionizing radiation, alcohol and cigarette smoke may all be due to their free radical initiating ability.

The actual cause of heart disease is damage done by free radicals to individual cells within the arteries.  

Lipoic acid: Berkeley Wellness Alert: lipoic acid

"Bottom line: Though evidence has been accumulating, research on alpha-lipoic acid is still in its early stages. This potent antioxidant may some day be seen as an important supplement. Not enough is known now to recommend alpha-lipoic acid. No one knows what dose should be used for what ailment. If you have diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s and decide to take it, tell your doctor. Though alpha-lipoic acid appears to be safe, the long-term effects of large doses are unknown. If alpha-lipoic acid is as powerful as it seems, there may be a danger in too much of a good thing."

Lipoic acid: Linus Pauling Institute:Lipoic acid

"Consumption of LA from foods has not yet been found to result in detectable increases of free LA in human plasma or cells (3, 12). In contrast, high oral doses of free LA (50 mg or more) result in significant but transient increases in free LA in plasma and cells. Pharmacokinetic studies in humans have found that about 30-40% of an oral dose of racemic LA is absorbed (12, 13). Oral LA supplements are better absorbed on an empty stomach than with food. Taking racemic LA with food decreased peak plasma LA concentrations by about 30% and total plasma LA concentrations by about 20% compared to fasting (14)."

"Supplements: Unlike LA in foods, LA in supplements is free, meaning it is not bound to protein. Moreover, the amounts of LA available in dietary supplements (200-600 mg) are likely as much as 1000 times greater than the amounts that could be obtained in the diet. I In Germany, LA is approved for the treatment of diabetic neuropathies and is available by prescription (39). LA is available as a dietary supplement without a prescription in the US (69). Most LA supplements contain a racemic (50/50) mixture of R-LA and S-LA (d,l-LA). Supplements that claim to contain only R-LA are usually more expensive, and information regarding their purity is not currently available (70). Since taking LA with a meal decreases its bioavailability, it is generally recommended that LA be taken on an empty stomach (one hour before or two hours after eating)." ALA may degrade quickly when exposed to air and light. ALA in powdered form should be kept in dark, tight fitting containers or the powder put into capsules.

Lipoic Acid:  Sahelain Ray webisite Lipoic acid

Benefits:Alpha lipoic acid research indicates it can regenerate vitamin C from its oxidized form, dehydroascorbic acid. Alpha lipoic acid can also potentially regenerate other antioxidants. ... Alpha lipoic acid also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the brain and is likely to protect brain cells from toxins."

"Conditions where Alpha Lipoic acid may benefit: Alpha lipoic acid research in humans is still incomplete. However, alpha lipoic may have a health benefit in a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. We suggest keeping the dosage of alpha lipoic acid to less than 50 mg a few times a week."

"In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, this supplement helps the body use glucose, hence it's potential role in improving blood sugar control. ALA reduces complications from a high sugar diet. Lipoic acid is readily absorbed from the diet or as a supplement. This nutrient has a variety of benefits, particularly for diabetics."

"The two types:  If you're taking a conventional lipoic acid supplement, you're likely only getting half or less of the benefit of natural lipoic acid. The reason for this is that most alpha lipoic acid products on the market have both forms of lipoic acid: the synthetic S form, and the natural R form. R-lipoic acid is much more potent (2 times on average) than commonly sold synthetic lipoic acid which contains both the R and S forms. The S form is chemically the mirror image of the R form and cannot be used by the body, hence it is useless. Thus, 50 mg of R- alpha lipoic acid is equivalent to 100 mg of the synthetic version."

"Sahelian does not recommend more than 10 to 50 mg of alpha lipoic a day."

Animal research has shown that R ALA can more efficiently than other forms of lipoic acid increase or maintain levels of other antioxidants including COQ 10, vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione, which often declines with age.

"Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects: There are no indications that low doses of lipoic acid, such as 5 to 20 mg, have side effects. Higher doses could cause nausea or stomach upset, along with over-stimulation, fatigue, and insomnia. High alpha lipoic acid doses could also potentially lower blood sugar."

Lipoic Acid:  Wikipedia: lipoic acid info

"Lipoic acid is found in almost all foods, but slightly more so in kidney, heart, liver, spinach, broccoli, and yeast extract. Naturally occurring lipoic acid is always covalently bound and not immediately available from dietary sources. Additionally, the amount of lipoic acid present is very low. For example: the purification of lipoic acid to determine its structure used an estimated 10 tons of liver residue, which yielded 30 mg of lipoic acid. As a result, all lipoic acid available as a supplement is chemically synthesized."

