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.
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. Oecotrophologie
Caroline studied Ecotrophology at the Lower Rhine University and writes articles regularly about healthy nutrition. Are you interested in a specific topic?