As you may know, free radicals and the damage they cause are associated with virtually every major health condition. For many years we have recommended taking antioxidants to protect against free radicals and free-radical damage to the body.
Antioxidants we recommend include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, plant polyphenols (e.g., grape seed extract), green tea extract, rutin and other bioflavonoids, and amino acids and peptides (e.g., n-acetyl-l-cysteine and glutathione) to deal with free radicals. Using this approach, individuals often achieve excellent results.
More recently, a new approach has become a major topic of scientific interest and research. The new approach utilizes substances inducing strong activation of the body’s own enzyme systems. Some natural substances under study include turmeric (curcumin), sulforaphane (found in broccoli sprouts), transresveratrol (found in red wine and giant knotweed), and green tea extracts.
Nrf2 Activators Produce Antioxidant Enzymes Combating Free Radicals
Researchers specifically are studying how enzyme-activating substances activate a transcription factor known as Nrf2 that causes the body to produce higher levels of enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.
A human clinical trial of a nutritional supplement containing turmeric, milk thistle extract, green tea extract, bacopa, and ashwaganda showed this combination of phytochemicals can reduce lipid peroxides in the body by significant amounts after only one month. Further research on this same supplement (“Protandim”) has shown these enzyme inducers affect the function of up to 4,000 genes in the body related to internal protection systems.
Currently there are several supplements on the market that are classified as Nrf2 activators. I suspect that many more will be appearing soon. My own approach to this includes a combination approach using very powerful antioxidants (for example, those with extremely high ORAC values such as coffee berry extracts) in combination with Nrf2 inducers derived from plant extracts.
My new product (Ultimate Protector) using this approach will be available in about two months so be on the look out for it!