Super ORAC Ingredients:
Green Tea Extract (Decaffeinated)
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) is different from black tea in that it is not fermented. Leaves used to make green tea are prepared immediately after harvest to preserve their bene cial phytochemicals.1 Clinical trials have demonstrated that green tea signi cantly increases antioxidant activity in the blood.2 Green tea offers antioxidant protection against diseases and protects the cells against chromosome damage by reducing free radical oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation.
The bene cial properties of green tea are primarily attributed to polyphenols, which are potent antioxidant phytochemicals. Polyphenolic constituents of green tea are classi ed as catechins. There are several types of these water-soluble compounds in green tea, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epicatechin (EC). EGCG is considered to be the most active of the green tea polyphenols.1
Green tea polyphenols appear to have antimutagenic effects. They may protect DNA from damage and protect against abnormal cell growth.1 Several studies have shown that green tea decreases cell proliferation and/or increases cell death of a variety of abnormal cell lines.2 Recent research found that one of the mechanisms by which green tea protects against abnormal cell growth is by binding to a speci c protein known as HSP90. This protein is found in higher levels in abnormally dividing cells. When HSP90 is blocked, levels of proteins that contribute to abnormal cell growth decrease.3
The antioxidant effects of green tea polyphenols may prevent the oxidation and death of neurons (brain cells), which may protect against the development of cognitive dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases.1 Green tea polyphenols have also been shown to prevent skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation due to their antioxidant actions.1,2
Studies have demonstrated that catechins and epicatechins in green tea inhibit LDL oxidation, which has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.2 Green tea has been found to be a much more potent antioxidant than both vitamins E and C.4
Catechins in green tea may have anti-in ammatory actions.1 Studies show that green tea polyphenols seem to lessen the degeneration of joints.1 They may protect cartilage by inhibiting proteoglycan and collagen breakdown.1 Supplementing with green tea may have a positive effect on bone mineral density. The exact mechanism for the positive effect on bone is not known. Green tea polyphenols may inhibit the resorption of bone and thereby increase mineral metabolism.1
EGCG in green tea may support a healthy intestinal ora population by increasing levels of the probiotics lactobacilli and bi dobacteria and reducing levels of potentially harmful enterobacteria.1
1. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz f, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 9th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research faculty; 2007.
2. Murray L. Green Tea. LaGow B. ed-in-chief. The PDR for Herbal Medicines. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Thompson PRD; 2004.
3. Palermo CM, Westlake CA, Gasiewicz TA. Epigallocatechin gallate inhibits aryl hydrocarbon receptor gene transcription through an indirect mechanism involving binding to a 90 kDa heat shock protein. Biochemistry. 2005 Apri 5:44(13):5041-52.
4. Zhao BL, Li XJ, He RG, Cheng SJ, Xin WJ. Scavenging effects of extracts of green tea and other natural antioxidants on active oxygen radicals. Cell Biophys. 1989 Apri; 14(2):175-85.
