Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals or enzymes which help protect our bodies from the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms which can cause damage to our cells, impairing our immune system and contributing to conditions such as the aging process, cancer and atherosclerosis. Supplementing the diet with antioxidants can increase the free radical scavenging process.
The many stresses of modern living often create free radicals in quantities well beyond the body's natural ability to cope with them. Pollution and other environmental hazards like radiation also contribute to excess free radicals in our bodies. When this happens the body requires key nutrients, such as beta-carotene, along with foods that promote the body's natural production of antioxidant enzymes.
The following are all considered as effective antioxidants (ref):
- Beta Carotene
- Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)
- Grape Seed Extract
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
ORAC, NORAC, HORAC
In addition to the ORAC assay, which determines free radical scavenging activity against the peroxyl radical for both water-soluble and lipid-soluble substances, Brunswick Laboratories has also developed assays to determine free radical scavenging activity against other free radicals, including the peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals (known as NORAC and HORAC). Brunswick Laboratories has developed proprietary tests that measure the total antioxidant capacity of substances, including a fat-soluble assay for the peroxyl radical and assays for the hydroxyl (HORAC) and peroxynitrite (NORAC) radicals.
- ORAC hydro (peroxyl radical/water-soluble)
- ORAC lipo (peroxyl radical/fat-soluble)
- HORAC (hydroxyl radical)
- NORAC (peroxynitrite radical)
- Total ORAC
Total Phenolics Content Total Anthocyanins Content
- ORAC hydro
- ORAC lipo
The improved ORAC assay only measures the antioxidant activity against peroxyl radical and hydroxyl radical. Brunswick Lab is in the process of expanding the ORAC method to other harmful species.