"Today R/S-LA and RLA are widely available as over-the-counter nutritional supplements in the United States in the form of capsules, tablets and aqueous liquids and have been branded as antioxidants. This label has recently been challenged. In Japan LA is marketed primarily as a "weight loss" and "energy" supplement."

"No Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) has been established and the relationships between supplemental doses and therapeutic doses have not been clearly defined."

Longevity Connection.com, "Pharmanex Bio Photonic Scanner,"   Long con: Pharmanex scanner

Lorocca Filomena, "Could New Scanner Redefine Wellness Care?" The American Chiropractor, JULY 2007.   Lorocca: BioPhotonic Scanner  "The Pharmanex biophotonic scanner is the world’s first immediate and non-invasive method of measuring carotenoid antioxidants in human tissue."

McBride Judy, "Plant Pigments Paint a Rainbow of Antioxidants," Agricultural Research/November 1996. McBride: ORAC test

"ORAC measures the degree to which a sample inhibits the action of an oxidizing agent and how long it takes to do so. Then it integrates the two measurements into a single one. This provides an accurate and reproducible measurement for different types of antioxidants having different strengths. The assay combines a chemical marker that fluoresces with the test sample and an oxidizing agent, such as the peroxyl radical, the hydroxyl radical, or metal ions. The test sample can be a biological sample, such as blood serum, tissue, or a food extract; or a chemical sample, such as vitamin E. As long as the antioxidant in the test sample disarms the free radicals, the marker stays intact and continues to fluoresce. A detector in the analyzer measures the strength of the light emitted from the marker. As the antioxidants become spent, more and more of the marker is destroyed, and fluorescence eventually drops to zero."

Milder, I. E. J., Arts, I. C. W., Van de Putte, B., Venema, D. P., and Hollman, P. C. H. "Lignan contents of Dutch plant foods: a database including lariciresinol, pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol, and matairesino," British Journal of Nutrition, 93:393-402. 2005. Updated May 04, 2008.  Milder: Lignan list

Lignans are phytoestrogens with estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity. Lignans may also have antioxidant activity. Plant lignan compounds are converted in the intestine to form of lignans (enterolignans) the human body can assimilate. Some studies have reported a positive association between high levels of lignans in the body with reduced risks of prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, some studies also report no association between intake of high lignan diet and risk of breast cancer.

Lignans comprise a variety of compounds, both in food sources (secoisolariciresinol, matairesinol) and the human body (enterodiol, enterolactone). Some studies reported that the health effect of the lignans varied depending on the particular lignan type, fore example secoisolariciresinol vs. matairesinol.

Dietary lignan compounds are found in many food sources. Among all, flax seed is high in lignan content, perhaps the richest source of lignans. Some of the same lignan food sources are also good sources of dietary fiberprotein, antioxidants and other nutritional elements. In the following table is a list of food stuffs and beverages and their total lignan content. The estimate of lignan content in the foods, gathered in the Netherlands, was reported by Dutch researchers.

Table 1. Lignan content (μg/100 g fresh edible weight) of solid foods.  [ Table below is incomplete ]

Lignan food sources Lignan content (μg/100 g fresh edible weight)
Oil seeds and nuts
Flaxseed
301, 129 
Sesame seed
39, 348 
Sunflower seed
891 
Cashew
629 
Peanut
94 

Morris Diane H., flax - A Health and Nutrition Primer, Flax Council of Canada. Fourth Edition, 2007.   Morris: nutritional status of flax

Correspondence:  Dear Dr. Sorochan, Your questions about flax were referred to me by the Flax Council of Canada. I am a nutritionist who writes articles about the health benefits of flax for the Council.

1. Flax is gluten-free.

2. I see no harm in combining flax with fruits and vegetables as a way to increase your antioxidant levels. The issue of the lipoic acid supplement is a little harder to assess. As you indicate, there is no RDA or even Adequate Intake for lipoic acid. A review of lipoic acid published in 2003 (see the attached article by Wollin) reported intakes of 200-800 mg/day among study volunteers. In the absence of nutrient intake guidance, it is impossible to feel confident recommending a particular intake level for a particular person or age group.