Apple Fruit Extract
Apple fruit extract comes from the skin and fruit of apples (Malus domestica). The major antioxidant components in apples are more highly concentrated in the skin of the apple than the fruit. These compounds include quercetin glycoside, procyanidin B, phloretin glycoside, chlorogenic acid and epicatechin. Apple fruit extract provides concentrated amounts of bene cial polyphenolic compounds, including procyanidins. Procyanidins have attracted attention due to their potential health
bene ts as powerful antioxidants, offering protection for the cardiovascular system and other body systems. One apple may contain several hundred milligrams of polyphenols, which is considerably more than one serving of red wine.1,2
Phenolic antioxidants play an important role in the prevention of oxidative damage by free radicals.3 In a recent study, apple extract decreased and prevented oxidative damage to gastric cells, suggesting apple extract may be useful in protecting stomach and intestinal lining from injury by free radicals as well as from NSAIDs (non- steroidal anti-in ammatory drugs), which can cause gastric ulcers.3 These effects were thought to be due to the antioxidant activity of apple polyphenols.3
Population studies have linked the antioxidant actions of apple polyphenols with a lower risk of cellular abnormalities.4 In laboratory and animal studies, apple polyphenols have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancerous colon cells.5,6 In human lung cells, apple fruit was shown to ef ciently neutralize hydroxyl free radicals, thereby reducing lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, cell death and the activation of a protein complex involved in abnormal cellular growth.7
Apples offer other health bene ts. They contain a phytochemical called phlorentin, which provides immune support by inhibiting bacterial activity.8 Apple polyphenols have been shown to suppress the release of histamine (a chemical that causes in ammation and itching), and studies indicate that apple polyphenol extract may help reduce both respiratory and skin allergies.4,9 Recent studies suggest that apple polyphenols have a positive effect on cholesterol levels10 and have been shown to inhibit triglyceride absorption.4
Apple fruit extract can bene t the structural system. In one study, supplementing with apple fruit extract had a positive impact on body composition by reducing body fat and improving fat metabolism.4 One laboratory study indicates that the antioxidant and in ammation-reducing properties of apple polyphenols (speci cally phloridzin) may prevent bone loss by improving bone resorption.4 Procyanidin B-2 from apple fruit may promote hair growth on the scalp. A study using apple procyanidin B-2 for four months showed a signi cant increase in the amount and diameter of hair compared to that of a placebo group.11
1. Tsao R, et al. Polyphenolic pro les in eight apple cultivars using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Oct 8;51(21):6347-53.
2. Hammerstone Jf, et al. Procyanidin content and variation in some commonly consumed foods. J Nutr. 2000 Aug;130(8S Suppl):2086S-92S. 3. Graziani G, D’argenio G, Tuccillo C, Loguercio C, Ritieni A, Morisco f, Del Vecchio Blanco C, fogliano V, Romano M. Apple polyphenol extracts prevent damage to human gastric epithelial cells in vitro and to rat gastric mucosa in vivo. Gut. 2005 feb;54(2):193-200. 4. Life Extension foundation. The Disease-fighting Power of Polyphenols. 1995-2008. Available at: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/ feb2008_The-Disease-fighting-Power-Of-Polyphenols_01.htm Accessed October 9, 2008.
5. Gosse f, Guyot S, Roussi S, Lobstein A, fischer B, Seiler N, Raul f. Chemopreventive properties of apple procyanidins on human colon cancer-derived metastatic SW620 cells and in a rat model of colon carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis. 2005 Jul;26(7):1291-5.
6. Veeriah S, Hofmann T, Glei M, Dietrich H, Will f, Schreier P, Knaup B, Pool-Zobel BL. Apple polyphenols and products formed in the gut differently inhibit survival of human cell lines derived from colon adenoma (LT97) and carcinoma (HT29). J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Apr 18;55(8):2892-900.
7. Shi D, Jiang BH. Antioxidant properties of apple juice and its protection against Cr(VI)-induced cellular injury. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2002;21(3):233-42.
8. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz f, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 9th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research faculty; 2007.
9. Enomoto T, Nagasako-Akazome Y, Kanda T, Ikeda M, Dake Y. Clinical effects of apple polyphenols on persisten allergic rhinitis: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel arm study. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2006;16(5):283-9.
10. Nagasako-Akazome Y, Kanda T, Ohtake Y, Shimasaki H, Kobayashi T. Apple polyphenols in uence cholesterol metabolism in healthy subjects with relatively high body mass index. J Oleo Sci. 2007;56(8):417-28.
11. Takahashi T, Kamimura A, Yokoo Y, Honda S, Watanabe Y. The rst clinical trial of topical application of procyanidin B-2 to investigate its potential as a hair growing agent. Phytother Res. 2001 Jun;15(4):331-6.
