Antioxidants and free radicals are household names today, though this weren’t always the case. It actually wasn’t until the 1990s that people got wind of the fact that free radical damage was linked to a whole slew of health conditions like cancer, heart disease, vision loss and virtually every chronic disease.
No wonder that immediately following, we saw an enormous marketing campaign in health products that has lasted until today.
Initially foods and supplements were simply advertised as, “Rich in Antioxidants,” now there’s an entire line of antioxidant supplements and complexes on the market. It’s actually become a $500 million dollar industry that continues to grow. (1) It goes without saying that the term “antioxidant” is HUGE bucks!
The Free Radical – Antioxidant Connection
Free radicals trigger a damaging chain reaction and – according to Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, professor of nutrition at Tufts University in Boston –
“[They] are dangerous because they don’t just damage one molecule. One free radical can set off a whole chain reaction. When a free radical oxidizes a fatty acid, it changes that fatty acid into a free radical, which then damages another fatty acid. It’s a very rapid chain reaction.” (2)
Eventually, this cascade can overwhelm the immune system, which puts people at high risk of developing a number of diseases including everything from Alzheimer’s to cancer. As research continues to show that people who include few antioxidant-rich foods in their diet are at greater risk for developing these types of free radical related chronic conditions, antioxidants like polyphenols have become in high demand.
With more than 5,000 varieties in foods, polyphenols are the largest class of antioxidants that are technically water-soluble plant metabolites containing 15 carbon atoms.
Essentially, being the active substances found in many medicinal plants, polyphenols have a significant effect on many enzymes and cell receptors. Some terms you may be familiar with include:
- Flavonoids (3)
According to one study:
“Many flavonoids are shown to have antioxidative activity, free-radical scavenging capacity, coronary heart disease prevention, and anticancer activity, while some flavonoids exhibit potential for anti-human immunodeficiency virus functions. As such research progresses. Further achievements will undoubtedly lead to a new era of flavonoids in either foods or pharmaceutical supplements.” (4)
And so it has!
Interestingly, history tells us that flavonoids were once referred to as “vitamin P” back in the 1930s, but that name has lost it’s place for some reason. (5) Today, flavonoids are famous as color-providing pigments giving fruits and veggies their rich colors. This is why those foods with the deepest colors such as blueberries and kale are so healthy for you.
So, the logical conclusion suggested has been that, if flavonoids found in nature can help reverse disease, then antioxidant supplements should be beneficial, right?
Unfortunately, not so.
According to a recent Harvard article reporting on antioxidant supplement research,
“The trials were mixed, but most have not found the hoped-for benefits. Most research teams reported that vitamin E and other antioxidant supplements didn’t protect against heart disease or cancer (6). One study even showed that taking beta-carotene may actually increase the chances of developing lung cancer in smokers.” (1)
Nonetheless, synthetic antioxidants are touted as promoting disease prevention and are regularly included as additives into our breakfast cereals, energy drinks and thousands upon thousands of processed foods!
Acutely put by Harvard’s School of Public Health:
“Often the claims have stretched and distorted the data: While it’s true that the package of antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and other substances found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps prevent a variety of chronic diseases, it is unlikely that high doses of antioxidants can accomplish the same feat.” (1)
And this point cannot be stress enough!
Going Beyond the Hype
The fact remains that the best, most effective way to combat free radicals is to consume naturally occurring antioxidants in food. Truth be told, if 1 is good, then 10 isn’t always better. And this is particularly true when we’re dealing with manmade products!
However, research has shown than non-antioxidant supplements like Beta-1, 3D Glucan can be very effective at combating free radicals and disease. Although commonly mistaken as part of the antioxidant family, immunologist A.J. Lanigan, Ph.D., states that is not the case. In an interview with Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dr. Lanigan shares that,
“In the classical sense, an antioxidant is going to be something that either gives up an electron, grabs an electron, neutralizes a free radical, or somehow defeats the oxidizing agent and nullifies it. Beta-1, 3D Glucan is not an antioxidant in that respect. In contrast, what you are going to find is, there is a lot of debris in the body that gives rise to free radicals. One of the great jobs that the immune system does, the phagocytes in particular, is gobbling up and disposing of the garbage that accumulates this waste: dead and dying cells. The immune system is constantly surveying and when it finds a cell that’s weak and dying, it’s all about disposing of that cell to eliminate the release of free radicals. In this sense, Beta Glucan has a tangible influence on the volume of Oxygen Free radicals in the body.” (7)
Because of its unique to combat free radicals, Beta-1, 3D Glucan is a fantastic accompaniment to an antioxidant-rich diet filled with fruits and veggies. When you purchase Beta-1, 3D Glucan, just make sure that you get the right kind. The scientific literature is clear in one thing: beta glucan sourced from baker’s yeast has shown the most benefits in multiple areas, leading researchers to focus even more on this source in more recent studies.
Additionally, Transfer Point is the only company that offers a Beta glucan with a minimum of 83% Beta-1,3D Glucan content, with no harmful contaminants. Every batch is independently tested and a Certificate of Analysis is provided and available upon request. Get yours today by clicking HERE!