The Truth About Essential Fatty Acids

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD essential fatty acidsMany in the field of nutrition have lost sight of the fact that there are two essential fatty acids needed by the body. Many people recommend omega-3 fatty acids assuming the the body gets sufficient omega-6 from the diet. The truth about essential fatty acids is more complicated. This article will show the more complete and correct picture.


Fatty acids are part of the lipids class, widely found in nature, food, and organisms. These fatty acids are a critical constituent of the cell membranes in all of the trillions of cells in the body. They have important biological functions including structural, communication, and metabolic roles, and they represent an important source of energy. Their metabolism produces a huge quantity of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The beta-oxidation of the fatty acids is a well-known process, mostly used by the heart and the muscular tissue to obtain energy.

Figure 1 below shows a schematic diagram of what a fatty acid looks like. One end of the structure in all cases has a carboxylic acid group (COOH) and the other end in all cases has a methyl group (CH3). Saturated fats have single bonds (-) between all carbon atoms (C), but unsaturated fats have a number of double bonds (=) between some of the carbon atoms.

essential fatty acids

Figure 1 – Basic diagram of fatty acids structure

The human body can synthesize many of these fatty acids, except the essential fatty acids (PUFAs) linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These two are generally found in various vegetable oils, but their important metabolites are found mainly in special vegetable oils such as borage oil and in fish oils. Linoleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in nature, and it is the precursor of other omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are synthesized from alpha-linolenic acid.

Once ingested, short-chain PUFAs are converted to long-chain fatty acids. These are critical for mammalian cells in order to perform various biological functions, such as sustaining the structural integrity of cellular membranes and serving as signaling molecules. They are highly enriched in brain tissues, where they participate in the development and maintenance of the central nervous system during both embryonic and adult stages.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids have been extensively researched. They include the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (an omega-6) and alpha linolenic acid (an omega-3). Omega-3s are not abundant in our food chain. There is none in corn oil and very little in soy oil, the two most widely used food oils. Therefore, nearly all the early research with polyunsaturated oils utilized omega-6 fatty acids, predominantly as linoleic acid.

Fish oils were neglected out of ignorance or because the investigators chose to pass over these cholesterol-containing oils. Concern eventually developed over the close association between increasing incidence of mammary tumors and high intake of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. After some years, researchers finally turned their investigations to the interrelationship between dietary omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.


The following diagram shows in detail the pathways for the production and use of fatty acids in the body. In the figure the metabolic pathways (running left to right) for four fatty acids types are shown (top – Omega-3, second – Omega-6, third – Omega-9, bottom – Omega-7). Notice that only the omega-3 and omega-6 oils are considered to be essential fatty acids because they cannot be made in the body. This means they must come from food.

essential fatty acids

Figure 2 – fatty acid metabolism pathways in the body

The diagram shows a series of enzyme induced reactions that either add a double bond or two additional carbon/hydrogen pairs to the fatty acid. The enzymes that make this happen are called desaturase and elongase. The desaturase enzymes are given a number for the carbon number (that the enzyme is working on) from the methyl end of the fat. These same enzymes work on all of the fatty acid types. For example, Delta 6 desaturase causes an additional double bond to be inserted into both alpha-linolenic (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6) (as well as oleic acid and palmitoleic acids).

In this way, the body is able to produce a wide variety of fatty acids that have their own unique effects on biochemistry. Some of these are more important than others. In particular, the omega-3 essential fatty acid eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), the omega-6 essential fatty acid dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), and the omega-6 essential fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA) are precursors for a class of chemicals called eicosanoids/prostaglandins that have far reaching affects on key body functions.


Eicosanoids are prostaglandins that affect many aspects of health both positively and, in some cases, negatively. All known eicosanoids and prostaglandins are formed from the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (omega-6, or n-6), alpha linolenic acid (omega-3, or n-3), their “enhanced” derivatives, and from the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils.

Prostaglandins are short-lived highly active, hormone-like chemicals that are found in every cell of the body. They are regulators of cell activity and essential for maintaining health. Each cell type or organ produces its own form of prostaglandin to carry out its functions. There are three types of prostaglandins: PG1, PG2, and PG3.

Series 1 Prostaglandins (PG1), derived from gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), the active component of borage oil, has many beneficial effects: It makes platelets less sticky, lowers blood pressure by relaxing smooth muscles in the walls of arteries, increases loss of sodium and water, decreases inflammation and enhances immunity.

Series 2 Prostaglandins (PG2), also derived from GLA, is used in “fight or flight” (stress) situations, – the fight against danger, or the flight from it. In modern lifestyles which are high in stress but low in physical activity, continuous production of Series Two Prostaglandins results in sticky platelets, high blood pressure, increased water and sodium retention, increased inflammation and decreased immune system capabilities.

Series 3 Prostaglandins (PG3), derived from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the active component of fish oil, has beneficial effects. They block the detrimental effect of the Series 2 Prostaglandins, preventing them from being made in the body. As a result the platelets are less sticky, blood pressure is lower because the muscles in the walls of our arteries remain relaxed, loss of sodium and water by the kidneys takes place more effectively, inflammation response is decreased, and immune function is efficient.

It is now known that the ratios of these dietary fatty acids are very important. Consumption of linoleic acid leads to production of the enhanced fatty acid, arachidonic acid (20:4n-6). Prostaglandins based on arachidonic acid exacerbate stress and inflammatory states, and suppress immunoprotective functions (i.e. resistance to disease). Too much linolenic acid and other omega-3s may cause excessive bleeding during injury, surgery, or childbirth. Large amounts of any of these unsaturated fatty acids in the diet without a compensatory increase in antioxidant nutrients (especially Vitamin E), can speed oxidative damage to tissues, resulting in accelerated aging while increasing the risk of degenerative diseases.

Yet, a balanced ratio of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet offers very positive health benefits. When omega-3 fatty acids predominate, the body will produce less arachidonic acid (20:4n-6). Immunity improves and inflammation subsides.

Essential Fats

Unfortunately, our Western diet has been almost devoid of omega-3 fatty acids. Creating the optimum intake of omega 3-to-omega 6 unsaturated fatty acids has become, therefore, an issue of prime importance for anyone concerned with health. We need to evaluate carefully the amounts of linoleic acid (n-6) we consume relative to our intake of alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) and fish oils (EPA:20:5n-3 and DHA:22:6n-3).


The diagram in Figure 3 shows details of the omega-6 and omega-3 pathways. Pathway specifics indicate key eicosanoids (series 1 prostaglandins, series 2 prostaglandins, and series 3 prostaglandins), oil sources, and important nutrient cofactors that are needed for the reactions to take place.

essential fatty acids

Figure 3 – Essential Fatty Acids – pathways in the body

The information is this diagram gives the clues we need in order to provide optimal types and amounts of omega-6 and omega-3. For example, I have chosen for my essential fatty acid product cold pressed borage oil as the best natural source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA). It contains 20% by weight — the highest amount found in natural oils.


Work by Chapkin et. al. (see references 1–4 below) has identified the potent synergistic relationship between GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, and the well-known omega-3 fatty acids. Chapkin has shown that, rather than simply the quantity of dietary omega-3s, it is the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids that is important in achieving full cardiovascular health and inflammatory control.

Furthermore, Chapkin has identified the ideal ratio. His published work deals with the importance of mixed diets supplying both linoleic and linolenic acids. To underscore the importance of these two fatty acids, refined oil supplements rich in enhanced forms were used. “Enhanced forms” are fatty acids derived from the original. They are one or more steps closer to the actual eicosanoid. In the human body, alpha linolenic acid (18:3n-3) is eventually converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and linoleic acid (18:2n-6) is converted to gamma-linolenic (GLA, 18:3n-6) as its first enhanced form. Both enhanced fatty acids are precursors to eicosanoids.

In Chapkin’s research, superior health benefits were delivered by the mixed diet that supplied the eicosanoid precursors in a specific ratio. The balanced ratio of enhanced Omega-6 (GLA)-to-Omega-3 (EPA) fatty acids was 1:4.


Based upon the science discussed above, I developed a product with the correct Omega-6 (GLA)-to-Omega-3 (EPA) ratio and with proper amounts. It is available to you as Hank & Brians Essential Fats Plus E from Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI).

Essential Fats Plus E


  1. UNIQUE COMBINATION — Essential Fats (EPA, DHA, GLA) plus Vitamin E. This unique formula offers more than one type of Vitamin E (not just d-alpha-tocopherol) and balanced essential fats.
  2. BALANCED ESSENTIAL FATS— Many EFA supplements contain only omega-3s, but for optimal function the body requires a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fats. In addition, our special formula provides a 4-to-1 ratio of EPA to GLA in order to achieve a balance you need for optimal health.
  3. FULL-SPECTRUM VITAMIN E — Tocotrienols and tocopherols in this formula are natural vitamin E substances derived from oryza rice bran oil and protect polyunsatured EFAs against free-radical damage both in the capsule and in your body. Many Vitamin E supplements contain only d-alpha tocopherol, which is only a single component of the full-spectrum Vitamin E in this formula.
  4. ULTRAPURE — Molecularly distilled oils of extremely high-purity containing no PCBs, heavy metals, or oxidized contaminants. Free of excipients, additives, and common food allergens!

COMPOSITION: Six softgel capsules provides the following percentages of the Daily Value.

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid 20:5 omega 3)
(from 2,000 mg of purified fish oils)
360 mg *
DHA (docosahexaenoic Acid 22:6 omega 3)
(from 2,000 mg of purified fish oils)
240 mg *
GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid 18:3 omega 6)
(from 450 mg of cold pressed borage seed oil)
90 mg *
Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) (from 180 mg of Oryza rice bran oil) 24 IU 81%
Mixed Tocotrienols (d-gamma, d-alpha, and d-delta)
(from 180 mg of Oryza rice bran oil)
28.8 mg *

* No established Daily Value
† Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet


Below we provide some of the functions and benefits obtained when by diet or supplementation the correct ratios and amounts of essential fatty acids are consumed.

• Regulate steroid production and hormone synthesis
• Regulate pressure in the eyes, joints, and blood vessels
• Regulate response to pain, inflammation, and swelling
• Mediate Immune Response
• Regulate bodily secretions and their viscosity
• Dilate or constrict blood vessels
• Regulate smooth muscle and autonomic reflexes
• Are primary constituents of cellular membranes
• Regulate the rate at which cells divide
• Necessary for the transport of oxygen from the red blood cells to tissues
• Necessary for proper kidney function and fluid balance
• Prevent red blood cells from clumping together
• Regulate nerve transmission


Please note that genetic testing for a wide range of genes and the enzymes they produce has indicated that essential fatty acids can be an important factor in helping the body overcome a variety negative gene variations. These negative gene variations include genes that relate to: 1) Inflammatory Response, 2) Exercise Performance, 3) Exercise Recovery, 4) Cardiovascular Fitness, 5) Body Composition, and 6) VO2 Max, Aerobic Capacity.

We will discuss this more deeply in a future blog article.


