Fred Liers PhD hydrogen supplements drinks H2I love hydrogen supplements. So should you. Since starting my morning—and often afternoon—routine of making hydrogen drinks in the kitchen, I have come to appreciate the surge of energy lasting many hours, as well as a host of other benefits.

Most of all, I am amazed how easy hydrogen supplements are to use considering how much they do for you, and how well they complement the supplements I already take—seeming to make them all more effective.

I typically use one or two effervescing Active H2 Ultra tablets or Vital Reaction tablets in 8–16 ounces of water. Then I like to open one Megahydrate capsule directly in the effervescing water. I wait about 90 seconds to let the tablets stop “fizzing” and then I drink immediately. Allowing the drink to sit for a few minutes is okay, but the sooner you drink it, the higher the concentration of hydrogen.


Hydrogen supplements are among the newer, cutting-edge nutritional formulas available to support optimal health. More than 500 scientific articles now support the therapeutic potential hydrogen for essentially every organ system and in 150 human disease models, according to the non-profit Molecular Hydrogen Foundation. In fact, hydrogen is rapidly incorporated into medicine, sports medicine, peak performance, elite fitness, and more.

Hydrogen is an antioxidant. It is also an extremely small molecule that can penetrate even the tiniest cellular compartments. This helps explain how hydrogen works to offer free-radical defense throughout the entire body.

The medical and scientific literature is clear. Hydrogen’s modes of action:

  • H2 reduces oxidative stress as a selective antioxidant and by maintaining homeostatic levels of glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, etc.
  • H2, like other gaseous signaling molecules (i.e. NO, CO, H2S), appears to have cell signal-modulating activity affording it with anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, and anti-allergy benefits.

We include hydrogen supplements in HPDI’s system of Foundational Supplements. In fact, hydrogen formulas as just one of six foundational supplements. We consider hydrogen a “secondary” foundational supplement usually to be added to a supplement regimen after the four primary ones: multivitamins, antioxidant & vitamin C formulas, essential fatty acids, and superfoods high in dietary nucleic acids (i.e., Rejuvenate! superfoods).


The scientific literature discusses the use of molecular hydrogen for many clinical applications, including:

• Metabolic Syndrome including diabetes, hyperlipidemia, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and obesity

• Ischemia/reperfusion injuries, including cerebral and myocardial infarctions, organ transplants, post-cardiac arrest

• Neuroprotection, including applications for dementia, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and anesthesia

• Inflammation, including applications for polymicrobial sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, wound healing, and bowel diseases

• Mitochondrial diseases

• Hemodialysis and ventilation

• Aging, including cognitive decline

• Exercise, including applications for fatigue, lactic acid, recovery, and oxidative stress related to heavy exercise

Side effects of cancer therapies, including radiotherapy and chemotherapy

• Many other benefits

(Source: Molecular Hydrogen Foundation)


According to the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation, there are three ways molecular hydrogen exerts positive health effects.

1. Molecular hydrogen easily diffuses into subcellular compartments where it scavenges cytotoxic oxygen radicals, thereby protecting DNA, RNA, and proteins against oxidative stress.

2. Molecular hydrogen triggers activation or upregulation of additional antioxidant enzymes (e.g., glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and others) and/or cytoprotective proteins of the body.

3. Molecular hydrogen may be a novel signaling molecule that alters cell signaling, cell metabolism, and gene expression. This may explain its apparent anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and anti-apoptotic (or anti-cell death) effects.

hydrogen supplements Active H2 Ultra tablets

Active H2 Ultra hydrogen supplement (60 tablets).


Molecular hydrogen exhibits great safety, and it is regarded as safe for use in the body. It is shown no toxicity even in high concentrations.

Safety standards have long been established for high concentrations of hydrogen for inhalation largely because of the history of high-pressure H2 gas used in deep-water diving gas mixtures for preventing decompression sickness.