Selenium is a trace mineral found in water, soil and some foods. In plant foods, selenium content is dependent on the quality of the soil in which the plants grow. Likewise, in animal foods, selenium content is dependent on the quality of the foods available to them. Good sources of selenium include grains, nuts, meats and seafood. However, re ning or processing these sources can destroy selenium. for those with digestive conditions such as Crohn’s disease, the body’s ability to absorb selenium is limited.1,2 Although trace minerals are needed only in small amounts for optimal health, nutrient-depleted soils and health conditions can lead to de ciencies. Selenium plays a vital role in neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals in the body, as well as aiding thyroid and immune function.2
While selenium itself is not a potent antioxidant nutrient, it is a crucial component that the body needs to form antioxidant enzymes, known as selenoproteins.2,3 Super ORAC contains selenium primarily in the natural form selenomethionine, along with small amounts of
other natural selenoproteins. Selenomethionine is absorbed at approximately 95%.4 After binding to a plasma protein called selenoproteins P., selenomethionine can be transported and stored throughout the body.5
A large part of selenium’s physiological function as an antioxidant has to do with its incorporation into glutathione peroxidase (GPX). GPX is a collective term for four enzymes (GPX 1–4) that work throughout the body to reduce oxidative stress from free radicals and hydrogen peroxide. One of GPX’s major functions is to stabilize cell membranes, as they are composed of unsaturated fatty acids that are vulnerable to oxidation.5,6
As part of GPX, selenium offers many health benefits, including increased cardiovascular health, decreased cancer risks, arthritis relief and more. In addition to antioxidant effects, GPX has an anti-aggregative effect on platelets by increasing the ratio of prostacyclin (antiaggregant) to thromboxane (proaggregant), which might contribute to reduced clots and atherosclerosis.5 Observational studies have shown that populations with higher blood levels of selenium have reduced incidence of death from lung, colorectal and prostate cancers. Mechanisms that have been suggested for selenium’s role in this reduction include lessening tumor development by enhancing immune function, suppressing blood vessel growth to tumors, and neutralizing free radicals.2,5 Antioxidant effects may also in uence in ammation associated with arthritis. Studies of sufferers with chromic joint pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of mobility have shown that these people also have low blood levels of selenium.2,6
1. Natural Standard. Professional monograph on selenium. © 2008. Updated Oct. 6, 2008. Available at www.naturalstandard.com. Accessed Oct. 7, 2008.
2. NIH: Of ce of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement fact Sheet: Selenium. Updated Aug. 1, 2004. Available at http:///ods. od.nih.gov/factsheets/seleniu.asp. Accessed Oct. 7, 2008.
3. National Cancer Institute. Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention: fact Sheet. Updated Jul. 28, 2004. Available at http://www. cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/antioxidantsprotection. Accessed Oct. 7, 2008.
4. fan AM, Kizer KW. “Selenium. Nutritional, toxicologic, and clinical aspects.” West J Med. 1990 Aug;153(2):160-7. Review.
5. Wildman REC, Medieros DM. Advanced Human Nutrition. © 2002. CRC Press, LLC. Boca Raton, fl.
6. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Monograph on selenium. Updated Oct. 6, 2008. Available at www. naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Oct. 7, 2008.