The body is best protected from a range of health issues when we supply a mixed diet of both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Studies show that we do not need to consume large amounts of fatty acids if the ratio is correct. These findings indicate that, for a typical human body, amounts of 90 mg GLA (18:3n-6) to 360 mg EPA (20:5n-3) taken daily will provide for the optimum production of the three major prostaglandins. These amounts are found in Hank & Brians Essential Fats Plus E.


The following includes abstracts of Chapkin’s published research on essential fatty acids.


Chapkin RS Somers SD Erickson KL

Dietary manipulation of macrophage phospholipid classes: selective increase of dihomogammalinolenic acid.

In: Lipids (1988 Aug) 23(8):766-70

Because alterations in the dietary content of fatty acids are an important method for modulating macrophage eicosanoid production, we have quantitated the levels of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in peritoneal macrophage individual phospholipids from mice fed diets (3 wk) with either safflower oil (SAF), predominantly containing 18:2n-6, borage, (BOR) containing 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6, fish (MFO) containing 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3, and borage/fish mixture (MIX) containing 18:2n-6, 18:3n-6, 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3. Dietary n-3 fatty acids were readily incorporated into macrophage phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol (PI). The increase in n-3 fatty acid levels was accompanied by a decrease in the absolute levels of 18:2n-6, 20:4n-6 and 22:4n-6 in PC, PE and PS. Interestingly, PI 20:4n-6 levels were not significantly lowered (P greater than 0.05) in MIX and MFO macrophages relative to SAF and BOR. These data demonstrate the unique ability of this phospholipid to selectively maintain its 20:4n-6 levels. In BOR and MIX animals, 20:3n-6 levels were significantly increased (P less than 0.05) in all phospholipids relative to SAF and MFO. The combination of borage and fish oils (MIX diet) produced the highest 20:3n-6/20:4n-6 ratio in all phospholipids. These data show that the macrophage eicosanoid precursor levels of 20:3n-6, 20:4n-6 and n-3 acids can be selectively manipulated through the use of specific dietary regimens. This is noteworthy because an increase in phospholipid levels of 20:3n-6 and 20:5n-3, while concomitantly reducing 20:4n-6, may have therapeutic potential in treating inflammatory disorders.

Institutional address: Department of Human Anatomy School of Medicine University of California Davis 95616.



Chapkin RS Carmichael SL

Effects of dietary n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on macrophage phospholipid classes and subclasses.

In: Lipids (1990 Dec) 25(12):827-34

This study examined the effects of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid alimentation on murine peritoneal macrophage phospholipids. Mice were fed complete diets supplemented with either corn oil predominantly containing 18:2n-6, borage oil containing 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6, fish/corn oil mixture containing 18:2n-6, 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3, or fish/borage oil mixture containing 18:2n-6, 18:3n-6, 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3. After two weeks, the fatty acid levels of glycerophosphoserines (GPS), glycerophosphoinositols (GPI), sphingomyelin (SPH), and of the glycerophosphocholine (GPC) and glycerophosphoethanolamine (GPE) phospholipid subclasses were determined. We found that mouse peritoneal macrophage GPC contain primarily 1-O-alkyl-2-acyl (range for the dietary groups, 24.6-30.5 mol %) and 1,2-diacyl (63.2-67.2 mol %), and that GPE contains 1-O- alk-1′-enyl-2-acyl (40.9-47.4 mol %) and 1,2-diacyl (44.2-51.2 mol %) subclasses. In general, fish oil feeding increased macrophage 20:5n-3, 22:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 levels while simultaneously reducing 20:4n-6 in GPS, GPI, GPE and GPC subclasses except for 1-O-alk-1′-enyl-2-acyl GPC. Administration of 18:3n-6 rich diets (borage and fish/borage mixture) resulted in the accumulation of 20:3n-6 (2-carbon elongation product of 18:3n-6) in most phospholipids. In general, the novel combination of dietary 18:3n-6 and n-3 PUFA produced the highest 20:3n-6/20:4n-6 phospholipid fatty acid ratios. This study demonstrates that marked differences in the responses of macrophage phospholipid classes and subclasses exist following dietary manipulation.



Fan YY Chapkin RS

Mouse peritoneal macrophage prostaglandin E1 synthesis is altered by dietary gamma-linolenic acid.

In: J Nutr (1992 Aug) 122(8):1600-6

The ability of dietary gamma-linolenic acid [18:3(n-6)] to modulate prostaglandin biosynthesis in mouse resident peritoneal macrophages was determined. Mice were fed diets containing corn oil, borage oil or evening primrose oil or a mixture of borage and fish oils. After 2 wk, resident peritoneal macrophages were isolated and stimulated with unopsonized zymosan to induce prostaglandin synthesis. Borage oil, primrose oil and fish-borage oil mixture dietary groups (containing 25.6, 11.9 and 19.5 g gamma-linolenic acid/100 g fatty acids, respectively) had significantly (P less than 0.05) enhanced prostaglandin E1 synthesis (39.7, 29.4 and 73.0 nmol prostaglandin E1/mg protein, respectively) compared with corn oil-fed (containing less than 0.1 g gamma-linolenic acid/100 g fatty acids) animals, which synthesized less than 0.1 nmol prostaglandin E1/mg protein. Borage oil- and fish-borage oil mixture-fed mice had the highest biosynthetic ratio of prostaglandin E1/prostaglandin E2 (E1/E2 approximately 0.2). Macrophages from borage oil-fed mice synthesized the lowest amount of prostacyclin (198.7 nmol 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha/mg protein) compared with corn oil-, primrose oil- and fish- borage oil mixture-fed mice (379.7, 764.8 and 384.2 nmol 6-keto- prostaglandin F1 alpha/mg protein, respectively). In addition, borage oil-, primrose oil- and fish-borage oil mixture-fed mice had significantly (P less than 0.05) higher levels of dihomo-gamma- linolenic acid [20:3(n-6)] in membrane phospholipids (5.5, 3.5 and 5.7 mol/100 mol, respectively) relative to corn oil-fed mice (2.0 mol/100 mol).



Fan YY Chapkin RS Ramos KS

Dietary lipid source alters murine macrophage/vascular smooth muscle cell interactions in vitro.

In: J Nutr (1996 Sep) 126(9):2083-8

This study was conducted to compare the impact of dietary lipids on the ability of macrophages to modulate vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) DNA synthesis in vitro. C57BL/6 female mice were fed six different diets (6 mice/diet) containing 10% fat from corn oil (CO), borage oil (BO), primrose oil (PO), fish-corn oil mix (FC, 9:1, w/w), fish-borage oil mix (FB, 1:3, w/w), or fish-primrose oil mix (FP, 1:3, w/w) for 2 wk. Peritoneal macrophages were isolated from these mice, stimulated with zymosan or vehicle, and subsequently co-cultured with naive mouse aortic SMC in the presence of 3H-thymidine to measure SMC DNA synthesis. In this co-culture system, macrophages were seeded on 25-mm culture inserts (upper chamber) and SMC were seeded on 35-mm culture dishes (lower chamber). The two cell types were separated by a semipermeable membrane with a 30-kD cut-off. When quiescent SMC were co-cultured with macrophages, only the PO and FP diet groups had significantly (P < 0.05) lower SMC DNA synthesis compared with the control CO group whose diet contained no gamma- linolenic acid (GLA) or (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). In contrast, when cycling SMC were co-cultured with diet-modulated macrophages, all dietary groups except for those fed FC had significantly lower (P < 0.05) SMC DNA synthesis relative to the CO group. Although the level of GLA in PO and BO diets was different (11.5 and 22.3 g/100 g fatty acids, respectively), these treatments exerted comparable inhibitory effects on SMC DNA synthesis. The FP treatment consistently exhibited the lowest SMC DNA synthetic profile among the six dietary groups irrespective of SMC growth conditions. These data suggest that BO and PO alone or in combination with fish oil influence macrophage/smooth muscle cell interactions in a manner consistent with favorable modulation of the atherogenic process.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


  1. Enig, Mary G. Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol. Bethesda Press, 2000.


Dr. Hank Liers, PhD pro-c™ pro-c super antioxidant formulaFred Liers PhD pro-c antioxidant vitamin c nrf2 formulaLooking for an advanced antioxidant formula? Already using or recommending vitamin C? Curious about cellular Nrf2 activation? Look no further than PRO-C™.

PRO-C™ is among the most effective antioxidant formulas available. It is an HPDI foundational supplement that works most effectively when used with multivitamins, essential fats, and superfoods. However, it is also an excellent standalone formula that can rapidly provide the body with extremely high protection from free radicals.

We ourselves have taken PRO-C daily for many years with excellent results. Our personal experience together with detailed feedback from health professionals and end-users affirms the effectiveness of PRO-C as a super-antioxidant–vitamin C-Nrf2 activator formula.

PRO-C provides 500 mg of buffered vitamin C per capsule (buffered with calcium, magnesium, and zinc) along with grape extract (seed, skin, pulp) and green tea extract (95% polyphenols). In addition, we include a special combination of the “network antioxidants” l-glutathione (reduced), n-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), r-lipoic acid, and selenium. Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6 in coenzyme forms support the enzymatic effectiveness of the “network antioxidants”. The formula works so well because this combination of ingredients leverages the antioxidant power of vitamin C, grape extract, green tea extract, and the other nutrients to act synergistically in order to maximize effectiveness.


What you may not know is the history of the development PRO-C and the scientific knowledge on which Dr. Hank Liers based his formulation of it.

Dr. Hank formulated his first product in 1989. It was a potent antioxidant formula he called PYC-C™ (sounds like “pixie”). PYC-C consisted of a combination of buffered Vitamin C (including magnesium, calcium, and zinc ascorbates) and pycnogenols from pine bark.

Much of the scientific research data Dr. Hank collected during the development of PYC-C regarding oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) he later incorporated into an article (currently published on this blog) titled “Review of Scientific Research on Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC)” (rev. 2017)

By 1997 Dr. Hank had gathered a great deal of new scientific information regarding green tea catechins and the nutrients termed “network antioxidants” by Dr. Lester Packer, director of Packer Lab at University of California, Berkeley. Beyond this information, Dr. Hank studied additional research regarding how various nutrients worked together synergistically. At that point, he was ready to formulate the new, improved PRO-C™ super antioxidant formula.

PRO-C combines the ingredients of PYC-C (now known as OPC-C™) and uses grape pulp, skin, and seed extract with green tea extract (with high polyphenols >95% and EpiGalloCatechinGalate (EGCG) >45%), n-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), reduced glutathione (GSH), R-lipoic acid, selenium, and coenzyme Vitamins B2 and B6.

PRO-C super antioxidant formula 180 cap 90 cap

HPDI launched PRO-C™ in late 1997. It rapidly became one of our best-selling products. Our customers raved about how effective it was for them if they felt like they were “coming down with something” (like a cold, flu, virus, infection, etc.). Greater skin elasticity greatly helped pregnant women avoid stretch marks and episiotomies. Today, we highly recommend its use together with our other Foundational Supplements to ensure optimal health and anti-aging effects.


