High readings in ORAC analysis: The antioxidant effect of BERTRAND

Sea buckthorn is one of the main ingredients in BERTRAND's liquid meals. The high content of ascorbic acid in the fruit is not only important in terms of optimal vitamin supply, but also to the degree that Vitamin C is an important antioxidant in combating free radicals. A current investigation of all three product lines (classic, vegan, active) with regard to their antioxidant capacity showed that the measured value can be considered high for all meal powders.

ORAC values between 26,000 and 41,000 µmol TE/100g

The so-called ORAC analysis (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) was conducted by INTERTEK, an international industry leader in testing and certification procedures, and underscores that the combination of natural ingredients used in BERTRAND makes an important contribution to combating free radicals in the context of a healthy diet.

BERTRAND Classic: 29,000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – classic PDF (118KB)
BERTRAND Vegan: 26.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – vegan PDF (113KB)
BERTRAND Active: 41.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – active (113KB)

Free radicals and antioxidants

Free radicals are chemical molecules containing oxygen, but are incomplete in their structure. They lack an electron, which they then remove from intact cells and molecules in the body in order to be complete again. This electron theft is called "oxidation". Since the robbed molecule itself becomes a free radical, a chain reaction occurs. If the degree of oxidation is higher than the body can withstand, we speak of "oxidative stress", which can lead to long-term damage since the deprived molecules are primarily our elementary building blocks of cells, such as fats, proteins or DNA. Examples of how free radicals primarily occur today include, among other things, smoking, air pollution and pollution by exhaust gases, UV radiation, alcohol, fast food, radioactivity and the taking of medicines. Various factors play a role in the extent to which free radicals develop, for example, the combination of individual food components in our gastrointestinal tract or the reaction of sulfur dioxide in exhaust gases and pollutants.
Oxidative stress speeds up the aging process and encourages the onset of disease. Thus, during the course of electron theft by free radicals in our body, there may arise, among other things, skin damage, rheumatism, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, eye and joint problems, stroke or calcification of the arteries (2). As there can also be damage to elementary cell components, additional diseases are facilitated, such as dementia due to brain damage, as well as various cancers due to DNA damage and the concomitant degeneration of cells.

Protection through nutrition with high ORAC value

Drugs cannot specifically combat free radicals. However, since there are foods that are rich in antioxidants, a healthy diet can counteract the damage. Thus, antioxidants are also called "radical scavengers" and are likewise chemical compounds. Unlike the free radicals, they voluntarily relinquish one of their electrons and thus protect the cells before they can be attacked. Since antioxidants themselves are not converted in the process into free radicals, they interrupt the chain reaction and also return immediately to their antioxidant form, so they can act again. Important antioxidants are, above all, the vitamins, especially Vitamins E and C. The Vitamin E radical, for example, is regenerated into its antioxidant form by Vitamin C, But, in addition, enzymes, phytochemicals such as polyphenols, minerals and trace elements function as radical scavengers, either produced by the body itself or absorbed in our diet.

A practical example

A very vivid example of oxidation and the effect of antioxidants is the cut apple. The cut surface inevitably turns brown in the air after a short time: Free radicals have caused the oxidation here. However, if the apple is drizzled with a little lemon juice, its color is preserved. The ascorbic acid in the lemon works as an antioxidant and protects the apple from the attack of the free radicals. In BERTRAND, for example, the sea buckthorn with its high Vitamin C content functions as an antioxidant, but so do the included almonds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds and the walnut meal, which have a high amount of minerals and vitamins.

BERTRAND Classic: 29,000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – classic PDF (118KB)
BERTRAND Vegan: 26.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – vegan PDF (113KB)
BERTRAND Active: 41.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – active (113KB)
ORAC = Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity: determines the antioxidant capacity of foods
Unit µmol TE/100g – micromol Trolox Equivalent
The measured value is the relation to the antioxidative effect of the product/food, the higher the value, the better and stronger the antioxidative capacity and the more free radicals can be neutralized.
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Carolin | B.Sc. Ecotrophology

Carolin studied ecotrophology at the University of Niederrhein and writes periodic articles about healthy eating. Are you interested in a specific topic?

Write us an emailhey@bertrand.bio

What do lemons and sea buckthorn have in common?

The answer is: vitamin C. Although we associate lemon with this “good mood” vitamin, sea buckthorn—which is a particularly valuable source of vitamin C in BERTRAND’s drinkable meals—contains a considerable amount of it. 100g of lemon contain about 53mg of vitamin C, while sea buckthorn gives us 18 times that amount, about 900mg per 100g.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends a daily vitamin C intake of 80 mg in its reference levels. Thus, about two lemons already cover the daily requirement, as do three Bertrand Classic drinkable meals (made with 167g of powder each), providing almost 90mg of vitamin C in total.

But what makes vitamin C—called ascorbic acid in chemistry—so important and such a crucial component of our nutrition? Why and when should we ensure an adequate intake of vitamin C?

Vitamins are not replaceable

Vitamins are vital to our health because our bodies cannot produce them on their own. Therefore, they have to be absorbed from food. Since each vitamin has a different function in our metabolism, they are not interchangeable or replaceable. While many vitamins are found in animal products, vitamin C is only found in plant foods and has several important functions in our body and health, and is involved in many metabolic processes. On one hand, vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen, a protein that makes up our connective and supporting tissue and which helps to optimally build up and maintain our skin, bones, and teeth. Furthermore, vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing and scar formation, e.g., after injuries and burns. Vitamin C is also involved in cell growth.

Especially important for vegetarians and vegans

Two other main functions of vitamin C are the protection of our body against free radicals and its effect as an antioxidant as well as its role in immune protection. Free radicals are compounds that can lead to cell damage and cell degeneration. These lead to diseases such as cancer, cataracts, or arteriosclerosis. Vitamin C, absorbed through nutrition, acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants react with the free radicals, making them slower or harmless. In addition, vitamin C supports the work of white blood cells in our immune system, helping to fight off pathogens and produce antibodies. Other functions include the breakdown of medicine in our body and iron absorption in the intestine. This is particularly important for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet who do not get enough iron through meat and meat products. Consuming products rich in vitamin C helps our bodies better absorb and utilize the iron from plant-based foods.

Anti-scurvy acid

But can a diet with too much vitamin C also have negative effects? And is vitamin C deficiency still possible in today’s world? A vitamin-rich diet that contains more vitamin C than the recommended daily dose of 80mg usually has no side effects. Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, thus, an overdose above 200 mg is usually excreted in the urine. A significantly higher intake than needed will only lead to diarrhea or abdominal pain. However, such a high overdose of vitamin C almost never occurs due to a vitamin-rich diet alone, but usually due to the additional intake of high-dose vitamin preparations and dietary supplements. And vitamin C deficiency is also rare given our modern food supply and nutrition. While scurvy, a common seafaring disease caused by vitamin C deficiency (hence its former name anti-scurvy acid), was still widespread in the 16th and 17th centuries given the lack of vitamin-rich foods on board, only a few populations are at risk of deficiency today.

So vitamin C is not merely the “good mood” vitamin, but also one of the most valuable vitamins in terms of a healthy and balanced diet, and it can be obtained from many different plant-based foods to contribute to our health and vitality.  Right at the forefront: Sea buckthorn!

In this blog post, we talk about the sea buckthorn we use in our drinkable meal in more detail: Featured – Sea Buckthorn in BERTRAND

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Carolin | B.Sc. Ecotrophology

Carolin studied ecotrophology at the University of Niederrhein and writes periodic articles about healthy eating. Are you interested in a specific topic?

Write us an emailhey@bertrand.bio

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