Turmeric is a spice derived from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. Its principal active ingredient, curcumin, is a polyphenol compound responsible for turmeric’s yellow color. Turmeric curcuminoids have a strong antioxidant effect. In addition, curcumin is noted for its anti-in ammatory, anticancer, lipid-lowering and hypoglycemic effects.1
Curcumin is an effective scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as reactive nitrogen species (RNS) in vitro.2,3 It has also been shown to inhibit oxidative DNA damage.4 In addition to direct antioxidant activity, curcumin may function indirectly as an antioxidant by inhibiting the activity of in ammatory enzymes and by enhancing the synthesis of glutathione, an important intracellular antioxidant.5 Turmerin is a water-soluble peptide from turmeric with antioxidant properties.6
Turmeric’s anti-in ammatory effects may be the result of several mechanisms. Curcumin has been shown in laboratory studies to inhibit a number of different molecules involved in in ammation.7 In a controlled, double-blind study, curcumin was found to signi cantly reduce edema and tenderness in subjects with post-operative in ammation compared to placebo.8
The protective role of curcumin against carcinogenesis has been attributed to its antioxidant effects.9 There is also evidence of decreased cellular proliferation and increased apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells in animal studies.10 Dietary turmeric extract given to mice signi cantly inhibited chemically-induced skin and gastric tumors.11 Curcumin may also suppress telomerase activity and induce apoptosis in human cancer cell lines.12
Turmeric was shown to have lipid-lowering effects in several studies. Rats fed a diet of 0.5% curcumin for eight weeks had signi cantly decreased serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL), total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Curcumin given to healthy human volunteers was associated with a signi cant increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and a signi cant decrease in total cholesterol.13
Turmeric may also have positive effects on blood sugar balance as animal studies show that curcuminoids in turmeric may exhibit hypoglycemic effects.14 Turmeric contains both lipid-soluble (curcumin) and water-soluble (turmerin) constituents with antioxidant properties.
1. The Review of Natural Products. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. St. Louis, Missouri. 2004
2. Sreejayan, Rao MN. Nitric oxide scavenging by curcuminoids. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1997;49(1):105-107.
3. Sreejayan N, Rao MN. free radical scavenging activity of curcuminoids. Arzneimittelforschung. 1996;46(2):169-171.
4. Garcea G, Berry DP, Jones DJ, et al. Consumption of the putative chemopreventive agent curcumin by cancer patients: assessment of curcumin levels in the colorectum and their pharmacodynamic consequences. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14(1):120-125. 5. Dickinson DA, Iles KE, Zhang H, Blank V, forman HJ. Curcumin alters EpRE and AP-1 binding complexes and elevates glutamate- cysteine ligase gene expression. Faseb J. 2003;17(3):473-475.
6. Srinivas, L. and Shalini, V. K. DNA damage by smoke: protection by turmeric and other inhibitors of ROS. Free Radic. Biol. Med 1991;11(3):277-283.
7. Chianani-Wu N. Safety and anti-in ammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa). J Altern Complement Med. 2003 feb;9(1):161:8.
8. Satoskar, R. R., Shah, S. J., and Shenoy, S. G. Evaluation of anti-in ammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative in ammation. Int.J Clin Pharmacol Ther. Toxicol. 1986;24(12):651-654.
9. Subramanian, M., Sreejayan, Rao, M. N., Devasagayam, T. P., and Singh, B. B. Diminution of singlet oxygen-induced DNA damage by curcumin and related antioxidants. Mutat. Res 12-1-1994;311(2):249-255.
10. Dorai, T., Cao, Y. C., Dorai, B., Buttyan, R., and Katz, A. E. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. III. Curcumin inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and inhibits angiogenesis of LNCaP prostate cancer cells in vivo. Prostate 6-1-2001;47(4):293-303. 11. Azuine, M. A. and Bhide, S. V. Chemopreventive effect of turmeric against stomach and skin tumors induced by chemical carcinogens in Swiss mice. Nutr. Cancer 1992;17(1):77-83.
12. Cui, S. X., Qu, X. J., Xie, Y. Y., Zhou, L., Nakata, M., Makuuchi, M., and Tang, W. Curcumin inhibits telomerase activity in human cancer cell lines. Int J Mol. Med 2006;18(2):227-231.
13. Soni, K. B. and Kuttan, R. Effect of oral curcumin administration on serum peroxides and cholesterol levels in human volunteers. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1992;36(4):273-275.
14. Nishiyama, T., Mae, T., Kishida, H., Tsukagawa, M., Mimaki, Y., Kuroda, M., Sashida, Y., Takahashi, K., Kawada, T., Nakagawa, K., and Kitahara, M. Curcuminoids and sesquiterpenoids in turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) suppress an increase in blood glucose level in type 2 diabetic KK-Ay mice. J Agric Food Chem 2-23-2005;53(4):959-963.