PRO-C™ super antioxidant formula is extremely synergistic, especially in so far as it increases the body’s ability to quench free radicals in its aqueous (i.e., water-based) compartments. Because antioxidants may become free radicals themselves after they have done their job, the body has developed an elaborate system for recovery of oxidized antioxidants.


Dr. Lester Packer was the primary researcher investigating the synergistic character of antioxidants. He made this statement in his interview with Dr. Richard Passwater after publication of Packer’s The Antioxidant Miracle (1999):

[The major theme of] The Antioxidant Miracle is that antioxidants work in a coordinated manner. They interact with one another, and this interaction, which we like to call the antioxidant network, is very important to the overall antioxidant defense that we possess. The key members of the antioxidant network are vitamin E and vitamin C, but there are other participants in this network. These are thiol antioxidants, antioxidants that contain sulfur groups in the body. Glutathione perhaps is the best known of these, but there are other sulfur-containing antioxidants that also are very important.”

Dr. Packer continues:

“This whole antioxidant network works like an orchestra depending on individuals who have, of course, different complements of antioxidants depending upon their nutritional regimens and the individuality of their own body metabolisms. The idea behind having a network of antioxidants is that if one antioxidant happens to be deficient the others can compensate and still keep the antioxidant defense system strong.”

The following diagram shows some of the relationships in the antioxidant network and how they support each other.

Lester Packer antioxidant network diagram Figure 1 – Dr. Packer’s Antioxidant Network

We see, for example, reduced glutathione (GSH) has the ability to reduce oxidized Vitamin C back to its unoxidized state. Vitamin C reduces oxidized Vitamin E back to its unoxidized state, and both reduces glutathione and spares it for other important functions, including detoxification and immune enhancement.

Many polyphenols (e.g., oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), anthocyanidins and catechins) found in red grape and green tea extracts spare Vitamin C and glutathione in the body, as well as operate as powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and connective tissue strengtheners.

grapes grape extract antioxidant

Grapes provide antioxidant nutrients such as polyphenols, OPCs, anthocyans, and resveratrol.

R-Lipoic Acid (see abstracts below) operates as an antioxidant both in its oxidized and reduced states, reduces the oxidized forms of both Vitamin E and Vitamin C, and and has been shown to enhance glutathione levels. Because several of these substances are able to protect Vitamin E contained in cell membranes, this combination also has a significant beneficial effect on the fat soluble antioxidant status of the body!

The nutrients in PRO-C have been carefully selected and balanced to provide optimal effects, especially as related to free radical protection, detoxification, immune system enhancement, connective tissue strengthening, and reduction of inflammation. PRO-C therefore provides outstanding nutritional support in a wide variety of conditions of poor health, as well as acts to support and maintain a state of health and well-being.

It the last several years the research results on Nrf2 activators have become well known and products developed that take advantage of these nutrients. For details see our blog article Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention. Researchers have been studying specifically how enzyme-activating substances such as OPCs and anthocyans activate a transcription factor known as Nrf2 that causes the body to endogenously produce higher levels of a wide variety of protective enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.

Although we did not know about Nrf2 activators in 1997 when we formulated PRO-C, we have subsequently learned that four of the ingredients in the formula have powerful Nrf2 activity. These include grape seed extract, green tea extract, NAC, and r-lipoic acid. With this knowledge, we now understand that PRO-C provides both powerful external antioxidants (with extremely high ORAC5.0 values) that support redox cycles within the body, but also provides ingredients that allow the body to endogenously produce powerful protective enzymes for even greater free-radical protection and health.


PRO-C contains buffered vitamin C (in the form of powdered calcium, magnesium, and zinc ascorbates), high-potency grape extract (from grape pulp, skins, and seeds), green tea extract (with>95% polyphenols and >45% EGCG), reduced glutathione, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), R-lipoic acid, coenzyme forms of vitamin B2 (R5P) and vitamin B6 (P5P), and selenium.

Below we will discuss each ingredient and show some of the research that confirms its effectiveness.


Vitamin C typically is called l-ascorbic acid or ascorbate and is an essential nutrient for humans and other animal species. The term “vitamin C” refers to a number of vitamins that have vitamin C activity in animals, including ascorbic acid and its salts (e.g., magnesium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, etc.), and some oxidized forms such as dehydroascorbate and semidehydroascorbate.

Vitamin C is known to perform many critical functions within the body involving detoxification, tissue building, immune enhancement, pain control, and controlling or killing pathogenic organisms. It is also known to be helpful for wound and bone healing, healthy skin and eyes, fighting infections, stress control, toxic exposure, and repairing damaged tissue of all types. For much more information on the many benefits of Vitamin C see our blog article Vitamin C – An Amazing Nutrient.

Below are two abstracts that show some of the beneficial effects of Vitamin C when used with other network antioxidants:

Exhaustive physical exercise causes oxidation of glutathione status in blood: prevention by antioxidant administration.
Sastre J, Asensi M, Gasco E, Pallardo FV, Ferrero JA, Furukawa T, Vina J
In: Am J Physiol (1992 Nov) 263(5 Pt 2):R992-5

We have studied the effect of exhaustive concentric physical exercise on glutathione redox status and the possible relationship between blood glutathione oxidation and blood lactate and pyruvate levels. Levels of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) in blood increase after exhaustive concentric physical exercise in trained humans. GSSG levels were 72% higher immediately after exercise than at rest. They returned to normal values 1 h after exercise. Blood reduced glutathione (GSH) levels did not change significantly after the exercise. We have found a linear relationship between GSSG-to-GSH and lactate-to-pyruvate ratios in human blood before, during, and after exhaustive exercise. In rats, physical exercise also caused an increase in blood GSSG levels that were 200% higher after physical exercise than at rest. GSH levels did not change significantly. Thus, both in rats and humans, exhaustive physical exercise causes a change in glutathione redox status in blood. We have also found that antioxidant administration, i.e., oral vitamin C, N-acetyl-L- cysteine, or glutathione, is effective in preventing oxidation of the blood glutathione pool after physical exercise in rats.

The effect of glutathione and vitamins A, C, and E on acute skin flap survival.

Hayden RE, Paniello RC, Yeung CS, Bello SL, Dawson SM
In: Laryngoscope (1987 Oct) 97(10):1176-9

Vitamins A, C, and E act as antioxidants and as free radical scavengers in biological systems. Glutathione is involved in several reactions in vitamin metabolism and also plays an important role in cell membrane protection against lipid peroxidation by free radicals. We sought to use these natural defense mechanisms against oxygen free radicals formed during reperfusion of ischemic skin flaps. An acute axial random skin flap model was utilized in the rat. Vitamins or glutathione were administered by oral gastric tube or intravenously in the perioperative period, and survival of the flap was measured at 1 week. Glutathione, beta-carotene, ascorbic acid and alpha-D- tocopherol showed mean flap survival of 84% to 89%, each of which was significantly improved over saline controls (67% p less than .0005). The mechanisms and biochemistry of these vitamins, and their interactions with other vitamins and with glutathione, are discussed, along with clinical implications of free radical scavenging and skin flap survival.


Grape extract (seeds, skin, pulp) contain highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. The Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in grape seed extract are able to strengthen collagen fibers in aging or damaged connective tissue and can act as a preventative against connective tissue degradation.

Some research indicates that anthocyans, which are found in extracts of grape skin and stems (but not in grape seed extract), can reduce oxidized glutathione while at the same time become reduced themselves. In addition, extracts of grape skin and stems (but not those of grape seed extract) contain a material called trans-resveratrol that has been shown to have chemopreventive effects.

Below we have provided some of the abstracts that are included in our broad list of relevant abstracts for PRO-C.

Protective effects of grape seed proanthocyanidins and selected antioxidants against TPA-induced hepatic and brain lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and peritoneal macrophage activation in mice.
Bagchi D, Garg A, Krohn RL, Bagchi M, Bagchi DJ, Balmoori J, Stohs SJ
In: Gen Pharmacol (1998 May) 30(5):771-6

1. The comparative protective abilities of a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) (25-100 mg/kg), vitamin C (100 mg/kg), vitamin E succinate (VES) (100 mg/kg) and beta-carotene (50 mg/kg) on 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation in the hepatic and brain tissues, as well as production of reactive oxygen species by peritoneal macrophages, were assessed. 2. Treatment of mice with GSPE (100 mg/kg), vitamin C, VES and beta-carotene decreased TPA-induced production of reactive oxygen species, as evidenced by decreases in the chemiluminescence response in peritoneal macrophages by approximately 70%, 18%, 47% and 16%, respectively, and cytochrome c reduction by approximately 65%, 15%, 37% and 19%, respectively, compared with controls. 3. GSPE, vitamin C, VES and beta-carotene decreased TPA-induced DNA fragmentation by approximately 47%, 10%, 30% and 11%, respectively, in the hepatic tissues, and 50%, 14%, 31% and 11%, respectively, in the brain tissues, at the doses that were used. Similar results were observed with respect to lipid peroxidation in hepatic mitochondria and microsomes and in brain homogenates. 4. GSPE exhibited a dose-dependent inhibition of TPA- induced lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation in liver and brain, as well as a dose-dependent inhibition of TPA-induced reactive oxygen species production in peritoneal macrophages. 5. GSPE and other antioxidants provided significant protection against TPA-induced oxidative damage, with GSPE providing better protection than did other antioxidants at the doses that were employed.

Clinical and capillaroscopic evaluation of chronic uncomplicated venous insufficiency with procyanidins extracted from vitis vinifera
Costantini A, De Bernardi T, Gotti A
In: Minerva Cardioangiol (1999 Jan-Feb) 47(1-2):39-46

BACKGROUND: The pharmacological treatment of non-complicated chronic venous insufficiency is a current and well-debated topic. The introduction of new products with action on the venous system, improved knowledge on the physiopathology of venous insufficiency and the possibility provided by new analytical instruments, have given new impulse to the consolidation of the clinical value of phlebotonics in this indication. METHODS: In light of this, 24 patients with non-complicated chronic venous insufficiency were treated with oral administration of Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (Pycnogenols-OPC) 100 mg/day. To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of the treatment, an instrumental evaluation by optical probe capillaroscope was employed in addition to the traditional subjective clinical parameters: swelling, itching, heaviness and pain. The videocapillaroscope examination was performed at the lower third of the leg and the first toe. Edema in the capillaroscopic field, the number of observable capillaries and the capillary dilatation were the parameter chosen to evaluate the efficacy of treatment. All patients completed the study with no reports of adverse events during the period of observation. RESULTS: The results obtained show a positive clinical response (improved or absent symptoms) in over 80% of patients, with significant improvement of symptoms already evident after the first 10 days of treatment. The mechanism of action of the OPCs explains the rapid reduction of the swelling of the lower limbs and correlated with this are the other evaluable symptoms: heaviness and itching. Particularly striking results were observed for itching and pain which completely disappeared during the course of therapy in 80% and 53% of the patients respectively. Noteworthy is the good correlation between the clinical and instrumental data, with improvement in a total of 70% of patients. CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained in the course of this clinical experience, with evident improvement already during the first weeks of treatment, the absence of adverse events added to the benefit of a once-a-day administration, justify the use of OPC in the treatment of non-complicated chronic venous insufficiency.

