Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pomegranates -- the ORAC super powerhouse -- now in splendid eco green Omega 5 skin care

Green ORAC technology by POMEGA5

What is ORAC?

According to Jean Carper, the best-selling author of Miracle Cures, Stop the Aging Now! and Food - Your Miracle Medicine, "Loads of oxygen free radical thugs can get out of control, corrupting cells' genetic DNA, ripping their membranes, eroding their normal functioning, and sometimes destroying them." She further states, "In general, they (oxygen free radicals) are the dark forces that attack fatty cell membranes, creating permanent cellular damage that accumulates over time, leading to accelerated aging and virtually every chronic disease imaginable, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and degenerative brain problems."

What do these oxygen free radicals attack?

Every cell in the body is subject to attack. Oxygen free radicals cannot be avoided altogether. "Every instance of your existence is an elegant dance of life and death between free radicals and antioxidants." They are generated when you breathe, or burn calories and glucose during normal metabolism. They get into your body through cigarette smoke, air pollution, and toxic chemicals in the air and water. They are carried into your cells in food, notably fatty foods. "Our brain generates more free radicals than other bodily tissue, because it uses so much oxygen and is the fattest organ in the body."

Oxygen reacts with fat molecules in ways that generate free radicals, a process called oxidation which leaves fat oxidized or rancid. Even worse, oxidized fat cripples the functions of the mitochondria (energy factors of cells), prompting a cascade of events that can cause cell death.

Why must we be concerned?

When oxygen free radicals get the upper hand over antioxidant activity, the result is an imbalance known in scientific jargon as "oxidative stress." This simply means that the free radical thugs can overpower our antioxidant potential and beat up in the cells of our body. Unfortunately, as we age, our body tends to produce more free radicals and fewer antioxidants, potentially leading toward mental and physical decline. According to some experts, this antioxidant production slowdown begins around the age of twenty five. This has lead many to believe that it is especially imperative to take in more antioxidants as you get older in order to maintain a more youthful balance.

Are all antioxidants the same?

Absolutely not! Antioxidants vary in their ability to combat free radicals. The stronger and more efficient they are, the greater their so called "antioxidant capacity of power." However, it was not until researchers at Tufts University in Boston developed a method of analyzing each food for its antioxidant capacity that anyone knew the real benefit of taking antioxidants. Then another USDA scientist, Dr. Guohau (Howard) Cao, blended some samples of specified foods and used the pulp and extract to reveal the food's "total antioxidant capacity or power." The procedure is now referred to as ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).

After testing each food, an ORAC source or value is assigned that signifies how well nature endowed that food with overall power to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals.

Not surprising, this testing procedure has revealed that the highest antioxidant sources are fruits, followed by vegetables. Yet most people are not consuming the recommended five daily servings.

No longer do we just consider the individual components a food has, such as how much beta-carotene or lycopene or anthocyanins they contain. What really counts is the "total antioxidant capacity."

What are the top "antioxidant powerhouses" inspired by nature?

One group of these powerhouses are the so-called carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, alpha carotene, lycopenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin. There is another family of antioxidants known as flavonoids. Both of these families seem to be concentrated in deeply colored fruits and vegetables. Also, teas and red wine contain a group of phyto-chemicals called proanthrocyanidins and polyphenois like resveratrol.

We now know that the total antioxidant capacity of food is far greater than the sum of these individual components. Certain fruits and vegetables contain a complex assortment of countless antioxidants that interact and potentate each other, pushing their "antioxidant power" far above their mere additive value.

How do we know the ORAC value of these "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables?

If you ask people in general, 'What do you think is the most powerful food in free radical absorbency capacity," you will get all kinds of answers. Some will say broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and possibly spinach. That is because we have heard they are good for us, and while this is true in many respects, it is not necessarily true in terms of "total antioxidant capacity or power."

Also surprising, it is not always fresh foods that have the greatest "antioxidant power." For example, the new ORAC test shows that a fresh plum has an ORAC value of 9.49 (per gram), compared to a dried plum (prune) with an ORAC value of 57.7 (per gram). Another surprising example is the antioxidant power of grapes. Fresh grapes have an ORAC value of 4.46 (per gram) versus dried grapes (raisins) that have an ORAC value of 28.3 (per gram). Why? Drying removes the water and concentrates their antioxidants.

Does this mean we are only to eat dried foods?

Of course this is not true. We consume foods not only for their antioxidant value, but for their nutritive value as well, which makes our bodies function properly. At the same time, we must not ignore the other values of food such as its "free radical absorbency capacity" or "antioxidant power." Most of us do not want to just feel good for the moment; we want the moment to last. We are all interested in anti-aging, like extension and quality of life. By learning of a foods ORAC value we may be one step closer to the fountain of youth.

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.

What about those people who are not eating their fruits and vegetables daily?

Of course the ORAC value also depends on which fruits and vegetables you choose. Maybe you are eating five servings, but they could be fruits and vegetables with a low ORAC value.

ORAC(Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) is the favored choice in the science community in measuring the antioxidant capacity of foods. Blueberries, blackberries, apple, eggplant and other foods have different orac values. ORAC measures how well the antioxidants in food neutralize free radicals.

The Agriculture Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has recently provided data on the ORAC values of 277 food items. The data is available for download at
For your info.

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods - 2007

This database contains ORAC data for 277 food items and represents a collaboration between the Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center and the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

You will need the Adobe Acrobat viewer to view the report

ORAC07_R1.mdb - This file contains the ORAC Database imported into a MS Access database. It includes relationships between files. You need Microsoft Access 2000 to use this file. View the ORAC report for full documentation. The file structure is the same as that of the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

A presentation on the database was made at the recent AICR Launch Conference:

USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods. Bhagwat, S., Haytowitz, D.B. Holden, J.M. American Institute for Cancer Research Launch Conference. November 1-2, 2007. Washington, D.C.
Read the news story on the database.

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