Resveratrol is a chemical compound that acts as an antibiotic by plants that are under attack by foreign organisms. Resveratrol has been identi ed in over 70 plant species, including grapes, peanuts, berries, some pines and the roots and stalks of giant knotweed and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum).1
In test tube studies, resveratrol has strong inhibitory activity on free radicals, including the superoxide anion, hydroxyl- radical and hydrogen peroxide.1 Resveratrol also possesses glutathione-sparing activity. Resveratrol’s antioxidant activity may play an important role in the numerous bene ts it provides, including anti-in ammatory, neuroprotective, antimutagenic and cardioprotective effects.2,3
Resveratrol may have a positive effect on nervous system cells. It may interfere with the signaling pathways leading to apoptosis (programmed cell death) in neuronal cells.4 It has also been suggested that resveratrol’s antioxidative action helps maintain neuronal cell viability.5
Resveratrol may offer cardio-protective effects through various mechanisms, including the inhibition of COX-2 activity.6 Reduced COX-2 activity is associated with a decrease in in ammation. Resveratrol has also been shown to inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.7,8,9
Resveratrol’s anti-in ammatory activity is likely due to inhibition of a number of different molecules involved in in ammation, including COX-1 and COX-2, hydroperoxidases and 5-lipoxygenase.2 Resveratrol also seems to decrease the activity of in ammatory cytokines.10 Some evidence suggests that resveratrol is a more potent anti-in ammatory agent than NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-in ammatory drugs).11
In vitro and animal studies have shown resveratrol to exhibit chemoprotective action. It seems to inhibit tumor growth and promote apoptosis.12 Dietary administration of resveratrol may also extend the latency period of tumor development.13 Quercetin and other avonoids may improve the bioavailability of resveratrol.14
The “french paradox”—or the fact that people in france enjoy a high-fat diet yet suffer less heart disease than Americans—may be attributed to the consumption of resveratrol in wine. The resveratrol content of wine is highly dependent on grape type, climate and manufacturing practices. Dietary supplements provide a reliable source of resveratrol.
1. Hendler SS, Rorvik DR, eds. PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Montvale: Medical Economics Company, Inc; 2001.
2. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 4th Ed. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz f, Hitchens K, et al. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research faculty; 2002.
3. Jang M, Cai L, Udeani GO, et al. Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes. Science 1997;275:218-20.
4. Nicolini, G., Rigolio, R., Miloso, M., Bertelli, A. A., and Tredici, G. Anti-apoptotic effect of trans-resveratrol on paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line. Neurosci. Lett. 4-13-2001;302(1):41-44.
5. Savaskan, E., Olivieri, G., Meier, f., Seifritz, E., Wirz-Justice, A., and Muller-Spahn, f. Red wine ingredient resveratrol protects from beta- amyloid neurotoxicity. Gerontology 2003;49(6):380-383.
6. Subbaramaiah, K., Chung, W. J., Michaluart, P., Telang, N., Tanabe, T., Inoue, H., Jang, M., Pezzuto, J. M., and Dannenberg, A. J.
Resveratrol inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 transcription and activity in phorbol ester-treated human mammary epithelial cells. J. Biol. Chem. 8-21- 1998;273(34):21875-21882.
7. Stojanovic S, Sprinz H, Brede O. Ef ciency and mechanism of the antioxidant action of trans-resveratrol and its analogues in the radical liposome oxidation. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2001;391(1):79-89.
8. Brito P, Almeida LM, Dinis TC. The interaction of resveratrol with ferrylmyoglobin and peroxynitrite; protection against LDL oxidation. Free Radic Res. 2002;36(6):621-631.
9. frankel EN, Waterhouse AL, Kinsella JE. Inhibition of human LDL oxidation by resveratrol. Lancet. 1993;341(8852):1103-1104.