Polymeric procyanidin fraction from defatted grape seeds protects HepG2 cells against oxidative stress by inducing phase II enzymes via Nrf2 activation.
Younghwa Kim, Youngmin Choi, Hyeonmi Ham, Heon-Sang Jeong, Junsoo Lee
Kim, Y., Choi, Y., Ham, H. et al. Food Sci Biotechnol (2013) 22: 485.

Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is an important transcription factor that regulates antioxidant response element (ARE)-driven phase II detoxification enzymes. In this study, induction of phase II enzymes via Nrf2/ARE activation in the cytoprotective effect of crude polyphenol extract (CPE), oligomeric procyanidin fraction (OPF), and polymeric procyanidin fraction (PPF) from defatted grape seeds in HepG2 cells was evaluated. Among these treatments, the treatment with PPF significantly increased Nrf2 protein expression in the nuclear fraction. Treating the samples increased heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) protein expression in a dose-dependent manner, and PPF significantly increased the levels of phase II enzymes. Cellular generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were effectively reduced by PPF. These results suggest that pretreatment with PPF shows a cytoprotective effect by inhibiting ROS production and inducing HO-1 and NQO1 expression via Nrf2 activation in HepG2 cells.


Green tea extract is obtained from the unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis for which numerous biological activities have been reported including: antimutagenic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, and protective against tumorigenesis. Below we have selected a few of the many abstracts we have on file showing the benefit of green tea extract.

Green tea antioxidant polyphenols catechins

Green tea leaves are high in antioxidant polyphenols and catechins.

Enhancement of antioxidant and phase II enzymes by oral feeding of green tea polyphenols in drinking water to SKH-1 hairless mice: possible role in cancer chemoprevention.
Khan SG, Katiyar SK, Agarwal R, Mukhtar H
In: Cancer Res (1992 Jul 15) 52(14):4050-2

Following the oral feeding of a polyphenolic fraction isolated from green tea (GTP) in drinking water, an increase in the activities of antioxidant and phase II enzymes in skin, small bowel, liver, and lung of female SKH-1 hairless mice was observed. GTP feeding (0.2%, w/v) to mice for 30 days significantly increased the activities of glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and quinone reductase in small bowel, liver, and lungs, and glutathione S-transferase in small bowel and liver. GTP feeding to mice also resulted in considerable enhancement of glutathione reductase activity in liver. In general, the increase in antioxidant and phase II enzyme activities was more pronounced in lung and small bowel as compared to liver and skin. The significance of these results can be implicated in relation to the cancer chemopreventive effects of GTP against the induction of tumors in various target organs.

In: Anticancer Drugs (1996 Jun) 7(4):461-8
Institutional address: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology College of Pharmacy University of Arizona Tucson 85721 USA.

Green tea is an aqueous infusion of dried unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis (family Theaceae) from which numerous biological activities have been reported including antimutagenic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, antitumor and cancer preventive activities. From the aqueous-alcoholic extract of green tea leaves, six compounds (+)-gallocatechin (GC), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)- epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), (-)- epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, were isolated and purified. Together with (+)-catechin, these compounds were tested against each of four human tumor cells lines (MCF-7 breast carcinoma, HT-29 colon carcinoma, A-427 lung carcinoma and UACC-375 melanoma). The three most potent green tea components against all four tumor cell lines were EGCG, GC and EGC. EGCG was the most potent of the seven green tea components against three out of the four cell lines (i.e. MCF-7 breast cancer, HT-29 colon cancer and UACC-375 melanoma). On the basis of these extensive in vitro studies, it would be of considerable interest to evaluate all three of these components in comparative preclinical in vivo animal tumor model systems before final decisions are made concerning which of these potential chemopreventive drugs should be taken into broad clinical trials.


Glutathione and NAC (a major precursor of glutathione) both provide important protection against toxins and free radicals, and can strengthen the immune system. Glutathione is considered to be one of the most important protective substances in the human body with almost 60% of liver detoxification accounted for by this key substance. In addition, glutathione is one of the most potent anti-viral substances known.

Some research has indicated that glutathione may not be able to enter easily into certain types of cells, but NAC is able to enter these cells and be converted into glutathione once inside the cell. Thus, the combination of glutathione and NAC appear to be more potent than either alone.

Below we provide some of the key abstracts we have on file regarding NAC and glutathione.

GSH rescue by N-acetylcysteine.
Ruffmann R Wendel A
In: Klin Wochenschr (1991 Nov 15) 69(18):857-62

Reduced glutathione (GSH) is the main intracellular low molecular weight thiol. GSH acts as a nucleophilic scavenger and as an enzyme-catalyzed antioxidant in the event of electrophilic/oxidative tissue injury. Therefore, GSH has a major role as a protector of biological structures and functions. GSH depletion has been recognized as a hazardous condition during paracetamol intoxication. Conversely, GSH rescue, meaning recovery of the protective potential of GSH by early administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), has been found to be life-saving. Lack of GSH and electrophilic/oxidative injury have been identified among the causes of the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Experimental and early clinical data (in ARDS) point to the role of NAC in the treatment of these conditions. Recently, orally given NAC has been shown to enhance the levels of GSH in the liver, in plasma, and notably in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Rescue of GSH through NAC needs to be appreciated as an independent treatment modality for an array of different disease, all of which have one feature in common: pathogenetically relevant loss of GSH.

Cysteine and glutathione concentrations in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid after treatment with N-acetylcysteine.
Bridgeman MM Marsden M MacNee W Flenley DC Ryle AP
In: Thorax (1991 Jan) 46(1):39-42

N-acetylcysteine (600 mg/day) was given to patients by mouth for five days before bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage to determine whether N-acetylcysteine could increase the concentrations of the antioxidant reduced glutathione in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed 1-3 hours (group 2, n = 9) and 16-20 hours (group 3, n = 10) after the last dose of N-acetylcysteine and the values were compared with those in a control group receiving no N-acetylcysteine (group 1, n = 8). N-Acetylcysteine was not detected in plasma or lavage fluid. Plasma concentrations of cysteine, the main metabolite of N-acetylcysteine and a precursor of reduced glutathione, were greater in the groups receiving treatment (groups 2 and 3) than in group 1. Cysteine concentrations in lavage fluid were similar in the three groups. Concentrations of reduced glutathione were greater in both plasma and lavage fluid in group 2 than in group 1. These data suggest that N-acetylcysteine given by mouth is rapidly deacetylated to cysteine, with resulting increases in the concentrations of cysteine in plasma and of reduced glutathione in plasma and the airways, which thus temporarily increase the antioxidant capacity of the lung.


R-Lipoic Acid is normally made at low levels in the human body, where it functions primarily as an important metabolic nutrient in the conversion of pyruvic acid into acetyl coenzyme A. As such, it plays a crucial role in the metabolism of both fats and carbohydrates into energy. In addition, r-lipoic acid functions as an extremely powerful antioxidant capable of trapping many different types of free radicals in the body.

Because it is both water and fat soluble, lipoic acid is able to operate in a broader range of body tissues than most other antioxidants. Its small size allows lipoic acid to enter areas of the body not easily accessible to many other substances; this allows lipoic acid, for example, to enter the cell nucleus and prevent free-radical damage to DNA.

Because it is such a powerful antioxidant and can easily function as such in both a reduced and oxidized state, lipoic acid is able to protect other important antioxidants such as glutathione, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. R-lipoic acid is also able to chelate heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, free iron, and free copper out of the body.

Below we provide relevant scientific abstracts from our database regarding R-Lipoic acid.

Alpha-Lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant.
Packer L Witt EH Tritschler HJ
In: Free Radic Biol Med (1995 Aug) 19(2):227-50

alpha-Lipoic acid, which plays an essential role in mitochondrial dehydrogenase reactions, has recently gained considerable attention as an antioxidant. Lipoate, or its reduced form, dihydrolipoate, reacts with reactive oxygen species such as superoxide radicals, hydroxyl radicals, hypochlorous acid, peroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. It also protects membranes by interacting with vitamin C and glutathione, which may in turn recycle vitamin E. In addition to its antioxidant activities, dihydrolipoate may exert prooxidant actions through reduction of iron. alpha-Lipoic acid administration has been shown to be beneficial in a number of oxidative stress models such as ischemia-reperfusion injury, diabetes (both alpha-lipoic acid and dihydrolipoic acid exhibit hydrophobic binding to proteins such as albumin, which can prevent glycation reactions), cataract formation, HIV activation, neurodegeneration, and radiation injury. Furthermore, lipoate can function as a redox regulator of proteins such as myoglobin, prolactin, thioredoxin and NF-kappa B transcription factor. We review the properties of lipoate in terms of (1) reactions with reactive oxygen species; (2) interactions with other antioxidants; (3) beneficial effects in oxidative stress models or clinical conditions.

Regeneration of glutathione by α-lipoic acid via Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway alleviates cadmium-induced HepG2 cell toxicity.
Zhang J, Zhou X, Wu W, Wang J, Xie H, Wu Z.
In: Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Apr;51:30-37. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2017.02.022. Epub 2017 Feb 27.

Alpha-lipoic acid (α-LA) is an important antioxidant that is capable of regenerating other antioxidants, such as glutathione (GSH). However, the underlying molecular mechanism by which α-LA regenerates GSH remains poorly understood. The current study aimed to investigate whether α-LA regenerates GSH by activation of Nrf2 to alleviate cadmium-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells. In the present study, we found that cadmium induced cell death by depletion of GSH through inactivation of Nrf2. Addition of α-LA to cadmium-treated cells reactivated Nrf2 and regenerated GSH through elevating the Nrf2-downstream genes γ-glutamate-cysteine ligase (γ-GCL) and GR, both of which are key enzymes for GSH synthesis. However, blocking Nrf2 with brusatol in the cells co-treated with α-LA and cadmium reduced the mRNA and the protein levels of γ-GCL and GR, thus suppressed GSH regeneration by α-LA. Our results indicated that α-LA activated Nrf2 signaling pathway, which upregulated the transcription of the enzymes for GSH synthesis and therefore GSH contents to alleviate cadmium-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells.


Selenium has been shown by clinical research to be a key mineral in the body’s defenses against free radicals and has been shown to be a major factor in reducing the symptoms of HIV infections and in the prevention of tumors. Selenium is used in conjunction with glutathione to form the powerful enzyme glutathione peroxidase that is responsible for detoxification of peroxides formed during the process of aerobic metabolism in humans and other animals.

