Antioxidants and the ORAC Score: What You Need to Know
The word “antioxidant” is certainly a buzz word these days when it comes to your health and the fight against aging. But how exactly do antioxidants work to improve your health and ward off the effects of time? And are some antioxidants more effective than others? One way to determine antioxidant value is through an ORAC score. Keep reading to learn more about the ORAC score, and why it’s so important.
What is ORAC?
The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score is a method for measuring the antioxidant capacities of different foodstuffs. The method was developed by a group of doctors in Maryland, and has specific reference to the importance of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are effectively your body’s first line of defense against the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are produced during normal cellular and metabolic functions and they also come about as a result of pollutants found in air and water. These free radicals cause oxidative stress on a cellular level and have been implicated in aging, wrinkling and even in conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and damage to one’s DNA.
Antioxidants counter the effects produced by free radicals, essentially by “blunting” the effect of the damage caused by the free radicals. With this in mind, the researching medical professionals in Maryland embarked upon a study to measure the ORAC, as it was deemed extremely important to identify the antioxidant foods with the best ORAC scores and therefore the most potential to fight disease and aging.
Tests conducted on foodstuffs determine the ORAC score of each. The test is extremely sensitive and claimed to be one of the most reliable methods of measuring the antioxidant capacity. The test measures the time and degree of free radical inhibition. It is estimated by Ferric Reducing power, and expressed in micromole trolox equivalent per 100 grams (µTE/100 g). The test is said to be accurate within 5% (above or below).
There are many antioxidant supplements on the market today, and a lot of them are generally seen as having the desired effect. And although the ORAC system has not been internationally recognized as yet, the methods are still scientific and backed up by a published procedure and test pattern.
However, one will still encounter misrepresentations of the ORAC score, both from the side of misinformed consumers as well as those whose product do not actually compete with other higher scoring ORAC products. The latter will inevitably try to shoot down the system as a “quack” theory, which evidently it is not.
If you are looking for a supplement, you should be aware that the measurements are per 100 grams (as stated above) and not per gram, as there are some misleading marketers that will claim a product to have a higher ORAC score than it actually does.
The demand for anti-aging and anti-wrinkling products has now gone to the next level with the identification and development of the ORAC testing system and score. You should look at the antioxidants that score the highest to include in your daily regimen and assist you in the ongoing battle of fighting the aging process.
Some of the highest ranking antioxidant foodstuffs include prunes, raisins, blueberries, kale, raspberries, alfalfa sprouts, plums and strawberries.
It is possible to battle the aging process, and with the development of the ORAC score you may just have a new ally to fight on your side. Start using it in your anti-aging approach today.