Health topics




Numerous clinical and laboratory studies support the benefits of antioxidants.  Science has long held that damage by oxygen free radicals is behind many of the maladies, especially degenerative diseases, that come with aging including cardiovascular disease.  As we age, cells become sluggish in responding to chemical stimulation.  However, studies on the impact of high ORAC value diets show cells are able to retain or maintain their ability to function.  Not surprising, studies indicate that those who consume a diet with a high ORAC value have significantly better long-term memory and less cellular degeneration. (Joseph et al. 1999)

Studies show that the ORAC value for fruits and vegetables can be much greater than just the cumulative ORAC value of the naturally-occurring antioxidant vitamins C and E.  This confirms the assumption that there are other bioavailable components, specifically phytonutrients, in foods that can significantly increase antioxidant activity.

Inflammation plays a very important role in cardiovascular disease.  Mangosteen, berries, grapes and pomegranate studies all demonstrate the cardioprotective mechanisms of their active constituents.  Many of these phytonutrients have been shown to be anti-atherosclerotic (Williams et al. 1995; Frankel, 1993, Aviram et al. 2000) by inhibiting lipid oxidation, reducing oxidative stress, suppressing cellular cholesterol, reducing homocysteine levels, decreasing COX-2 expression, preventing platelet clumping, preserving and healing vascular endotheilial cells (Nigris, et al. 2005), and squelching free radicals. (Nijveldt, 2001)

Many of the compounds exerting antioxidant properties also have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, including the xanthones in Mangosteen (Gopalakrishnan et al. 1980 Shankaranarayanan, 1980; Chairungsrilerd, 1996), polyphenols in grapes (Rao, et al. 2000), and ellagic acid in pomegranates. (Narvindra, 2005)  Considerable evidence suggests the mechanism by which these compounds impact inflammation in the body is by inhibiting COX (cyclooxygenase) activity. (Nakatani et al. 2002)  Prostaglandins (PGs), arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites of the cyclooxygenase (COX) pathway, are major mediators in the regulation of inflammation and immune function. (Smith et al. 2000)  By inhibiting the rate-limiting enzyme in PG synthesis, COX-2, compounds like mangostin in Mangosteen extract can interrupt the body's inflammation process. (Nakatani et al. 2004)  Even allergic inflammation has been reduced by these compounds via histamine release inhibition. (Nakatani, 2002)

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