Antioxidants 101

Antioxidants 101

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients which can prevent or slow oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and therefore prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals.

Health problems such as heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer and short-term memory loss are all related to oxidative damage. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.

Fruits are known to be good sources of antioxidant activity as shown by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) test. The ORAC test measures decreases in oxygen radical activity in the presence of a potential antioxidant. EpiCor® has been shown through this test to have one of the highest antioxidant activities of any known fruit, including blueberries, black raspberries, strawberries and cranberries, making it a potent weapon against cell-damaging free radicals created from cellular metabolism and toxin exposure. These free radicals are linked with degenerative disease and aging.

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods—2007


ORAC units umol TE/100g



Dark Chocolate 20,823
Fresh Acai 18,500
Raw Elderberries 14,697
Raw Cranberries 9,584
Red Wine 5,034
Brewed Green Tea 1,253
100% Red Cranberry Juice 865

Prepared by: Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, ARS, USDA, Little Rock, AR

*EpiCor tested by an independent lab.

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