What is Antioxidant?
Antioxidant: Concise Definition, Characteristics, Roles & Common Forms - A General Review
Antioxidants, as free radical scavengers, are substances that can effectively react with free radicals, mainly oxygen free radicals in the body, form stable radicals, and terminate free radical chain reactions. Consequently, the oxygen free radicals become short lived, and their damages to the body in every way can be minimized. "Antioxidant" is more a biological term, and is not a basic concept in general chemistry.
Antioxidant is not an inhibitor, but reducing agent & radical terminator
It is conceptually incorrect to say "an antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules", or "antioxidants are substances that inhibit the damages of oxygen free radicals to the body". Many on-line dictionaries and a huge number of web sites of antioxidant reviews make this kind of mistakes in description of antioxidant. The problem here is the words "inhibit" and "inhibiting", which are incorrectly used. "Inhibit" is the antonym of "catalyze". Both of these 2 antonyms share the same feature that their subjects function in some ways but don't change themselves chemically before and after their function. For example, small molecule drugs are inhibitors of some functional enzymes, and don't change their molecular structures by inhibiting enzymes. "Inhibit" and "inhibiting" are conceptually inaccurate to reflect the fact that antioxidants are chemically transformed after they perform their tasks as free radical scavengers. Therefore, antioxidants are not inhibitors, but reducing agents and free radical terminators. Back to Top
The requirements for an effective & powerful antioxidant
There are 3 basic requirements for an effective and powerful antioxidant supplement: 1) An antioxidant is chemically a reducing substance with rich electrons; 2) In order to be an antioxidant, a substance must be able to be readily converted to a stable free radical, upon a collision with an oxygen free radical, to terminate the free radical chain reactions; 3) the substance must not cause harm to biologically functional molecules of the human body. Back to Top
The 1st and 3rd requirements are somewhat contradictory to each other: an antioxidant must be a reducing molecule, but its reducing ability must be limited to a certain degree to be safe. Many parameters for the potency of antioxidant such as ORAC values are measured in test tubes, not inside the human body. It is incorrect to believe that the higher the ORAC value, the better an antioxidant. Many antioxidant sellers exaggerated the ORAC values of their products to ridiculous levels. OPC is optimal antioxidants against free radicals. OPC contain a variety of phytochemicals of electron-rich aromatic rings, which can be attacked by oxygen that has the strong affinity for electrons. The oxygen free radicals are hence effectively deactivated by OPC leading to formation of all paired electrons.
Human beings are more conscious of oxidative stress & antioxidants ever
Relieving the free radical oxidative stress has been one of the major challenging issues for the human beings in the modern society. People are increasingly using the knowledge of modern science and technologies to fight the free radical oxidative stress and to minimize the possibilities of consequent diseases. Many search terms in Google and Yahoo are getting more and more popular. The search terms that people often use in Yahoo and Google include "free radicals antioxidants", "antioxidnt supplement", "antioxidants and free radicals", "free radicals and antioxidants", "free radical antioxidant", "oxidative stress free radicals", "antioxidants free radicals", "free radical scavengers", "antioxidant free radicals", "phytochemicals"...... This consciousness that human beings use antioxidant supplements to fight free radical oxidative stress and antioxidant deficiency due to imbalanced diet will lead to longer and better life in the human society.
OPC stabilizes and deactivates free radicals
Aging cannot be completely avoided, but can be slowed down to reach optimal health based on the scientific understanding of the aging mechanism. Oxygen free radicals are associated with accelerated aging and should be taken care by taking effective antioxidants. Free radical induced oxidative stress can be minimized.
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins - OPC, discovered by leading French scientists, have been popular pharmaceutical products for more than 3 decades in Europe, but quite new in US and other countries. OPCs are the widely studied phytochemicals as antioxidants for more than 6 decades. They have been demonstrated to be safe. Their bioactivities of the variety of phytochemical components are widely recognized without controversy. In contrast, several other antioxidants are hyped on commercial bias. Further, grape seed extract OPC is the truly super antioxidant or the strongest antioxidant known in life, stronger than OPCs from pine bark extract and red wine extract. Back to Top
OPC antioxidants are effective for healthy aging †
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins – OPC contain phenolic chemical substructures that react with and deactivate oxygen free radicals in many different ways to fight oxidative stress. Here are 3 examples:
1. An oxygen free radical collides onto the phenolic aromatic ring of OPC, and form a complex with a new oxygen-carbon bond. The complex rearranges quickly to form a stable ketone radical, which is stable enough to meet another radical, forming an electron pair and resulting in termination of the radical chain reaction.
2. An oxygen free radical or other derived free radical can abstract a hydrogen atom from the reactive methylene group (CH2) next to the phenol ring (side chain CH2 group) in OPC, forming a stable radical within the OPC molecule. The OPC free radical is not harmful any more due to its stability, and can live long enough to meet another radical for the termination of radicals and formation of an electron pair.
3. OPC contains electron-rich phenolic aromatic rings, which may donate electrons to oxygen free radicals, forming OPC cationic radical and water:
OPC + HO• + H+ → (OPC+•) + HO- + H+ → (OPC+•) + H2O
H+ is the proton from the media.
(OPC+•) is a relatively stable cationic radical, but reacts with another radical and a water molecule and rearrange to a stable ketone or quinone compound after releasing a proton (H+) into the media. The OPC molecule is oxidized by attaching to more oxygen atom(s) in all the 3 mechanisms exemplified above.
Diverse antioxidants are required as the radical scavengers
The oxygen free radicals can induce the formation of diverse free radicals in human body by radical chain reactions. The oxidative stress is far more than that just caused by direct oxygen free radicals. The oxidative stress may be controlled the best by diverse antioxidant phytochemicals, instead of a single chemical compound.
OPC extracts contain diverse structures of oligomers and other bioactive polyphenols of health benefits. The structural diversity provides the advantages over an ingredient of single molecular structure such as resveratrol and vitamin C.
The diversity of OPC molecular structures are further enhanced by applying 3 different OPC extracts and other 3 polyphenol ingredients such as green tea extract (EGCG), bilberry extract (anthocyanins) and citrus extract (bio-flavonoids) in our FrenchGlory ® isotonic OPC antioxidants.
The diversity of OPC molecular structures offers better safety and harmony for the human body. A single chemical structure such as resveratrol may cause reduced harmony of human immune system in the long-term consumption. Every nutritional specialist knows that the long-term consumption of a single compound such as even vitamin C in large quantities is not good for you. A balanced blend of a full spectrum of multi-vitamins is a much better choice to fight nutritional deficiencies due to imbalanced diet. The diversity of OPC molecular structures does not mean a low grade of OPC ingredients that contain a huge amount of junks harmful to your body. The quality is the key.
Antioxidant factors other than OPC factor from France
The common cell essential antioxidant factors other than OPC include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, a variety of Herbals, Coenzyme Q10, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Glutathione, Carotenoids, Flavonoids, Protandim, etc. Among many cell essential antioxidant factors, the OPC factor from France is the most important factor as an antioxdiant is among the cell essentials. Antioxidant deficiencies among all groups of people, from the rich to the poor, can be defeated by FrenchGlory ® isotonic OPC factors from France. Please follow the green navigation menu above for the information of each of the different factors of antioxidants. Knowledge is the power to fight nutritional deficiencies in the modern socienty due to the imbalanced diet.
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† These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food & Drug Administration.
FrenchGlory ® isotonic OPC antioxidants are nutritional supplements for treatment and prevention of some nutritional-deficient health problems due to imbalanced diet, not intended to diagnose, treat, care or prevent general diseases.
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