I am fairly old-fashioned. I nearly always advise people to focus on eating a good, quality diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and whole-grain breads and cereals and to avoid sugary snacks like cookies, cakes, donuts, candy bars and other treats. With this approach, most people will get from foods most of the benefits of antioxidants like vitamins C and E and also those of the lesser-known antioxidants like the lignans in flax and lipoic acid found in many foods.

I wish I could be more definitive in my assessment. If you plan to take a lipoic acid supplement, I suggest going with one on the low end of the scale -- say, 200 mg/day or even 200 mg every other day. This strategy will boost your intake without going overboard.

Best wishes, Diane;  Diane H. Morris, PhD Nutritionist

Muir Alister D., "Flax lignans: new opportunities for functional foods," FTS Bulletin, Saskatoon Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. 2010.  Muir: Flax lignans

ORAC: "The ORAC Scale on Antioxidant Capacity from the USDA and Tufts University: A measure of the oxygen radical absorption capacity in foods,"  ORAC test

"Drawbacks of this method are: 1 1) only antioxidant activity against particular (probably mainly peroxyl) radicals is measured; however, peroxyl radical formation has never been proven; 2) the nature of the damaging reaction is not characterized; 3) there is no evidence that free radicals are involved in this reaction; and 4) there is no evidence that ORAC values have any biological significance following consumption of any food. Moreover, the relationship between ORAC values and a health benefit has not been established."  Wiki: ORAC

A laboratory test to measure the "oxygen radical absorption capacity" of different foods, beverages and nutritional supplements and natural substances.  Wikipedia, "Oxygen radical absorbance capacity,"

ORAC measures the degree to which a sample inhibits the action of an oxidizing agent and how long it takes to do so. Then it integrates the two measurements into a single one. This provides an accurate and reproducible measurement for different types of antioxidants having different strengths. The assay combines a chemical marker that fluoresces with the test sample and an oxidizing agent, such as the peroxyl radical, the hydroxyl radical, or metal ions. The test sample can be a biological sample, such as blood serum, tissue, or a food extract; or a chemical sample, such as vitamin E.

How Much ORAC Value Do We Need?  "According to research conducted by Drs. Ronald Prior and Guahau Cao, we need about 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units per day to have a significant impact on plasma and tissue antioxidant capacity. What is shocking is that most Americans are taking in about 1200 ORAC units daily. According to the USDA estimate, these units come primarily from an average consumption of three fruit and vegetables per day. This means the average person is short between 1800 and 3800 ORAC units each day.."  ORAC Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity

Packer Lester and Carol Colman, "The Antioxidant Advantage," Need for antioxidants summarized from The Antioxidant Miracle, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1999.   Lester Packer is the leading authority on antixidants.  Packer: e-Book summary  |  Packer: Table antioxidants  Lead antioxidant scientist at Dept Molecular and Cell Biology, Univ California, Berkley, Ca,.

"Lipoic acid is the most versatile and powerful antioxidant in the entire antioxidant defense network. p.19"

Five network antioxidants recycle each other:  Lipoic Acid,  Vitamin E,  Vitamin C,  Glutathione,  CoQ10

What makes these antioxidants unique is that they work together, as a shield, in enhancing the power of each other; thereby extending life.

We know now that the key to preventing disease and vextending life is as simple as maintaining the right level and combination of antioxidants in our bodies.. I call this the antioxidant advantage.

Lopoic acid greatly enhances the power of all the other antioxidants in the body.  Lipoic acid has been successfully used in treating diabetes and preventing stroke and heart disease.

Our growing knowledge of the antioxidant network now enables us, for the first time, to practice real preventive medicine. Follow the Packer Plan: eat a rich antioxidant diet and take the right supplements to prevent degenerative diseases and live longer.

Pharmanex, "Skin Testing for the Level of Carotenoids to Demonstrate Oxidative Stress,"   Skin testing

Carotenoids are a family of natural fat-soluble nutrients important for antioxidant defense(Packer, 1992, 1993; Cadenas and Packer, 2002) found throughout the plant kingdom. They are responsible for the red, orange or yellow color of many fruits and vegetables, such as pineapples, citrus fruits, peaches, nectarines, persimmons, tomatoes, papaya, apricots, carrots, watermelons, pumpkins, squashes and sweet potatoes. Sometimes their presence is masked by chlorophyll, especially in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, collard greens, and kale.

A typical carotenoid molecule like lycopene or b-carotene is able to sustain more than 20 free radical hits by lipid radicals before it becomes completely destroyed (Tsuchiya et al., 1994).