Serum selenium concentrations in rheumatoid arthritis.
In: Ann Rheum Dis (1991 Jun) 50(6):376-8

O’Dell JR, Lemley-Gillespie S, Palmer WR, Weaver AL, Moore GF, Klassen LW

Selenium is a trace element and an essential part of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which protects cells from oxidative damage. Selenium has been shown to have antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immune altering effects. Serum selenium concentrations in 101 patients with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis were found to be significantly lower than those in 29 normal, healthy controls (mean (SD) 148 (42) v 160 (25) micrograms/l) and also lower than those in eight patients with fibrositis (148 (42) v 166 (25) micrograms/l). It is speculated that serum selenium concentrations may modulate the effect of viral or other infections in subjects with the appropriate genetic background and in this way enhance the development or progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies on selenium in top athletes.
Dragan I, Ploesteanu E, Cristea E, Mohora M, Dinu V, Troescu VS
In: Physiologie (1988 Oct-Dec) 25(4):187-90

The authors performed a controlled trial in 18 top athletes (9 weight lifters and 9 rowers, girls) in order to make evident some chronic and acute effects (antioxidant) of selenium. Nonprotein–SH (essential glutathione), lipid peroxides (MDA-malondialdehyde), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenases (G-6-PDH) and fructose-1,6- diphosphate aldolase in serum, have been recorded initially on basal conditions, after 3 weeks of treatment (100 micrograms/day selenium or placebo) and again after 3 weeks of treatment, also on basal conditions, when crossing over the groups (between a free interval of 10 days). In another trial we registered these parameters on basal conditions and after two hours of hard training accompanied by a per oral administration of 150 micrograms selenium (respectively placebo). The results show significant changes under selenium treatment of the peroxides, G-6-PDH and light changes, not significant of the nonprotein–SH, changes which could suggest an antioxidant effect of this element.


Vitamin B2 as coenzyme riboflavin-5-phosphate is a key vitamin that supports the regeneration of glutathione (via glutathione reductase). Vitamin B6 as coenzyme pyridoxal-5-phosphate is a key vitamin that supports the ability of glutathione to combine with toxic substances (via glutathione transferase) in the process of eliminating them from the body. They are especially effective in their coenzyme forms which allows them to be directly utilized by the body starting in the intestinal tract.


Magnesium, zinc, and calcium synergistically work with (and enhance the effects of) the other ingredients in PRO-C. Minerals are especially needed as active components of enzymes that drive metabolic activity. For example, magnesium is required in the functioning of more than 325 types of enzymes.


HIGHLY EFFECTIVE VITAMIN C FORMULA PLUS ANTIOXIDANTS. A complete vitamin C formula, a powerful antioxidant Formula, and Nrf2 activator combined in a single advanced supplement!

POWERFUL, SYNERGISTIC FREE-RADICAL QUENCHING FORMULA. PRO-C™ components work together to quench free radicals in your body. Vitamin C enables grape seed extract to function more effectively, and conversely grape seed extract potentiates vitamin C. Green tea extract boosts ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value.

PROVIDES SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF POWERFUL NRF2 ACTIVATORS (from Grape Extract, Green Tea Extract, NAC, and R-Lipoic Acid) that stimulate the production of the body’s own protective antioxidants including superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and heme oxygenase.

SUPERIOR, BUFFERED (NON-ACIDIC) FORM OF VITAMIN C. Mineral Ascorbates never acidify your body, keeping you pH balanced. Staying alkaline is an important element in maintaining a healthy body.

RAPID ASSIMILATION. Capsule form ensures rapid uptake and assimilation in the body. You may also empty capsule contents into water, food, or directly Into mouth, if desired. Good, mildly tart taste!


One (1) vegetarian capsule of PRO-C provides the following percentages of the Daily Value:

Vitamin C (from mineral ascorbates) 500 mg 833%
BioVin® Grape Extract 30 mg *
Green Tea Extract 30 mg *
Calcium (from calcium ascorbate) 23 mg 2.3%
Magnesium (from magnesium ascorbate) 23 mg 5.7%
L-Glutathione (reduced) 20 mg *
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) 15 mg *
R-Lipoic Acid 5 mg *
Zinc (from zinc ascorbate) 2 mg 13%
Vitamin B2 (from riboflavin-5′-phosphate) 1 mg 118%
Vitamin B6 (from pyridoxal-5′-phosphate) 1 mg 50%
Selenium (from l-selenomethionine) 10 mcg *

* No established Daily Value

DIRECTIONS: As a dietary supplement take 1–3 capsules or more daily in divided doses (i.e., spread out over the day), or as recommended by a health care professional. It initially may be useful to take up to 6 capsules per day in divided doses for one week. The contents of the capsule may be emptied into juice or food, as needed.

INGREDIENTS: PRO-C™ SUPER ANTIOXIDANT FORMULA contains only the highest-quality USP grade magnesium ascorbate, USP grade calcium ascorbate, BioVin® grape extract (greater than 75% polyphenols, 55% OPC, greater than 3.5% anthocyanidins from grape pulp, skins, and seeds, and a small amount of trans resveratrol), green tea extract (95% min. polyphenols and 45% min. EGCG), l-glutathione (reduced), USP grade n-acetyl-l-cysteine, USP grade zinc ascorbate, r-(+)-lipoic acid, riboflavin-5′-phosphate, pyridoxal-5′-phosphate, l-selenomethionine, the smallest amounts of microcrystalline cellulose and silica in a vegetarian capsule.

PRO-C™ does not contain wheat, rye, oats, corn antigen, barley, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, yeast, sugar, sulfates, phosphates (other than coenzyme forms), fats, chlorides, GMOs, wax, preservatives, colorings, or artificial flavorings.

Click here to order PRO-C™.



The Antioxidant Miracle. Lester Packer, PhD, and Carol Coleman. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1999.

How to Live Longer and Feel Better. Dr. Linus Pauling. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2006.


Review of Scientific Research on Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC)” (rev. 2017) by Hank Liers, PhD

“Vitamin C – An Amazing Nutrient” by Hank Liers, PhD

PRO-C™ and Ultimate Protector™ – Comparison by Hank Liers, PhD

“Antioxidant Cocktail Update: Part 1: The Take Home Message is to Use Antioxidant Supplements”
(An interview of Dr. Lester Packer by Richard A. Passwater, PhD, Whole Foods Magazine 1999)


PRO-C™ / Vitamin C Abstracts

Catechin Abstracts

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) Abstracts

Lipoic Acid Abstracts

(Therapeutic Nutrition Based Upon Biochemical Individuality)


PRO-C™Super Antioxidant Formula

Ultimate Protector™Nrf2 Activator Formula


HPDI Vitamin C Products



Dr. Hank Liers PhD iodine supplementationFred Liers PhD iodine supplementationThe Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) published on June 12 “The Need for Iodine Supplementation.” We believe strongly in the need for iodine supplementation, especially given the fact that more than 90% of the US population is iodine deficient. For this reason we make available both Nascent Iodine and Lugol’s Iodine Solution 2 to our customers.

We present the full OMNS article (below), as a source of valuable information to our resellers and Creating Health Naturally readers. The factors contributing to massive-scale iodine deficiency remain virtually unchanged over decades. This has led to a greater need for educating health professionals and individuals about the critical importance of iodine supplementation.

Another useful article discussing the benefits of iodine supplementation was published August 2 by Dr. Mark Sircus, OMD: “Iodine, Thyroid and Low Body Temperature.” ~

The Need for Iodine Supplementation

by Wojciech Rychlik, PhD

(OMNS, June 12, 2017) Feeling tired, having low energy or depression, gaining weight, memory problems, having dry skin, dry mouth, or immune system issues? There is good chance your body needs iodine supplementation. Why iodine? Because this essential to human health element has been singled out as dangerous, for several obscure reasons, and it has been gradually eliminated from our diet, and even worse, replaced by its antagonist, bromine. This trend has been termed, iodophobia (1). It is a cause of widely occurring hypothyroidism in many developed countries.

Iodine: How Much?

Iodine deficiency is associated with (2, 3, 4):

  • Fibrocystic breast disease leading to breast cancer and stomach cancer
  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid)
  • Mental issues from reduced alertness, lowered IQ, autism to cretinism, lack of iodine for the fetus leads to cretinism, and in milder cases to autism and ADHD
  • Slow metabolism, leading to tiredness, sluggishness, fatigue, apathy, depression, and insomnia
  • Inability to produce saliva, dry skin, and lack of sweating
  • Lack of optimal detoxification, especially of bromides, fluorides, and heavy metals
  • Sensitivity to temperature changes, and cold hands and feet
  • Muscle pain, fibrosis, and fibromyalgia
  • Erectile dysfunction, infertility and miscarriages, and low sex drive
  • Overweight
  • High blood pressure, and increased incidence of heart attacks and strokes

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has published probable safe upper limits for dietary intake of iodine (5). They range from 150 micrograms (mcg) per kilogram (kg) per day in newborn infants to 30mcg/kg/day in adults. That is 2 milligrams (2,000 micrograms) daily for a 146-pound adult. The safe upper limit is higher during pregnancy and lactation (40 mcg/kg/day).

Treatments for Hypothyroidism

The simplest method to deal with an underactive thyroid is proper supplementation with iodine, called orthoiodosupplementation. If the thyroid is damaged, then supplementation with thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3, the main biologically active hormone) may be necessary. Supplementation (6). with these hormones should be done under close supervision of a medical professional. However, supplementation with inorganic iodine is generally much safer, as the body “knows” how much T4 and T3 need to make. There are also drugs that change physiology of iodine metabolism, but this subject is beyond the scope of this article. Pharmaceutical companies pressure doctors to avoid inexpensive orthoiodosupplementation, so you won’t likely get a prescription for inexpensive Lugol’s solution from a mainstream practitioner.

One caveat to supplementation with iodine is the autoimmune illness called Hashimoto’s disease, or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, which is one of the potential causes of hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, when hypothyroidism is diagnosed, the possibility that Hashimoto’s disease underlies this condition has not always been properly tested. Therefore, Hashimoto’s disease has often been misdiagnosed. Doctors usually treat this condition with hormone replacement therapy, and some believe that excessive iodine intake may trigger it in susceptible people (7). Always ask your doctor if iodine supplements are right for you.

History of Iodine Usage and “Iodophobia”

This subject has been covered in detail by Dr. Guy E. Abraham (8,9,10). The iodine element was discovered in 1811 by B. Courtois. In 1850–1853 A. Chatin noted that goiter and cretinism are rare in geological zones rich in iodine and frequent where iodine is in short supply, and that goiter can be prevented by iodine supplementation. In 1895 E. Baumann proposed that iodine is the active element in the thyroid gland.

By the time Bauman identified large concentrations of iodine in the thyroid gland in 1895, pharmaceutical and apothecary preparations containing iodine, excluding thyroid extracts, were widely used as a panacea.

To quote Kelley: (11) “The variety of diseases for which iodine was prescribed in the early years is astonishing – paralysis, chorea, scrofula, lacrimal fistula, deafness, distortions of the spine, hip-joint disease, syphilis, acute inflammation, gout, gangrene, dropsy, carbuncles, whitlow, chilblains, burns, scalds, lupus, croup, catarrh, asthma, ulcers, and bronchitis – to mention only a few. Indeed, tincture of iodine, iodoform, or one of the iodides, was applied to almost every case that resisted the ordinary routine of practice; and between 1820 and 1840 there appeared a remarkable series of essays and monographs testifying to the extraordinary benefits to be achieved by this new and potent remedy.”

