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Saturday, December 19, 2009


goji berries

by JP Saleeby, MD

ORAC or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is a unit of measurement that gives us a value or score on different foods and supplements as to the free-radical or oxidative load fighting capacity.  Those with higher ORAC units have a better antioxidant effect than those with lower scores.  The ORAC scale was developed by scientists at the national Institutes of Health, and while the exact relationship between a food's ORAC value and its health benefit has not yet been well established, it does imply that a higher score does more effectively reduce oxidative load.  Oxidative load or free-radicals are what is theorized in the free-radical theory of aging (as proposed by Dr. Denham Harman) as the causative agent for degenerative disease ranging from arthritis to coronary disease and cancers.  For a rather extensive list of ORAC values of foods and supplements visit

A few examples include:

Vitamin A  1.25 mmTE/g
Vitamin E  1.25 mmTE/g
Lycopene  58 mmTE/g
Astaxathin  51 mmTE/g
coQ10  11 mmTE/g
Chia  70 for white seed and 98 for dark seed mmTE/g
Krill  378 mmTE/g

More on ORACs to follow


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