Notably, H2 gas combusts only at temperatures higher than 527 °C, and it explodes by chain reaction with oxygen (O2) only in the range of H2 concentration (4–75%, vol/vol).

Molecular hydrogen is used for medical applications safely by several ingestion methods including inhalation of 1–4% hydrogen gas, for example, which exhibits great effectiveness. All these factors mean that hydrogen is safe, easy-to-use, and effective for therapeutic purposes.

vital reaction hydrogen supplements

Vital Reaction hydrogen supplement (60 tablets).


According to the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation, drinking H2-rich water is the easiest, and often the most effective, method for obtaining hydrogen.

Drinking hydrogen-infused water is easy to do, and convenient as you can drink it at home or while traveling. Effective hydrogen products HPDI carries include Vital Reaction tablets, Active H2 tablets, and Megahydrate capsules.

As noted, I make one or two hydrogen drinks daily, first in the morning and then often again in the afternoon. I drink them on an empty stomach. I enjoy a significant energy boost, which helps power me through my day. I gain other benefits, including improved athletic performance, noticeably faster recovery from exercise, and an overall greater sense of well-being.

I highly recommend you try hydrogen supplements for yourself, and then consider them for your clients or patients. Our experience is that most people are pleasantly surprised by the results they get from hydrogen supplements, especially if they have a need for exceptional free-radical defense, or stand to benefit from the proven effects hydrogen uniquely provides (see list above).

Once you try hydrogen, you will want to continue taking it because the benefits are so significant. Let the power of hydrogen starting working for you on a daily basis!

hydrogen supplements Megahydrate

Dr. G. Patrick Flanagan’s Megahydrate (60 capsules).


Hydrogen Articles

Hydrogen for Optimal Health

Wonders of Molecular Hydrogen

Molecular Hydrogen (H2) at the Forefront of Health Research

The Science Behind MegaHydrate by Hank Liers, PhD

Hydrogen Products

Active H2 Ultra tablets

Vital Reaction tablets

Megahydrate capsules

Other Hydrogen Resources

Molecular Hydrogen Foundation

hydrogen supplements megahydrate active H2

Hydrogen supplements like Megahydrate and Active H2 are foundational in the HPDI supplement system.


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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-013-0105-x

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, 93% 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 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.”



Dr. Hank Liers PhD gingko biloba extractHealth Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI) has been carrying high-quality standardized Ginkgo Biloba extract (24/6) for more than 20 years. Ginkgo biloba extract is one of the best-selling herbal supplements in the United States and Europe because of its health benefits. Yet, because of severe price increases in ginkgo extract during the last few years, HPDI’s inventory was depleted. However, the price has now been greatly reduced for high-quality material—and we have inventory back in stock.

Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Ginkgo biloba has a long history of use (over thousands of years) in treating memory issues and blood disorders. Today, It is best known as a way to keep memory sharp. Laboratory studies have shown that Ginkgo biloba improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and making blood less sticky. Research studies also show that it is a powerful antioxidant.

Based upon these properties, Ginkgo biloba may improve blood vessel and eye health. Research has clearly shown that Ginkgo Biloba helps with dementia and poor circulation in the body. It also protects memory in older adults.


Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoids and terpenoids, which are both antioxidants. In your body, harmful free radical substances build up as you age and may contribute to a range of health issues. The antioxidants found in Ginkgo biloba help to neutralize free radicals, and prevent them from damaging DNA and other cellular structures.

Leaves of Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Leaves of Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Chemical constituents: Ginkgo biloba leaf contains a complex mixture of flavonoids including: quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin and other glycosides. It also contains unique diterpenes including ginkgolides A, B, C and J, sesquiterpene bilobalide, and other natural compounds that contribute in a synergistic manner to the beneficial actions of Ginkgo biloba.