10. Holmes-McNary M, Baldwin AS, Jr. Chemopreventive properties of trans-resveratrol are associated with inhibition of activation of the IkappaB kinase. Cancer Res 2000;60:3477-83.
11. Hwang D, fischer NH, Jang BC, et al. Inhibition of the expression of inducible cyclooxygenase and proin ammatory cytokines by sesquiterpene lactones in macrophages correlates with the inhibition of MAP kinases. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1996;226:810-8.
12. Jang M, Cai L, Udeani GO, et al. Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes. Science 1997;275:218-20.
13. Banerjee, S., Bueso-Ramos, C., and Aggarwal, B. B. Suppression of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced mammary carcinogenesis in rats by resveratrol: role of nuclear factor-kappaB, cyclooxygenase 2, and matrix metalloprotease 9. Cancer Res. 9-1-2002;62(17):4945-4954. 14. de Santi, C., Pietrabissa, A., Spisni, R., Mosca, f., and Paci ci, G. M. Sulphation of resveratrol, a natural compound present in wine, and its inhibition by natural avonoids. Xenobiotica 2000;30(9):857-866.
Açai Berry Extract
Açai (Euterpe oleracea), pronounced ah-sigh-ee, is a small, round, purple fruit that is produced by a certain species of palm tree native to Brazil. Açai is an antioxidant-rich super-food currently considered by many to have the best nutritional value of any fruit on earth. Açai has traditionally been used for improving general health and well-being.1 Açai berries contain protein and fatty acids, as well as vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, thiamine, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and iron.1 This fruit has been shown to have higher levels of antioxidants than raspberry, cranberry, blackberry, strawberry and blueberry.1
Açai contains high amounts of anthocyanins—water-soluble pigment compounds with potent antioxidant actions.1 Anthocyanins have some of the strongest physiological effects among plant compounds.2 They may also aid the eyes and improve night vision.
Other bene cial phytochemicals that have been identi ed in açai fruit include proanthocyanidins, phenolic acids and plant sterols, including beta-sitosterol.3,4 Açai fruit has been shown to have signi cantly high antioxidant protection against a variety of free radicals, especially for superoxide and peroxyl radicals.5
Recent studies have demonstrated that antioxidants in açai fruit are able to enter human cells in a fully functional form and neutralize free radicals even at low doses.5 The antioxidant actions of açai fruit may also protect against abnormal cell growth and division. In a recent study, açai polyphenols were shown to have antiproliferative effects on human leukemia cells.6
The antioxidant effects of anthocyanins such as those found in açai fruit have been associated with improved cardiovascular health. Increased levels of lipid peroxidation have been associated with cardiovascular disease 7 and preliminary studies indicate that açai fruit decreases lipid peroxidation.4 Anthocyanins such as those found in açai fruit are known to improve circulation by reducing capillary permeability and increasing the strength of microvessel walls. Other cardiovascular bene ts include helping to prevent blood clots, improving circulation and preventing artherosclerosis. Plant sterols, such as those found in açai fruit, have been used to maintain cholesterol levels, aid the immune system and maintain a healthy prostate.
Açai fruit may decrease in ammation by inhibiting speci c enzymes that are involved in causing in ammation (COX-1 and COX-2).5 Thus açai may be helpful for individuals with joint pain and other in ammatory conditions.
1. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz f, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 9th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research faculty; 2007.
2. Health & Medicine on Squidoo. 2008. Available at: http://www.squidoo.com/açai-research Accessed October 8, 2008.
3. Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior RL, Ou B, Patel D, Huang D, Kababick JP. Phytochemical and nutrient composition of the freeze- dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (açai). J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8604-10.
4. Jensen GS, Wu X, Patterson KM, Barnes J, Carter SG, Scherwitz L, Beaman R, Endres JR, Alexander SG. In Vitro and in Vivo Antioxidant and Anti-in ammatory Capacities of an Antioxidant-Rich fruit and Berry Juice Blend. Results of a Pilot and Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study. J. Agric Food Chem. 2008; 56, 8326-8333.
5. Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior RL, Ou B, Huang D, Owens J, Agarwal A, Jensen GS, Hart AN, Shanbrom E. Antioxidant capacity and other bioactivities of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (açai). J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8604-10.
6. Del Pozo-Insfran D, Percival SS, Talcott ST. Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) polyphenolics in their glycoside and aglycone forms induce apoptosis of HL-60 leukemia cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 feb 22;54(4):1222-9.
7. Castelao J, Gago-Dominguez M. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women: relationship to lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. Med. Hypotheses. 2008;71(1):39-44.
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) consists of a white, eshy fruit surrounded by an outer purple rind, or pericarp. The fruit and especially the pericarp are rich in xanthones, a class of active phytochemicals. Several xanthones have been isolated from mangosteen; mangostin (alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, gamma- mangostin) and garcinone E are the most studied.
Xanthones are potent antioxidants. Alpha-mangostin and gamma-mangostin have been shown to effectively scavenge peroxynitrite, a powerful oxidant. Mangosteen’s antioxidant properties also contribute to its anti-in ammatory bene ts and health bene ts for the cardiovascular system.
Mangostin is a free-radical scavenger and inhibits the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.1,2 This helps protect the cardiovascular system. Gamma-mangostin has inhibitory activity against molecules involved in in ammation, including prostaglandin E2, and COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.3,4 Alpha-mangostin demonstrated inhibition of Nf-kB kinase and COX-2, which helps reduce in ammation. Alpha-mangostin was also shown to reduce histamine release, demonstrating anti- allergy properties.5
Additionally, mangosteen is noted for its cancer chemoprotective and anti-microbial effects. The xanthone garcinone E inhibited the growth of hepatocellular carcinomas as well as gastric and lung cancer cell lines.6 Alpha-mangostin had a growth inhibitory effect on human leukemia cell line HL60, and a pericarp extract inhibited breast cancer cells.7,8 These bene ts may well be due to its inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and stimulation of early apoptosis (programmed cell death).9
Studies have shown that mangosteen and an extract of its pericarp have antibacterial and antifungal action.10,11 The Handbook of Biologically Active Phytochemicals and Their Actives lists mangostin as a compound with antiseptic, bactericidal and fungicidal properties. Research has shown that pericarp extract stimulated immune phagocytes and killed salmonella bacteria.12 Other studies show it helps inhibit Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.13,14 Multiple fungal species were also susceptible to mangostin.15
1. Williams P, et al. Mangostin inhibits the oxidative modi cation of human low density lipoprotein. Free Radic Res. 1995 Aug;23(2):175-84.
2. Mahabusarakam W, et al. Inhibition of lipoprotein oxidation by prenylated xanthones derived from mangostin. Free Radic Res. 2000 Nov;33(5):643-59.
3. Gopalakrishnan C, et al. Effect of mangostin, a xanthone from Garcinia mangostana Linn. in immunopathological & in ammatory reactions. Indian J Exp Biol. 1980 Aug;18(8):843-6.
4. Nakatani K, et al. Inhibition of cyclooxygenase and prostaglandin E2 synthesis by gamma-mangostin, a xanthone derivative in mangosteen, in C6 rat glioma cells. Biochem Pharmacol. 2002 Jan 1;63(1):73-9.
5. Chairungsrilerd, N., furukawa, K., Ohta, T., Nozoe, S., and Ohizumi, Y. Histaminergic and serotonergic receptor blocking substances from the medicinal plant Garcinia mangostana. Planta Med. 1996;62(5):471-472.
6. Ho, CK, et al. Garcinone E, a xanthone derivative, has potent cytotoxic effect against hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. Planta Med. 2002 Nov;68(11):975-9.
7. Moongkarndi P et al. Antiproliferation, antioxidation and induction of apoptosis by Garcinia mangostana (mangosteen) on SKBR3 human breast cancer cell line. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jan;90(1):161-6.