Unfortunately, these monographs have virtually disappeared from US medical libraries. In the mid-1800s, iodine treatments of some diseases called for ingestion of gram (1,000 mg) amounts per day. However, most treatments were from 5 to 50 mg daily. The recommended daily amount of iodine by Dr. G. E. Abraham is 0.1-0.3 ml Lugol containing 12.5-37.5 mg elemental iodine. This is the amount of iodine needed for whole body sufficiency, based on a recently reported iodine/iodide-loading test (12). Thyroid gland sufficiency for iodide is achieved with a lower dose.

Lugol's iodine supplementation

The first iodophobic authority emerged in early 1900s. Prof. T. Kochler reported that he suffered from overactive thyroid following ingestion of iodide (just a single individual case, not a statistical research study!) Despite this, the number of applications grew. In an International Index published in 1956, and devoted exclusively to iodine pharmaceuticals, no less than 1,700 approved iodine-containing products were listed. In 1948 Wolff and Chaikoff published that a serum inorganic iodide level at a concentration of 1 µM blocks (one micromolar) the synthesis of thyroid hormones, resulting in hypothyroidism and goiter in rats. But this conclusion was erroneous as they even did not measure thyroid hormones in the rats studied, and of course, hypothyroidism and goiter were not observed in those rats. Many organic forms of iodinated drugs were quite poisonous. Unfortunately, medical establishment did not make a distinction between organic and inorganic forms of iodine, and iodophobia became more popular.

Decades ago, iodine was added to bread so that one slice contained 150 mcg of iodine (the current recommended daily allowance). In the 1980s, bromine replaced iodine in bread. Since bromide is an antagonist to iodine (it is goitrogenic), it worsened iodine deficiency in the US. Moreover, a big push to remove salt from our diet (the only grocery item still supplemented with iodine) exacerbated the problem. The only developed nation that resisted iodophobia is Japan, statistically the healthiest and longest living nation on the planet. Their average daily consumption of iodine is around 5 mg, with various reports ranging from 1 mg to 18 mg. In a study of reported daily iodine intake versus total number of clinical symptoms, an intake of approximately 1 mg per day correlated with the lowest number of reported symptoms, that is, the highest level of health (13). Recent popularization of bromides in our food supplies likely increased this amount.

According to Dr. Abraham, (14) “proper amounts of iodine in the food supply should be considered one of a nation’s greatest assets. Removing iodine from the food supply is a major mistake. Supplying a daily intake of iodine sufficient for the whole body (100-400 times the RDA) gives protection against goitrogens and radioactive iodine/iodide fallout; improves immune functions, resulting in an adequate defense system against infection; decreases singlet oxygen formation which is the major cause of oxidative damage to DNA and macromolecules, resulting in an anticarcinogenic effect in every organ; results in a detoxifying effect by increasing urinary excretion of the toxic metals lead, mercury, cadmium, and aluminum, as well as the goitrogens fluoride and bromide; normalizes hormone receptor functions resulting in improved response to thyroid hormones both endogenous and exogenous; and results in better control of blood sugar in diabetic patients; stabilizes cardiac rhythm, obviating the need for the toxic sustained release form of iodine, amiodarone; and normalizes blood pressure without medication in hypertensive patients. Iodine deficiency is the major cause of cognitive impairment, worldwide.”

The Iodine-Cancer Connection

The body requires iodine to metabolize both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. A substance called delta-iodolactone, a derivative of arachidonic acid, which is produced in the thyroid gland and breast tissue, prostate, colon, and the nervous system, is a regulator of a process called cellular apoptosis (“cell death”). Ascorbic acid is required to stimulate intracellular hydrogen peroxide synthesis that, in turn, provides the energy to make iodine free radicals necessary for this reaction. When the level of delta-iodolactone is high enough, the process of apoptosis can then kill cancer cells. (15)

Unfortunately, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iodine — about 150 mcg per day — will not allow delta-iodolactone to be efficiently formed in the thyroid gland. The thyroid requires higher iodine concentrations to efficiently produce it. Researchers have found that 100 times the RDA amount of iodine is optimal to produce delta-iodolactone. That equates to taking about 15 mg of iodine per day (15,16). These findings are important because they imply that there are some biochemical reactions that require much larger amounts of iodine than the current RDA. The mechanism by which delta-iodolactone induces cell death may be an important pathway for curing some types of cancer.

Forms of Iodine

Inorganic iodine exists in 6 oxidative states, from -1 to +7. The most reduced form (with most electrons) is iodide (I); an example is potassium iodide. The diatomic form of elemental iodine I2, has no electrical charge. Monoatomic iodine also has no electrical charge, but is unstable and highly reactive (free radical, labeled as an I with a dot, I* ). It can be produced by exposing I2 to ultraviolet light. Electric and magnetic fields won’t do it, as is sometimes incorrectly suggested. More oxidized forms of iodine are: hypoiodite (I+1), iodite (I+3), iodate (I+5), and periodate (I+7). The body’s metabolism may convert (reduce) these forms to biochemically available iodide, but at the cost of depleting its antioxidants. All forms of positively charged iodine are relatively poisonous, with established lethal doses (LD50) in the range of 35 to 2100 mg/kg. Elemental iodine (I2) and iodides (I) are non-poisonous. However, a bad “antiseptic” non-culinary taste of iodine (I2) suggests to our senses that this is not so good choice for supplementation.Nascent iodine supplementation

Despite that adverse taste, almost all the research on iodine supplementation has been done using Lugol’s Solution (17). The original solution is called 5% Lugol’s Iodine, but in reality it consists of 12.5% iodide/iodine or (I/[I3]) ions. Two drops of Lugol’s Solution (0.1 ml) contain 12.5 mg iodine/iodide mix. Iodine tablets that are a solid form of Lugol’s solution, were created to mask the taste and make the doses more precise for dietary supplementation.

I should mention a few points about Edgar Cayce’s atomidine. This famous visionary wrote several articles about the best form of iodine supplement (18). Some claim that this was iodine trichloride, but that cannot be true as this compound is toxic by ingestion and damaging to mucous membranes. It decomposes to ICl and poisonous gas Cl2 at 77 degrees C and also in water at room temperature (19). Most likely Cayce’s atomidine was simply a 1% iodine solution (I2) in 95% ethanol. I am surprised that there are educated people, even medical doctors who claim that “elemental monoatomic iodine” preparations (Atomidine, Nascent Iodine etc.) are the best forms of iodine supplements. May be it has something to do with efficient marketing? Elemental Iodine (I2) is soluble in glycerin. Replacement of ethanol with glycerol indeed makes these supplements more consumption-friendly, so they are sold by some vendors as superior products to Cayce’s ethanol-formulated one. Personally, I think glycerol-based I2 supplements are inferior to iodides; however, they are excellent antiseptics.

To defend the validity of Cayce’s vision, in thyroid, I ion and amino acid tyrosine react through a short intermediate step by forming monoatomic I* free radical (selenium and hydrogen peroxide are involved) to make monoiodotyrosine. Diiodotyrosine is formed analogical way, and finally, two of these molecules combine to produce thyroxine. All those steps are carried by the enzyme thyroid peroxidase, which is normally attached to the protein thyroglobulin. So, yes, monoatomic iodine I* exists in human bodies, and it directly reacts with tyrosine, but no, it wouldn’t be healthy to consume iodine free radicals as their high reactivity would prevent safe transport throughout the body.

In the mid-1930s the thyroid hormone thyroxine became available on the market. This was a blessing for people who had damaged their thyroid. Unfortunately, doctors started to prescribe this hormone to just about anybody with hypothyroidism, thinking that they can control better thyroid hormone levels than our bodies can. And, the “iodine is iodine, no matter what form” mentality became a dangerous trend, because most medical professionals do not fully appreciate the difference between the raw nutrient (iodine) and its product (hormone).

The pharmaceutical industry came up with lots of organic forms of iodine (NB: organic, meaning that iodine is bound to a carbon-atom-containing molecule and NOT meaning it’s grown in a pesticide-free environment), all relatively toxic and certainly not to be used without strict medical supervision. Only inorganic forms of iodine, I and I2, are safe for supplementation (20,21). Further, high doses of these supplements should still be supervised by your doctor.

Iodine Uses

Iodine plays critical role in human metabolism. Many researchers believe the RDA value of 150 mcg for iodine is too low, especially when this element is commonly substituted with competing element bromine. Therefore, the main use of iodine in dietary supplementation is to enable optimal thyroid function. There are a number of medical conditions where iodine is either essential or helpful. For best results, iodine/iodide should be supplemented with selenium, magnesium, copper (there is usually enough of it in tap water as copper is widely used in plumbing), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin). Ask your doctor before taking any iodine supplements, especially if you are on medications.

Elemental iodine (I2) is antibacterial and antifungal, so iodine or iodine/iodide solutions are commonly used topically to sterilize wounds, or internally to fight infections, such as vaginitis and sore throat, and also to sanitize drinking water. Because iodine is antibacterial, drinking it may cause friendly bacterial flora to suffer and result in diarrhea and stomach cramps (the same applies to Lugol’s solution, but to a lesser extent as it contains iodides as well).

Ingestion of iodides prevents the incorporation of destructive radioactive iodine into the body (mainly by the thyroid) in case of nuclear accidents. It also may help flushing already incorporated radioactive iodine from the thyroid, although too much iodine inhibits secretion of T4/T3 from the gland.

Common-Sense Cautions

Overdosing any of the iodine supplements can lead to swollen salivary glands, metallic aftertaste and skin rash and itching (that are usually due to rapid process of detoxification from heavy metals fluorides and bromides), faster heartbeat or palpitations and diarrhea. When supplementation is stopped, these symptoms will usually disappear quickly, often within one day. Iodine stabilizes thyroid hormone production, so it is an adaptogen, but in rare cases, such as acquired allergy to iodine (Hashimoto’s disease), it may actually misbalance it. In some cases, iodine supplementation can cause hypothyroidism, so it’s important to get checked by your doctor to make sure that your thyroid function is not worsened by supplementation. Some authors advising caution are Alan Christianson (22), Jeffrey Dach, (23) and Alan Gaby (24). Testing of levels of thyroid hormones along with testing and supplementation of mineral nutrients such as selenium, zinc, copper, magnesium calcium, and other trace minerals may prevent problems in cases where high doses of iodine/iodide might tend to cause Hashimoto’s disease. (23)

Inorganic Iodine Availability

The most common form of iodine supplement is Lugol’s solution (17). The original solution contains 5% of iodine and 10% iodide. Solid pill forms of Lugol’s solution are sold under several brand names. Potassium iodide (KI), my favorite iodine supplement, is available as tablets as well. Various products with kelp or other seaweed extracts contain iodides as well. Check the label when you buy as some of them are very diluted.

It is difficult to find inexpensive elemental iodine (I2) solution in alcohol. You can buy iodine crystals online and make the proper solution by yourself very easily (using either alcohol or glycerol). The monoatomic iodine concept is simply a marketing gimmick that has been created to inflate the price several fold. Note that if the monoatomic claims were really true, few would really want to drink free radicals, the only monoatomic form that exists. Iodine free radicals are not transported freely in our bodies because they are too reactive. Elemental iodine preparations, including iodine dissolved in glycerol, may be helpful products for external antiseptic use rather than a supplement.