Our GINKGO BILOBA extract contains only the highest-quality 50:1 extract of ginkgo biloba standardized to 24% minimum ginkgoflavonglycosides and 6% minimum combined ginkgolides A, B, C, and bilobalide. Each capsule contains 120 mg of the extract and their are 60 capsules in a bottle. Other ingredients include: microcrystalline cellulose, HPMC (vegetarian capsule), and silica. The ginkgolic acid content of the current production run is is 1.36ppm.

Here is the Certificate of Analysis of our current run of Ginkgo Biloba.

Ginkgo Biloba extract

Ginkgo Biloba 120 mg



Reduces Conditions of Dementia: Scientific literature suggests that Ginkgo biloba extract benefits people experiencing cognitive decline, including those with dementia of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Certain studies have found Ginkgo biloba can help improve cognitive performance and memory in both older and younger adults but might be especially useful for age-related mental decline.

Improves Concentration: Research shows that Ginkgo biloba extract can help combat poor concentration, reverse cognitive decline and and heal fatigue. It’s even useful for helping to treat cerebral insufficiency — a condition characterized by chronically low concentration, confusion, decreased physical performance, fatigue, headaches and mood changes.

Helps With ADHD: Some studies using therapies that include Ginkgo biloba have found relief and improved concentration for people with ADHD symptoms. And because it can improve concentration, memory and task performance, it may also reduce symptoms in people with dyslexia. There is also some evidence that ginkgo biloba can help reduce symptoms of autism, making it a potential autism natural treatment.

Helps with Headaches and Migraines: Ginkgo biloba can be an effective way to naturally reduce frequent headaches and the rate and severity of migraines because it reduces pain, increases blood vessel dilation and combats stress that can trigger problems. Headaches may be triggered by stress, fatigue, poor posture, drugs, low blood sugar, hormones, constipation, allergies, eyestrain, and nutritional deficiencies. The amazing benefits that ginkgo has on stress and fatigue is associated with its ability to lessen headache tension.

Helps With Anxiety and Depression: For those with nervousness, depression or mood swings, Ginkgo biloba extract can be helpful. Research suggests Ginkgo biloba benefits the body’s ability to handle stressors and counteracts the effects of high levels of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline.

Ginkgo biloba is considered to be an adaptogenic herb that naturally raises the body’s ability to cope with stress. It can be especially helpful for people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and possibly seasonal depression, panic attacks and social phobias.

Reduces Symptoms of Asthma: Studies have found Ginkgo biloba extract can reduce asthma-related symptoms. Because it lowers inflammation, improves antioxidant activity and positively effects nerve functioning, people have reported less trouble breathing when taking Ginkgo biloba.

Alleviates Symptoms of PMS: Early research has shown positive effects of taking Ginkgo biloba on reducing PMS symptoms, including mood swings, headaches, anxiety, fatigue and muscle pain. It also may have beneficial effects on mood and cognition in postmenopausal women and can help improve similar symptoms.

Helps Maintain Vision and Eye Health: Ginkgo biloba appears to be beneficial for eye health since it improves blood flow to the eyes and prevents free-radical damage that can affect the cornea, macula and retina. It can be especially beneficial for older adults in preserving vision and lowering UV damage or oxidative stress to eye tissue.

Improves Libido: Ginkgo biloba has positive effects on hormonal balance — particularly serotonin levels, blood pressure and circulation. This implies that it may help those dealing with erectile dysfunction and low libido. Ginkgo biloba has the potential to dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow to the genitals, which is important for reproductive health.

Helps Heal Hemorrhoids: Some studies have found that Ginkgo biloba helps those experiencing painful hemorrhoids, that cause swelling, pain and bleeding related to an increase in pressure on the veins of the anus and rectum. Ginkgo biloba may lower pain, improve pain tolerance and reduce inflammation, which may stop bleeding associated with hemorrhoids.


Provided below are abstracts from some recent meta-analysis studies that document the effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba on mental health.

