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Plant extract blend offers potent antioxidant activity: Study

By Stephen Daniells , 30-Sep-2011

A blend of 20 plant-based ingredients may boost antioxidant defenses and combat oxidative stress, according to results of a small study.

The commercial herbal preparation greens+ was associated with increases in a blood antioxidant levels and a reduction in the oxidation of protein and lipids in human volunteers, Toronto-based researchers report in the International Journal of Molecular Science .

“The greens+ formulation includes a variety of plant-derived ingredients with polyphenolic antioxidants that have been identified via in vitro testing,” explained the researchers from the University of Toronto, Integrative Care Centre of Toronto, and St. Michael’s Hospital.

“The results of the in vivo arm of the study suggest that one or more of these phytochemicals are well absorbed, retain their antioxidant properties in vivo and lower oxidative stress at an intake level of six teaspoons per day for four weeks.

“Overall, the results suggest a potentially important role of greens+ in reducing oxidative stress and as such, it may play a long-term role in the prevention of chronic diseases.”

Genuine Health provided the herbal preparation used in the study and funded the study.

Oxidative stress and chronic disease

Oxygen-breathing organisms naturally produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which play an important role in a range of functions, including cell signaling. However, over production of these ROS from smoking, pollution, sunlight, high intensity exercise, or simply ageing, may overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defenses and lead to oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress has been linked to an increased risk of various diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, and cardiovascular disease.

Study details

The researchers recruited 10 healthy subjects with an average age of 29, and an average BMI of 24 kg/m2 to participate in their study. The volunteers consumed either three or six teaspoons of greens+ per day for four weeks.

Results showed a dose-dependent increase in the antioxidant activity of the volunteers, meaning the greater the dose, the greater the antioxidant activity.

Blood analysis revealed the presence of the polyphenolic compound kaempferol, whereas analysis of the supplement showed the main polyphenols to be quercetin, apigenin, kaempferol, and luteolin.

A dose-dependent reduction in measures of lipid oxidation was also recorded by the researchers, while protein oxidation was also decreased following greens+ supplement but not in a dose-dependent manner.

The researchers called for a long-term study with more participants to “confirm the effect of low level intake of greens+ on oxidative stress”.

Source: International Journal of Molecular Science
2011, Volume 12, Issue 8, Pages 4896-4908, doi:10.3390/ijms12084896
“In Vitro and in Vivo Antioxidant Properties of the Plant-Based Supplement Greens+”
Authors: V. Rao, B. Balachandran, H. Shen, A. Logan, L. Rao

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