Pratt John P., "A Book Review of The Antioxidant Miracle, by Lester Packer and Carol Colman, 2003.   Pratt: Book Review Packer

Randox  Lab, "antioxidant testing," Randox Laboratories Limited, 55 Diamond Road, Crumlin, County Antrim, BT29 4QY, United Kingdom.  Randox: antioxidant products  |   Randox SOD testing  |  Randox: support articles

GLUTATHIONE PEROXIDASE (RANSEL)  "Selenium is an essential trace element, involved in the etiology of several diseases. At normal concentrations, selenium has a protective effect against several disease states however this protection is lost at lower concentrations and selenium can be toxic at high concentrations. It is therefore important to monitor selenium levels to ensure they are kept within the normal range. Ransel measures glutathione peroxidase which has a direct correlation with selenium levels."

Sahelian Ray, "Lignan Information and health benefit of supplements,"   Sahelian: Lignan Info

Sies Helmut, "Total Antioxidant Capacity: Appraisal of a Concept1," American Society for Nutrition J. Nutr. 137:1493-1495, June 2007.  Sies: TRAP   |  Pellegrini: TRAP Table comparisons Italian foods 

Slavin Joanne, "Whole grains and human health," Nutrition Research Reviews (2004), 17, 000–000.  Slavin: wholegrain-health  "Americans consume far less than the recommended three servings of whole grains on a daily basis."  Review of relationships linking grains and lignans to preventing cardiovascular diseases DM, cancer, obesity and other chronic diseases.   Slavin: Whole Grains and Health

Smidt Carsten R., "Clinical Screening Study: Use of the Pharmanex® BioPhotonic Scanner to Assess Skin Carotenoids as a Marker of Antioxidant Status," Pharmanex Study Report, 2003 Pharmanex, LCC, 75 West Center Street, Provo, UT 84601.  Smidt: Pharmanex Study

Wahlqvist Mark, Healthy Eating Club,  Antioxidant choices  Here is an incomplete list of antioxidant categories:

Carotenoids - there are over 600, of which about 50 can be present in our diet; they include:

b-carotene inhibits the early stages of tumour development and improves immune function (orange/yellow fruits & vegies like carrots, pumpkin, yellow squash, rockmelons, apricots, mangoes, pawpaw; dark green leafy vegies like spinach, parsley, endive);

lycopene reduces the risk of prostate cancer (tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit); 

lutein protects the macula of the eye from degeneration (green leafy vegetables like spinach and yellow vegetables like squash); 

cryptoxanthins (mangos, pawpaw, red capsicum, pumpkin).

Flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol) - minimise oxidation of LDL-cholesterol and decrease tendency for blood clots (tea, especially green tea, berries, lemons, limes, oranges, apples, fruit juice and skin, apples, vegetables, onions, red wine, red grape juice); resveratrol found in grape skin (which is used to make red wine but not white wine) can assist in inhibiting tumour growth at three different stages of cancer, preventing the spread of malignant cells.

Isoflavonoids – apart from being phytoestrogens which help to relieve hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms and possibly prevent osteoporosis, they are also antioxidants and may help to reduce risk of breast and prostate cancer (soy beans, other beans, tofu, soy milk, lentils, peas)

Lignans/font> –– are similar to isoflavonoids (flaxseeds, sesame seeds, bran, whole grains, beans, vegetables)

Anthocyanins - mild anti-bacterial effect (berries, grapes, eggplant)

Polyphenols e.g. rosmarinic acid – oregano, thyme

Catechins – may help protect against heart disease, skin cancer and stomach cancer (tea, red wine).

Indoles – trigger the release of anti-cancer enzymes; reduce tumour development (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard)

Allium sulphur compounds – help the liver to detoxify/neutralise carcinogens, may reduce the risk of colon cancer and are anti-bacterial (garlic, onions, leeks)

Zoochemicals – glutathione (meat), ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10, meat, meat organs, fish)

Vitamin C – Inhibits nitrosamine formation; reduces cancers of the digestive tract and regenerates vitamin E (high in oranges, guava, mango, blackcurrants, strawberries, grapefruit, kiwi, potatoes, peas, capsicum, parsley, broccoli, spinach, pineapple and cabbage).

Tocopherols (vitamin E) & tocotrienols – protect polyunsaturated fats and b-carotene from being broken down/oxidised; help maintain stability of fats in cell membranes (found in vegetable oils, mayonnaise, wheatgerm, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and is added to fish oil capsules and polyunsaturated margarines to keep them stable. Red palm oil is high in tocotrienols.