Tan MS, Yu JT, Tan CC, Wang HF, Meng XF, Wang C, Jiang T, Zhu XC, Tan L

Efficacy and adverse effects of ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

In: J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;43(2):589-603. doi: 10.3233/JAD-14083

Research into Ginkgo biloba has been ongoing for many years, while the benefit and adverse effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 for cognitive impairment and dementia has been discussed controversially.
OBJECTIVE: To discuss new evidence on the clinical and adverse effects of standardized Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 for cognitive impairment and dementia.
METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and other relevant databases were searched in March 2014 for eligible randomized controlled trials of Ginkgo biloba EGb761 therapy in patients with cognitive impairment and dementia.
RESULTS: Nine trials met our inclusion criteria. Trials were of 22-26 weeks duration and included 2,561 patients in total. In the meta-analysis, the weighted mean differences in change scores for cognition were in favor of EGb761 compared to placebo (-2.86, 95%CI -3.18; -2.54); the standardized mean differences in change scores for activities in daily living (ADLs) were also in favor of EGb761 compared to placebo (-0.36, 95%CI -0.44; -0.28); Peto OR showed a statistically significant difference from placebo for Clinicians’ Global Impression of Change (CGIC) scale (1.88, 95%CI 1.54; 2.29). All these benefits are mainly associated with EGb761 at a dose of 240 mg/day. For subgroup analysis in patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms, 240 mg/day EGb761 improved cognitive function, ADLs, CGIC, and also neuropsychiatric symptoms with statistical superiority than for the whole group. For the Alzheimer’s disease subgroup, the main outcomes were almost the same as the whole group of patients with no statistical superiority. Finally, safety data revealed no important safety concerns with EGb761.
CONCLUSIONS: EGb761 at 240 mg/day is able to stabilize or slow decline in cognition, function, behavior, and global change at 22-26 weeks in cognitive impairment and dementia, especially for patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Amieva H1, Meillon C, Helmer C, Barberger-Gateau P, Dartigues JF.

Ginkgo biloba extract and long-term cognitive decline: a 20-year follow-up population-based study.

In: PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e52755. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052755. Epub 2013 Jan 11

BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have looked at the potential benefits of various nootropic drugs such as Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761®; Tanakan®) and piracetam (Nootropyl®) on age-related cognitive decline often leading to inconclusive results due to small sample sizes or insufficient follow-up duration. The present study assesses the association between intake of EGb761® and cognitive function of elderly adults over a 20-year period.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: The data were gathered from the prospective community-based cohort study ‘Paquid’. Within the study sample of 3612 non-demented participants aged 65 and over at baseline, three groups were compared: 589 subjects reporting use of EGb761® at at least one of the ten assessment visits, 149 subjects reporting use of piracetam at one of the assessment visits and 2874 subjects not reporting use of either EGb761® or piracetam. Decline on MMSE, verbal fluency and visual memory over the 20-year follow-up was analysed with a multivariate mixed linear effects model. A significant difference in MMSE decline over the 20-year follow-up was observed in the EGb761® and piracetam treatment groups compared to the ‘neither treatment’ group. These effects were in opposite directions: the EGb761® group declined less rapidly than the ‘neither treatment’ group, whereas the piracetam group declined more rapidly (β = -0.6). Regarding verbal fluency and visual memory, no difference was observed between the EGb761® group and the ‘neither treatment’ group (respectively, β = 0.21 and β = -0.03), whereas the piracetam group declined more rapidly (respectively, β = -1.40 and β = -0.44). When comparing the EGb761® and piracetam groups directly, a different decline was observed for the three tests (respectively β = -1.07, β = -1.61 and β = -0.41).
CONCLUSION: Cognitive decline in a non-demented elderly population was lower in subjects who reported using EGb761® than in those who did not. This effect may be a specific medication effect of EGb761®, since it was not observed for another nootropic medication, piracetam.

