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Why ORAC is insignificant

November 19, 2009

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is only a measure of potential, and can be manipulated by adding isolated vitamins to a product formula. Most products that tout high ORAC do so because they have no independent, clinical demonstration of performance.

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is most often measured in a test tube, although there are some research labs that are beginning to perform this testing on plasma (at this time the measure is pretty variable in this matrix). Most commercial products making ORAC claims use the test tube method and typically only measure the antioxidants present in the aqueous (water) phase, missing any molecules that have antioxidant activity but are in the lipid phase, for example lycopene and beta carotene.

It would be easy to formulate a product with a high test tube ORAC, but it is unclear what this means in an intact biological system (a human) because no studies have been done monitoring any health benefits from a defined ORAC “number” intake over any period of time.

Juice Plus+® has repeatedly demonstrated bioavailability of antioxidants AND functionality in the form of a reduction of oxidative stress in independent clinical trials. This is real performance, not just potential. (Also, the research on Juice Plus+® has been done on the actual product itself, not simply on one fruit or berry it contains.)

For NSA to publish the ORAC on Juice Plus+® would represent a big step backwards to a lower level of research. We have clinical studies rather than in vitro (literally “in glass”) research to support the benefits of Juice Plus+®, along with over 15 years of use around the world (to see the clinical studies, click here and click the Juice Plus+® Science tab).

Juice Plus+® has been shown over and over to increase known antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Alpha-tocopherol and Beta-carotene in circulation, and has been shown to decrease markers of oxidation as well. These measurements are more reliable (and impressive to the scientific, nutritional and medical community) than an isolated ORAC number.


The preceding was paraphrased from a letter by Anita M. Boddie, RD, LDN, PhD Director of Clinical Research with National Safety Associates (NSA)

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