Another form of iodine supplement includes a mixture of algae and thyroid extract in glycerin, water and ethanol. This is likely not harmful because it contains T3 and T4 only in very small amounts, and the recommended serving size is also small. Other complex formulae that contain elemental iodine are a useful antiseptic, but not a good supplement. Iodine trichloride should be avoided as a supplement because it is too toxic.(19)


The established RDA allowance for iodine (150 mcg/day) is inadequate for many individuals. In order to maintain optimum health, adults need 2-5 mg of iodide daily. Actually, this is in line with the upper safe limit of dietary intake of iodine established by FAO (30 mcg/kg/day). In case of a dysfunctional thyroid or other illnesses, such as fibrocystic breast disease or cancer, 15-50 mg daily may be needed. Ask your doctor about the alternatives to hormone therapy or taking iodine-containing organic drugs, because inexpensive orthoiodosupplementation would usually not be his/her first choice.

The best and safest form of iodine supplementation for a healthy adult is iodide. Iodides are naturally produced in larger quantities by various seaweeds.

Please consult your doctor about iodine supplementation, as in your particular case it may be contraindicated.


1. Abraham GE. The History of Iodine in Medicine Part III: Thyroid Fixation and Medical Iodophobia.

2. Dommisse J. MD Best Kept Secret (2009)


4. Hamza RT1, Hewedi DH, Sallam MT. (2013) Iodine deficiency in Egyptian autistic children and their mothers: relation to disease severity. Arch Med Res. 44(7):555-61.


6. Abraham GE. The Concept of Orthoiodosupplementation and Its Clinical Implications.


8. Abraham GE. The History of Iodine in Medicine Part I: From Discovery to Essentiality.

9. Abraham GE. The historical background of the Iodine Project.

10. Abraham GE. The History of Iodine in Medicine Part II: The Search for and the Discovery of Thyroid Hormones.

11. Kelly FC. “Iodine in medicine and pharmacy since its discovery , 1811-1961.” Proc R Soc Med, 1961; 54:831-836.

12. Abraham GE. “The safe and effective implementation of orthoiodosupplementation in medical practice.” The Original Internist, 2004; 11(1):17-36.

13. Fallon Morell S. The Great Iodine Debate (2009) The WestonA. Price Foundation,

14. Abraham GE. The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect: Crying Wolf?

15. Brownstein D. The Cancer-Iodine Connection, (2015)

16. 6-Iodolactone, key mediator of antitumoral properties of iodine, M. Nava-Villalba, C. Aceves, (2014) Prostaglandins & Other Lipid Mediators 112, 27-33.

17. Bacteriological Analytical Manual, R40 Lugol’s Iodine Solution (2001),

18. Review of Atomidine, International Wellness Directory,

19. Material safety data sheet,

20. Abraham GE. The historical background of the Iodine Project

21. Abraham GE and Brownstein D. A Rebuttal of Dr. Gaby’s Editorial on Iodine. (2005) Townsend Letter, The Examiner of Alternative Medicine,

22. Christianson A.

23. Dach J.

24. Gaby A.

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

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Fred Liers PhD quicksilver liposomal formulasOne of the most significant developments for nutrient uptake and assimilation is the advent of liposomal delivery systems. Once in the range of 300–5,000 nanometers, the latest liposomes are now just 20–100 nanometers (nm)!

The significance of these small liposomes—tiny bilayer lipid structures—is that there is a major increase in the amount of nutrient delivery to cells. That is, small liposomes show significantly greater efficiency at intracellular delivery of encapsulated compounds.

Liposomal delivery systems have evolved rapidly and now offer major advantages over nutritional supplements delivered by standard means—like capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids (e.g., tinctures).

Liposomal delivery systems first utilized multi-lamellar vesicles (MLV) ranging ins size from 300–5,000 nanometers. Later, “large” unilamellar vesicles (LUV) (100–300 nanometers) were developed. Products containing LUVs are more effectively assimilated than MLVs.

As noted, lipsomal technologies have shrunk liposome sizes to 20–100 nanometers (nm), the category size for small unilamellar vesicles (SUV). This means the body can far more easily assimilate nutrients delivered liposomally when the particle sizes are up to 10 times smaller than already effective liposome sizes.

Small liposomes (SUV) have a long circulation half-life and better cellular accumulation. Small lipid particles have the fastest uptake kinetics and can participate in paracellular (between cells) transport. The nutritional liposome industry is rapidly moving toward the use of small liposomes.

Key Point: Small liposomes (SUV) are significantly more efficient at intracellular delivery of encapsulated compounds. In a recent study with carefully sized liposomes, cellular uptake increased nine-fold as liposome size was decreased from 236 nm to 97 nm and was 34 fold higher at 64 nm.

Nutrients that can be delivered liposomally range from vitamin C and glutathione to many types of adaptogenic and medicinal herbs.

Benefits of Liposomal Delivery

  • Rapid update, assimilation, and movement into cells
  • Oral intake bypasses digestive system—nutrients go directly into body
  • High levels of nutrients assimilated
  • Reduced dosages and less “wasted” product
  • Nutrients penetrate smallest compartments in the body
  • Nutrients circulate widely
  • Precise intra-oral delivery
  • Simple manual pump from glass bottle
  • Easy water dispersability when desired
  • Good tasting!

Liposomal delivery systems are the future of nutritional supplements given all the advantages they confer. HPDI recognizes the value of liposomal products, and now offers the best formulas available—from Quicksilver Scientific, Inc.—to our customers.


HPDI offers four liposomal formulas from Quicksilver Scientific, the leader in nanoliposomal delivery systems. Each formula offers unparalleled uptake and assimilation—and good taste!—via inta-oral delivery. These products include:

Quicksilver liposomal formulas

HPDI offers four liposomal formulas from Quicksilver Scientific.

Liposomal Vitamin C with R-Lipoic Acid (mean size 50–100nm): Quicksilver Scientific’s Etheric Delivery™ system for Liposomal Vitamin C (with R-Lipoic Acid) is the most absorbable form of professional-grade Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential to any detoxification program because it feeds the system that eliminates toxins. It is also very effective in removing lead and other heavy metals from our system and fighting off the free radicals that form in the liver during the first phase of detoxification.

R-Lipoic Acid (as sodium R-Lipoate) has an exceptionally well-documented ability to upregulate the glutathione system via the Nrf2 nuclear transcription pathway. This combination of liposomal vitamin C and R-Lipoate in a nanoliposomal delivery system potently harnesses the potential of Vitamin C to the power of a fully functioning glutathione system.

The absorption of conventional oral Vitamin C diminishes rapidly as the dose increases (e.g., about 19% for 1000 mg oral vitamin C). Nanosphere delivery greatly increases absorption and for some compounds can provide higher intracellular delivery than an IV administration.

Quicksilver Vitamin C

Quicksilver Liposomal Vitamin C with R-Lipoic Acid

Suggested Usage: General use for antioxidant and detoxification function, take eight pumps per day (1,000 mg of Vitamin C and 50 mg of R-Lipoate). For advanced intermittent use, use up to 50 pumps per day (6,250 mg Vitamin C and 312.5 mg R-Lipoate) or more, in divided doses throughout the day. For detoxification protocols, especially with metal toxicities, build dosage gradually, starting from low doses, as they are tolerated. If strong detoxification reactions are observed, back off dosage. Children should start at approximately 1/4 of adult (two pumps per day) dosage and work up. For topical application, one pump can cover the face for a daily treatment, or use several pumps as a mask and leave on for 10–15 minutes; skin can be re-wetted and left for another 10 minutes before rinsing off excess.

Liposomal Glutathione: Quicksilver’s Phospholipid Encapsulation Etheric Delivery system protects glutathione from digestive enzymes that otherwise inhibit absorption of oral glutathione supplementation. In cell cultures, liposomal products have demonstrated over 100 times more efficiency for intracellular delivery than IV-based liposomal glutathione.

Quicksilver’s Liposomal Glutathione comes with a precision pump to accurately deliver 50 mg of reduced glutathione and 68 mg of injectable-grade essential phospholipids (derived from sunflower oil) per pump. The patent-pending process, plus a natural lemon flavoring, allows this product to be taken intra-orally for maximum absorption without the foul sulfur taste typical of liposomal glutathione products. The formula can be taken every 3–4 hours for even delivery throughout the day. One bottle delivers 100, 0.5 ml doses.

Quicksilver Liposomal Glutathione

Quicksilver Liposomal Glutathione with Lemon Mint

Suggested Usage: For general antioxidant and detoxification protection, use eight pumps per day (400 mg glutathione). For advanced protection, use up to 20 per day (1,000 mg glutathione) or more, in divided doses throughout the day. For large doses, take two pumps at a time to allow for maximum oral absorption, and hold at least 30 seconds before swallowing. Children should start at approximately 1/4 of adult (two pumps per day) dosage and work up.

Liposomal Colorado Hemp Oil: This product uses non-THC (<0.3%) cannabidiol (CBD) from all-natural Colorado Hemp Oil. CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the industrial hemp plant. Quicksilver Scientific’s liposomal delivery of Nanoemulsified Colorado Hemp Oil far outpaces tinctures and is faster, stronger and more effective. Cannabidiol interacts with our body’s naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors to aid with pain relief and enhanced feelings of well being. The advanced technology behind this groundbreaking liquid delivery method makes for precise dosing and immediate effect.

Because of the known interaction of CBD with these cannabidiol receptors, much new research has focused on CBD’s receptor-mediated neuro-protective, antiemetic, and analgesic properties, and of its effect on mood and other aspects of mental health.

New research on gene transcription modulation offers an even deeper look into the biochemical mechanisms at work when ingesting CBD. Research in this vein has shown more than 1,000 genes that are differentially upregulated by CBD (a more than ten-fold increase than those affected by THC). In general, the effects increased cell stress responses—including antioxidant-defense and detoxification genes (mainly via EhRE/ARE-Nrf2 induction)—and downregulated many inflammation-mediating genes. These effects combined with CBDs NMDA-receptor-stabilizing effects, show great promise for its use in calming the neuro-inflammatory responses accompanying neurotoxic and chronic illness states.

Quicksilver Nanoemulsified Colorado Hemp Oil

Nanoemulsified Colorado Hemp Oil

Suggested Use: Take 1–4 pumps by mouth, holding for 30 seconds before swallowing. Repeat if needed. Four pumps contain 30 mg of Hemp Extract (aerial parts) and 12 mg of Phytocannabinoid Diols. There are 25 four-pump servings per container. Best taken on an empty stomach 10 minutes before meals. May be stirred into a small amount of water. Once opened, use within 60 days. Store at room temperature and away from light.

Liposomal NanoMojo (adaptogenic blend): Dr. Christopher Shade, PhD of Quicksilver Scientific, collaborated with master herbalist Dan Moriarty of Sun Horse Energy to create NanoMojo, a groundbreaking functional medicine product. By combining Moriarty’s unique adaptogenic formulation with Dr. Shade’s state-of-the-art liposomal encapsulation, they’ve overcome the limitations of poor oral adsorption and made the phytochemicals quickly available at the cellular level. This new innovative blend of adaptogens from around the world is maximized for effectiveness.

