Live Longer


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A great introduction to what antioxidants are, and how to navigate all the mystery around them.

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Live Longer

  1. 1. How to Live Longer. Or: What are antioxidants?
  2. 2. The problem with antioxidant education A variety of claims Confusion about what A variety of products antioxidants are and how A variety of needs we should best include them in our diets A variety of tests Lets take a look at some of the facts. 2 © 2009 Star Power LLC, Please reference if distributed.
  3. 3. Antioxidants – Scientific Definition A molecule that slows or prevents oxidation of other molecules Oxidation – the transfer of an electron from a molecule to the oxidizing agent Free Radical - Molecule missing an electron that now has an unbalanced charge Antioxidants can stop free radicals by offering themselves to be oxidized instead of more crucial body tissue (Primary antioxidant activity) or by binding free radicals and removing them from the system (secondary antioxidant activity) Healthy systems contain many of the common antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and glutathione. Lost e- Lost e- Stabilized Antioxidant! Source: 3 © 2009 Star Power LLC, Please reference if distributed.
  4. 4. Free Radical Damage Sucks The free-radical theory of aging states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. Evidence is accumulating that most of the degenerative diseases that afflict humanity have their origin in deleterious free radical reactions. These diseases include atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory joint disease, asthma, diabetes, senile dementia and degenerative eye disease. Most free radical damage to cells involves oxygen free radicals or, more generally, activated oxygen species which include non-radical species such as singlet oxygen and hydrogen peroxide as well as free radicals. Free radicals come in different forms and have several potentially degenerative effects Source: Source: Florencce, TM The Role of Free Radicals in Disease, Australian and NZ Journal Opthamology, Feb 95 4 © 2009 Star Power LLC, Please reference if distributed.
  5. 5. Categories of Antioxidants There are enough antioxidant buzzwords out there to make even scientific eaters feel a bit neurotic. Do I need Flavonols and Lycopene? Are they the same thing? I’ll try to lay out some of the differences here. Keep in mind though that All antioxidants are trying to do the same thing in your body – fight free radical damage. The below only vary in where and how they do so. There is also a division between water-soluble antioxidants and lipid-soluble antioxidants that we won’t get into in this document. The main difference there is in mode – water soluble molecules can work in serum and plasma, lipid soluble molecules need cells to latch onto. Cartenoids – ex. Beta Carotene, Lycopene Flavonoids – ex. Flavonols, Catechins Isothiocyanates – ex. Sulfrophane Phenols – ex. Caffeic Acid, Reservatrol Thiols – ex. Allyl Methyl Trisulfide Vitamins – ex. Vitamin C, Selenium Enzymes – ex. Superoxide Dismutase, Catalase Coenzymes – ex. CoQ10 Source: Source: 5 © 2009 Star Power LLC, Please reference if distributed.
  6. 6. Needs addressed by antioxidants Antioxidants are not drugs, and therefore not prescribed by physicians. They are a pretty broad class of compounds, and as such, the FDA doesn’t have good labeling standards for them yet. This means that the typical consumer of antioxidant products has informed themselves on what they are and why they need them There is much fear of the issues antioxidants battle, and as antioxidants tend to be found in otherwise healthy foods anyway, and the added psychological bonus is often enough to make us choose one food over another. Antioxidant foods also tend to have rich colors – another trait often thought to have a persuasive effect on the human mind. Think about the deep, bright colors in dark chocolate, acai, black currants, starfruit, pomegranate, blueberries, broccoli and tomatoes. 6 © 2009 Star Power LLC, Please reference if distributed.
  7. 7. Antioxidant tests that claim results There is a wide litany of antioxidant tests out there, and we will try to explore them briefly here – warning, science nerdiness is about to go down. Note that all of the assays have advantages and disadvantages, and work according to the same principle - measuring the extent of a chemical reaction between an antioxidant and a free radical. ORAC – Oxygen radical absorbance capacity - DPPH – 2,2’-Diphenyl-l-picrylhydrazyl industry leader, developed by Brunswick Labs ABTS – 2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6- (also NORAC and HORAC) measures free radical sulfonic acid scavenging activity against the peroxyl radical CUPRAC – cupric reducing antioxidant TEAC – Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity capacity - well respected test Electro-Ox – similar in theory to TEAC, but FRAP - Ferric Reducing Ability of plasma – designed for use by consumers Measures free radical activity against Iron Lipid Peroxide – similar in theory to ORAC, but radicals designed for use by consumers TRAP - Total radical-trapping antioxidant CAA – Cellular antioxidant activity – the first parameter test to measure antioxidant activity in vivo, allowing aspects of metabolism to be measured as well Source: Source: 7 © 2009 Star Power LLC, Please reference if distributed.
  8. 8. Conclusion on Antioxidants There is little disagreement that antioxidants are a valuable and necessary part of a great diet. The question is of how much and where to get them – I’ll suggest an approach that tries to straddle the gap between casual consumption and fanatic antioxidant chasing. Start each day with a serving of juice or fruit rich in antioxidants, like a cup of blue berries or a glass of Star Power starfruit juice. When you have the choice between two otherwise equal options, take the one with more antioxidant impact, for example: Red wine over white wine, dark chocolate over other candy, Broccoli over lettuce. Try to minimize the damage of free radicals in your system through lifestyle changes – wear sunscreen when out for extended periods, and avoid smoking and other carcinogens. Source: 8 © 2009 Star Power LLC, Please reference if distributed.
  9. 9. Brought to you by SP Want to get your life on the right track? Why not start by supplementing your nutritional plan with the heart-healthy antioxidants found in Star Power’s 100% starfruit juice? Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, its unlike anything else. Still drinking OJ in the morning? Switch to Star Power for all the Vitamin C and 2/3 the calories, with a packed punch of antioxidants. It’s the better breakfast beverage. Website: Company Blog: Author’s Information: Vik Venkatraman is an expert in health, nutrition and consumer products. He has been advising businesses and individuals on branding, strategy and marketing for 5 years. Email: Twitter: 9 © 2009 Star Power LLC, Please reference if distributed.