Selenium - part of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase which reduces production of free radicals; enhances the immune response and affects DNA repair which can prevent the development and growth of cancer; works in combination with vitamins C and E (found in brazil nuts, seafood, liver, kidney, lean meat and whole grains, although depends on the soils where they are grown).

Copper: (cocoa, wheat bran, yeast), manganese and zinc (seafood e.g. oysters, lean meat, chicken, milk, wholegrains, legumes, nuts) are also components of antioxidant enzymes e.g. (e.g. copper as part of superoxide dismutases)

Sorochan Walter, "Supercharging the Immunity System," July 13, 2010.  Sorochan: Glisodin

TAC  TAC: antioxidant testing

"Knight Scientific Limited (KSL) United Kingdom, produces a range of unique oxidative stress test kits for measuring free radicals and other non-radical reactive oxygen containing species (ROS) produced by living cells and for determining the antioxidant potency of raw materials, ingredients and finished products. The antioxidant capacity of people and other species such as dogs, horses, pigs, fish and birds can also be measured."

"It is now possible to measure the antioxidant activity in a sample of blood taken from a mere finger prick to determine the TAC of individuals and classify their scores. These precise measurements make people aware of their antioxidant status, providing reassurance or enabling them to take steps to remedy a low value."

"ABEL® Antioxidant Test Kits with Pholasin®Chemiluminescent tests for measuring antioxidant capacity. The antioxidant capacity of the sample under test is expressed as the percentage reduction of peak luminescence of Pholasin® (and/or the delay in time in which the peak luminescence is observed) during the course of the test in the presence and absence of the sample. The results can be expressed against other antioxidant standards or as ABEL-RAC™ (relatively antioxidant capacity) scores per mg or per dose of material being tested."

TEAC tests  Wangl Chi Chiu, et la., "Trolox-Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity Assay Versus Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity Assay in Plasma," Clinical Chemistry, 2004; 50:952-954.   Wangl: TEAC test

The Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC) assay is based on the scavenging of the 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical (ABTS.) converting it into a colorless product. The degree of decolorization induced by a compound is related to that induced by trolox, giving the TEAC value. The assay is frequently used for constructing structure activity relationships (SARs).

"The experiments show that the TEAC is the antioxidant capacity of the parent compound plus the potential antioxidant capacity of the reaction product(s). This means that the TEAC assay does not necessarily reflect the antioxidant effect of only one structure. This hampers the applicability of the assay for the construction of SARs and for ranking antioxidants." Haenen: TRAC shortcomings

Welch R W and P C Mitchell, "Food processing: a century of change," August 21, 2010. Northern Ireland Centre for Diet and Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK.  Welch: Food processing changes

Wikipedia, "Superoxide dismutase,"  Wiki: SOD

Superoxide dismutase has been found in almost all organisms living in the presence of oxygen, including some anaerobic bacteria.  In humans, three forms of superoxide dismutase are present. SOD1 is located in the cytoplasm, SOD2 in the mitochondria and SOD3 is extracellular. The physiological importance of SODs is illustrated by the severe pathologies evident in mice genetically engineered to lack these enzymes. Mice lacking SOD2 die several days after birth, amidst massive oxidative stress. Mice lacking SOD1 develop a wide range of pathologies, including hepatocellular carcinoma, an acceleration of age-related muscle mass loss, an earlier incidence of cataracts and a reduced lifespan. Mice lacking SOD3 do not show any obvious defects and exhibit a normal lifespan. All three are essential for human well-being and staying alive!

SOD is made at birth but rapidly decreases with age. Excellent Background info | SOD and aging Your body starts pumping SOD into your system in the first few hours of baby life. It’s absolutely necessary for survival. Unfortunately, this capability to synthesize SOD dissipates early in life, so that as we grow older we have less and less ability to synthesize SOD.

Wikipedia, "Radicals,"  Wiki: radicals

"There is good evidence bilirubin and uric acid can act as antioxidants to help neutralize certain free radicals. Bilirubin comes from the breakdown of red blood cells' contents, while uric acid is a breakdown product of purines."

Wollin Stephanie D. and Peter J. H. Jones, "Lipoic Acid and Cardiovascular Disease," J. Nutr. 133:3327–3330, 2003. [ School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University ]   Wollin: Lipoic acid

"Despite the numerous studies on ALA, many questions remain relating to the use of ALA as a supplement. There is no consensus on dosage, dose frequency, form of administration, and/or preferred form of ALA."