Adaptogens are non-toxic phytochemicals that help the body achieve homeostatic balance under adverse conditions that would typically be associated with sympathetic (fight or flight) reactions. They help regulate natural harmony, adrenal balance, and stress accommodation (resistance to stress). In fact, adaptogenic herbs have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4,000 years and Chinese medicine for nearly 3,000 years to increase energy (chi) and concentration.

Scientific literature reports that adaptogenic herbs play significant roles in decreasing markers of stress-activated protein kinases, cortisol, and nitric oxide. These markers indicate a lowered level of systemic stress and inflammation and decreased symptoms of an over-taxed adrenal system.

NanoMojo contains the following adaptogenic herbs: Açaí, Lyceum (Goji) fruit, Gynostemma (Jiaogulan) (aerial parts), American Ginseng (root), Siberian Ginseng (root), Schisandra (fruit), Licorice (root), Rhodiola (root), Astragalus (root), Reishi (fruiting body), Catuaba (bark), Stinging Nettle (aerial parts), Saw Palmetto (fruit), Guarana (seed), Ashwagandha (root), Tribulus (aerial parts), Epimedium (aerial parts), Yohimbe (bark), and Organic Maple (sap) syrup.

NanoMojo helps your body adapt to the various conditions that cause stress, something most of us experience daily. This liposomal formulation is the culmination of more than eight years of research and development. Not only is it effective, but it also tastes very good.

Quicksilver liposomal NanoMojo adaptogens

NanoMojo Liposomal Adaptogenic Blend

Directions: Take two pumps twice daily, or more. May be mixed into a small amount of water. Best taken on an empty stomach. Once opened, use within 60 days.


The advent of small liposomes means significantly greater uptake and assimilation of nutrients than ever before. This means you stand to benefit greatly from advanced intra-orally delivered nanoliposomal formulas like those developed by Quicksilver Scientific, Inc.





Recent Advances in Liposome Technology (HPDI blog)


Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Formulas (HPDI website)

Liposomal Vitamin C with R-Lipoic Acid

Liposomal Glutathione with Lemon Mint

Nanoemulsified Colorado Hemp Oil

NanoMojo Liposomal Adaptogenic Blend




Dr. Hank Liers, PhD Relief Rx™ pain sore musclesOne of our suppliers recently sent me a new product sample called Relief Rx™ to evaluate. The product is a topically-applied fast-acting “Aloe vera relief gel” for sore muscles, back, joints, and skin.


After I applied the gel to painful or sore spots on my body, my pain and soreness was relieved in a short time — 15 minutes or less! I was quite impressed, needless to say. The gel has no odor and after it dries, it leaves no messy oils etc. on your skin—unlike many other topical skin formulas.

Because Relief Rx™ is a new product there are no prior sales data. However, our supplier also sent product samples to many other people who agreed to try it. The results experienced by the testers were nothing short of amazing — see some of their testimonials below.




Aloe vera, a primary ingredient in Relief Rx™

Aloe vera is a primary ingredient in Relief Rx™

Aloe vera (organic)

The Egyptians called Aloe vera the “plant of immortality.” Aloe has been cultivated for centuries by indigenous people from Africa to Asia, and it is revered around the world by herbalists. As such, it may be the ultimate resource nature has provided for natural health.

The aloe extract in Relief Rx™ is carefully prepared with 100% organically grown plants, then compounded with a proprietary process to provide highly bioavailable constituents, such as acemannan and a full-spectrum of natural polysaccharides. Some of the known helpful effects of acemannan include:

  1. Helps cells to be more resistant to viruses and pathogenic bacteria.
  2. Improves overall cellular metabolism and functioning.
  3. Promotes healthy inflammation response.
  4. Provides critical lubrication of joints.
  5. Reduces pain.
  6. Improves vascular flow.
  7. Reduces scarring.
  8. Improves healthy macrophage activity.
  9. Increases the body’s own production of interferon, interleukins.
  10. Increases the number and activity of killer T-cell and increase monocyte activity.
  11. Fights fungal infections, such as: Athlete’s foot, Ringworm, Pruritus anivalvae, Balnea, Essential Pruritus, and Vaginal yeast infections/
  12. Helps athletic injuries such as: Muscle cramps, Sprains, Strains, Bruises, Swelling, Soreness, Tendonitis, and Bursitis.
  13. Helps with harmful organisms.
  14. Speeds wound healing..
  15. Anti-aging properties. Stimulate fibroblasts to release collagen and elastin to make new tissue.

You will feel the quality of the Aloe vera at work with every application.



Hemp Oil:
The hemp oil in Relief Rx™ is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the revered hemp plant. It is especially rich in bioactive molecules (without any psychotropic effects or side effects) and has gained worldwide recognition as a natural and potent therapeutic nutrient.

Select hemp oil molecules interact with our inherent endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system to carry out beneficial and protective physiological reactions. First discovered in the late 1980s, the endocannabinoid system supports the body’s complex regulatory mechanisms including mood, sleep, appetite, hormones, pain, and immune response.

Relief Rx™ utilizes an advanced proprietary science that greatly enhances the efficacy of hemp oil to achieve results that are unequaled by conventional products.

White Willow Bark Extract (Salix alba)

White Willow Bark Extract (Salix alba)

White Willow Bark Extract (Salix alba):
A native of Europe and Asia, the name of this deciduous tree comes from the lightly colored undersides of its slender leaves. Willow may in fact be one of the oldest remedies, used in ancient Egypt and China as early as 500 BCE.

Healers applying skin and beauty treatments understood that willow bark was an important ingredient in the support of natural health. Careful processing ensures that the willow extract in Relief Rx™ contains the highest purity of ingredients. Benefits of using white willow bark extract include:

  • Anti-aging: A 2010 study reported that salicin can help reduce the appearance of skin aging. Researchers applied a serum product containing 0.5 percent salicin on the faces of women aged 35 to 70, every day for 12 weeks. Results showed improvements in the appearance of wrinkles, pore size, radiance, and overall appearance after only one week.

  • Helps cleanse oily skin: Willow bark extract naturally exfoliates skin and clears pores to give skin a clearer, healthier appearance.
  • Smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: The same exfoliating action that reduces clogged pores also helps smooth the look of fine line and wrinkles. Willow bark is a source of natural hydroxy acids that gently exfoliate. The result is smoother, softer skin.
  • Antioxidants: Like most plant extracts, willow bark contains flavonoids and tannins—powerful antioxidants that help protect skin from environmental stressors.
Relief Rx™ contains important trace minerals

Relief Rx™ contains important trace minerals

Ionic Trace Minerals Blend:
There is a great deal of evidence that the healthy function of the body is strongly influenced by electrical impulses. That is, our bodies use electrical impulse pathways, and electrolytes and ions are the conductors of these currents maintaining a smoothly running body. Ions provide the necessary charge of both positive and negative molecules that keep the electrical component of the human battery “charged” and working in top form.

The human skin is the largest organ of the body and is highly involved in the detoxification and maintenance processes of health. Skin not only excretes and eliminates toxins; it also has a tremendous capacity to absorb health supportive substances.

Clinical researchers have continued to document the clinical findings that have been observed for decades when it comes to the healing properties of topical minerals. Many of the studies on therapeutic baths have used minerals from the Dead Sea as well as the Great Salt Lake. Of particular interest are the powerful effects of these salts that exhibit favorable effects in inflammatory disease.

In one study, 103 arthritic patients received various bath treatments with ionic trace minerals. The study showed impressive results and those with the greatest physical limitation had the most pronounced improvement. A large percentage of the patients reported having less pain, improved mobility and were able to decrease analgesic use. In a different double-blind study, the use of warm mineral baths demonstrated a lasting effect for patients suffering from degenerative arthritis.

In a clinical trial conducted by a leading research university in Germany, patients with atopic (eczema) skin disorders immersed their arms in a mineral rich bath. The participants immersed one arm in tap water the other in the therapeutic mineral rich bath. The findings showed that skin hydration was improved and skin roughness and inflammation was reduced when immersed in the mineral rich water.


Direction for use:
Apply a generous amount of gel to stressed muscles and joints as needed for soothing harmonious comfort, creating a moist surface. Allow the moisture to absorb naturally into the skin and air dry on its own. Keep tightly sealed and away from children. For external use only.

Purified water, Glucomannan, Organic Aloe vera, Ionic Trace Elements Blend, Hemp Oil, White Willow Bark Extract, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.


Relief Rx™ is a new product with no prior sales data. The product was sent out to a number of people who agreed to try it. The results obtained were amazing as shown in the testimonials given below. Personally, we can confirm that the product works extremely well for a variety of muscle and joint issues – usually providing sustained relief within a short time after applying the gel to the skin.

1. Ole G., Topanga, California: “I am an 88-year old retired mechanical engineer with multiple knee, hip and upper back chronic discomfort, that is UNTIL I FOUND Relief Rx. All of it was gone in a matter of minutes. I now use this gel only when I over exert myself during yard work and gardening. I love this product…!!”

2. Paul G.: “In all of my 35+ years in the fitness facility business I never saw a relief product that works as good as Relief Rx™. This stuff is on the verge of being miraculous……truly amazing”

3. Charlie L: “I had a slight tear in the meniscus of my left knee that bothered me if I stood or sat for long. I applied Relief Rx™, and was amazed. In less than 20 seconds – literally, my knee was back to normal. I wasn’t expecting it to work that well or that quickly.”

4. Katie L (49): “I have used the Relief Rx™ many times when my muscles have been sore or my joints achy and each time, within minutes, the pain has diminished if not gone away completely. I don’t really understand why this happens, I just know it does. I appreciate the simplicity of the liquid – it is not thick, or smelly or difficult to use. And it seems to absorb quickly. It does not leave behind residue, any fragrance or greasy feeling. So I’m not so sure what is in it. I just know that it works wonders. Thank you for bringing this product to market. I’ve thrown out all of my other products and just use this.”

5. J.G.: “I have had severe pain in my right hand for over two years from using the mouse, pain in my arm, and recently I had surgery and developed a very uncomfortable pain on my right side from lying in bed. Every time I use Relief Rx™ I am amazed at how quickly the pain subsides and disappears. Thank you for this wonderful product!”

6. Dr. Chuck A.: “I applied Relief Rx™ on a patient that had nagging back issues. She told me she had “immediate and significant relief”. When can I get more?”

7. Mike G.: “I have played handball for 50 years. Over that time I have suffered right shoulder problem from injury, strain from over use, and tension from rotator cuff surgery. Over the past 15 years I have had to change shots due to shoulder problems and limitations. I applied Relief Rx™ and within 30 minutes I was 100%! I can hit all of the shots on the handball court like I could 15 years ago.”

8. U.: “This is the most amazing relief product I have ever experienced. I have disturbing problem in my back and it prevents me from getting a full nights sleep. Last night is the first night of continuous sleep I’ve had in more than a year.”