Zhang HF, Huang LB, Zhong YB, Zhou QH, Wang HL, Zheng GQ, Lin Y

[An Overview of Systematic Reviews of Ginkgo biloba Extracts for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia.

In: Front Aging Neurosci. 2016 Dec 6;8:276. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00276. eCollection 2016

Ginkgo biloba extracts (GBEs) have been recommended to improve cognitive function and to prevent cognitive decline, but earlier evidence was inconclusive. Here, we evaluated all systematic reviews of GBEs for prevention of cognitive decline, and intervention of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. Six databases from their inception to September 2015 were searched. Ten systematic reviews were identified, including reviews about Alzheimer’s disease (n = 3), about vascular dementia (n = 1), about both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia (n = 2), about Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and mixed dementia (n = 3), and a review about MCI (n = 1). Based on the overview quality assessment questionnaire, eight studies were scored with at least 5 points, while the other two scored 4 points and 3 points, respectively. Medication with GBEs showed improvement in cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and daily activities, and the effect was dose-dependent. Efficacy was convincingly demonstrated only when high daily dose (240 mg) was applied. Compared with placebo, overall adverse events and serious adverse events were at the same level as placebo, with less adverse events in favor of GBE in the subgroup of Alzheimer’s disease patients, and fewer incidences in vertigo, tinnitus, angina pectoris, and headache. In conclusion, there is clear evidence to support the efficacy of GBEs for MCI and dementia, whereas the question on efficacy to prevent cognitive decline is still open. In addition, GBEs seem to be generally safe.

Hashiguchi M, Ohta Y, Shimizu M, Maruyama J, Mochizuki M.

[Meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba extract for the treatment of dementia.In: J Fr Ophtalmol (1988) 11(10):671-4 (Published in French)]

In: J Pharm Health Care Sci. 2015 Apr 10;1:14. doi: 10.1186/s40780-015-0014-7. eCollection 2015.

The benefit of Ginkgo biloba for the treatment of dementia remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba in patients with dementia in whom administration effects were reported using meta-analysis.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane databases, and Ichushi for controlled trials of Ginkgo biloba for the treatment dementia. Clinical characteristics and outcomes were extracted. Meta-analysis results were expressed as standard mean differences (SMDs) in scores of the Syndrome Kurztest (SKT), Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) for cognition efficacy, or odds ratios (ORs) for dropouts and adverse drug reactions.
RESULTS: Thirteen studies using the extract EGb761 met our inclusion criteria, which were duration of 12 to 52 weeks and daily dose of more than 120 mg, and included a total of 2381 patients. Meta-analysis was performed by using 9 of 13 studies, 7 of which used the SKT and 2 ADAS-Cog (dose 120 mg, 26 weeks) scores as efficacy parameters. In meta-analysis of all patients, SMDs (95% confidence interval [CI]) in the change in SKT scores (7 studies) were in favor of Ginkgo biloba over placebo (SMD = -0.90 [-1.46, -0.34]), but 2 studies that used ADAS-Cog did not show a statistically significant difference from placebo for ADAS-Cog (-0.06 [-0.41, 0.30]). For Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) subgroups, SMDs [95% CI] in SKT in the combined AD and VaD subgroup (-1.07 [-1.66, -0.47]) and AD subgroup (-1.36 [-2.27, -0.46]) were in favor of Ginkgo biloba over placebo. In terms of daily dose of Ginkgo biloba in the combined AD and VaD subgroup, SMD in SKT score in 240-mg daily dose groups was significantly greater than with placebo (-0.71 [-1.28, -0.14]). Dropout rates for any reason did not differ between two groups, but dropout rates due to side effects were significantly lower in Ginkgo biloba groups compared with placebo groups (OR = 1.72 [1.06, 2.80]).
CONCLUSIONS: Taking a 240-mg daily dose of Ginkgo biloba extract is effective and safe in the treatment of dementia.

For a more extensive list of Ginkgo Biloba abstracts go here.