8. Matsumoto K, et al. Induction of apoptosis by xanthones from mangosteen in human leukemia cell lines. J Nat Prod. 2003 Aug;66(8):1124-7.
9. Moongkarndi, P., Kosem, N., Kaslungka, S., Luanratana, O., Pongpan, N., and Neungton, N. Antiproliferation, antioxidation
and induction of apoptosis by Garcinia mangostana (mangosteen) on SKBR3 human breast cancer cell line. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;90(1):161-166.
10. Sundaram BM, et al., Antimicrobial activities of Garcinia mangostana. Planta Med. 1983 May;48(1):59-60.
11. Gopalakrishnan G, et al. Evaluation of the antifungal activity of natural xanthones form Garcinina mangostana and their synthetic derivatives. J Nat Prod. 1997 May;60(5):519-24.
12. Chanarat P, et al. Immunopharmacological activity of polysaccharide from the pericarp of mangosteen garcinia: phagocytic intracellular killing activities. J Med Assoc Thai. 1997 Sep;80 Suppl 1:S149-54.
13. Iinuma M, et al. Antibacterial activity of xanthones from guttiferaeous plants against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1996 Aug;48(8):861-5.
14. Suksamrarn S, et al. Antimycobacterial activity of prenylated xanthones from the fruits of Garcinia mangostana. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2003 Jul;51(7):857-9.
15. Sundaram, B. M., Gopalakrishnan, C., Subramanian, S., Shankaranarayanan, D., and Kameswaran, L. Antimicrobial activities of Garcinia mangostana. Planta Med 1983;48(1):59-60.
Quercetin is part of a group of polyphenolic substances known as avonoids. It is widely distributed in nature and found in plants such as onions, apples, berries, broccoli and St. John’s wort.1,2,3 As a dietary component, quercetin is thought to have antioxidant, gastroprotective, cardioprotective, anti-allergy, immunomodulating, anti-in ammatory, anti-cancer and anti-viral activities. 2,4
Cell membranes are composed of lipids that are susceptible to oxidative damage. Quercetin may provide a protective assistance throughout the body against this damage.
The antioxidant effects of quercetin may be responsible for many of its health bene ts. Its antioxidant nature is thought to be the mechanism behind quercetin’s gastro-protective and cardio-protective effects. In one study where patients received an alcohol-free red wine extract with quercetin, LDL oxidation was inhibited.3 The researchers ruled out antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids for this effect.
In animal and in vitro studies, quercetin has been shown to inhibit the degranulation of mast cells, basophils and neutrophils.2,4 In these cases, the mechanisms of action may involve decreased production and activity of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, and inhibition of histamine release.
The results of these effects may explain quercetin’s anti- in ammatory, anti-allergy and immunomodulatory bene ts. In vitro preliminary research has also shown a slowing of cyclooxygenase or (COX)-2 production4, further supporting the anti-in ammatory effects.
Mechanisms of action for quercetin’s anti-cancer and anti-viral properties are not well-studied. However, in rat studies using a diet consisting of 2–5% quercetin, chemically-induced mammary tumor development occurred 50 to 75% less frequently than in control groups.1 It is theorized that inhibition of signal transduction targets, including tyrosine kinase, protein kinase C and phosphatidyl inositol-3-kinase, along with estrogen receptor binding, may be involved in inactivating malignant precursors or inhibiting carcinogensis.3,4 Anti-viral effects have been seen in vitro.2
1. Wildman REC, Medieros DM. Advanced Human Nutrition. © 2002. CRC Press, LLC. Boca Raton, fl.
2. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd Edition. ©2000 Medical Economics Co. Inc.
3. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Monograph on selenium. Updated Oct. 6, 2008. Available at www. naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Oct. 7, 2008.
4. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Monograph on quercetin. Updated Oct. 6, 2008. Available at www. naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Oct. 7, 2008.