Flawed theories about antioxidants
Scientific “truth” is a relative thing. What is believed to be true at one moment can change with a new discovery. While the earth was considered flat for centuries, mankind now knows that it is round and that the sun, not the earth, is the center of the solar system.
The antioxidant/free radical theory of health and disease is likely another example of flawed theory. Newer research and a deeper understanding of earlier discoveries are changing the current theory of the role of antioxidants in health. Even though millions of people believe that free radicals cause disease, and that taking high potency antioxidants will restore health, the truth is that taking high potency antioxidants cause more harm than good. While a proclamation like this seems to go against commonly held beliefs, you will learn that such beliefs are like the “flat earth.”
The real truth about antioxidants
The accepted myth is that antioxidant extracts are important substances to consume in high volumes because they slow the aging process by neutralizing free radicals. The truth, however, is that antioxidants simply are nature’s way of protecting the important nutritional value of foods until such a time as the food is consumed.
A brief history of the antioxidant theory
In the 1950s, a theory of aging was promoted which stated that free radical atoms were the cause of accelerated aging. The chemist who proposed this theory, Dr. Harmon, experimented on rats with a preservative called BHT that had antioxidant properties. While none of the rat populations showed an increase in maximum lifespan, the overall population did show a statistical increase in average life span. From these humble beginnings, the antioxidant theory began to take hold in the minds of the scientific community, and drug companies began the search for antioxidant chemicals.
Fifty years later
Today, advertisements abound promoting the mythical virtues of antioxidants, while the scientific community is now beginning to abandon them. Dozens of research projects have failed to show any benefit from antioxidant extracts added to the diets of sick people. In fact, some research has shown that ingesting antioxidant fractions may actually increase the likelihood of health degeneration.
What do antioxidants do?
Antioxidants are nature’s way of protecting the nutritional value of foods until they are consumed. Antioxidants are an integral part of wholesome foods. But they are only a part of the food – antioxidants alone do not build health. The truth is, whole foods that are high in antioxidants are also very high in many healthful nutrients – nature put the antioxidants in to protect the nutrients!
Whole foods are good for our health and should be consumed often. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, some of which are antioxidants. But this inherent goodness is not due to antioxidants; the goodness of fruits and vegetables themselves are coincidental with antioxidants.
Remember this important concept:
Whole foods are greater than the sum of their parts. And as Dr. Royal Lee stated 60 years ago, the antioxidant factors in foods seem to be there to protect “the more important factors” – the nutrients of the food. Scientific studies now demonstrate that he was right all along.
Increase Antioxidant Rich Whole Foods
First Step – REDUCE exposure to toxins
- Reduce or eliminate any and all toxic chemicals around your home such as non-biodegradable chemical cleaners, solvents, aerosol sprays, pesticides, and perfumed products.
- Eliminate foods that contain fake or damaged fats, additives, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors.
- Reduce inflammation in your body by supporting your digestive and immune systems.
- Reduce the load of toxins in your body through periodic purification.
- Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke and smog.
Second Step – INCREASE whole foods
- Eat fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants and other phytochemicals – and a lot of them – 9 or more servings per day!
- Eat organic foods as much as possible – they have up to 30% more antioxidants and up to 97% more phytochemicals on average.
- Enjoy a wide variety of antioxidant and phytochemical-rich foods. The more colorful the better! Good examples are blueberries, plums, broccoli, strawberries, and red cabbage.
- Supplement with whole food concentrates known to be high in natural antioxidants because that is where the important known and as yet unknown nutrients vital to health are found.
We recommend supplementing with high quality whole food concentrates from
Standard Process such as:
- Wheat Germ Oil – Introduced in 1939, it is one of the richest sources of complete vitamin E complex. This whole food antioxidant protects, stabilizes, and repairs cell membranes and is beneficial in numerous metabolic processes.†
- OPC Synergy® – One of the strongest natural phytochemical-rich whole food products available, OPC Synergy® contains a combination of grape seed extract (including Masquelier’s® Original OPC), buckwheat, red wine extract, green tea extract, and bilberry.†
- SP Green Food® – Research suggests that we should consume five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily in order to meet the nutritional demands of our bodies. SP Green Food is one way to assure your body receives the phytochemical benefits of whole food complexes with their synergistic cofactors to support immune system response, antioxidant protection, and detoxification activities.†
- Cruciferous Complete® – Kale and brussels sprouts contain phytonutrients that protect against cell damage.
- Cataplex® A-C-P – This combines the vitamin complexes of A and C with the vitamin P complex. The vitamin P complex, a bioflavonoid sometimes known as rutin, is essential for the successful absorption of vitamins A and C, the healthy function of capillaries and connective tissues, and immune system support.†
- Cataplex® A – Introduced in 1934, Cataplex A contains whole food concentrates of the vitamin A complex including beta carotene.†
- Cataplex® C – The vitamin C complex has long been recognized as an important nutritional compound essential for supporting the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, musculoskeletal, and blood building systems.†
Harman, D (1956). “Aging: a theory based on free radical and radiation chemistry”. JOURNAL OF GERONTOLOGY 11 (3): 298-300..
Harman, D (1972). “A biologic clock: the mitochondria?”. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY 20 (4): 145-147.
Howes, R (2006). “The Free Radical Fantasy – A Panoply of Paradoxes” Ann.N.Y.Acad.Sci.1067:22–26(2006)
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. They are to support your health.