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ULTIMATE PROTECTOR DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD ultimate protectorIn early 2012 a friend of mine told me about a new product he was taking from a company called LifeVantage. He informed me all he needed to take on a daily basis was one small tablet in order to be protected against free-radical damage of any sort. And that he didn’t even need to take Vitamin C!

I have formulated nutritional supplements for a long time (>25 years), so I knew there was something not quite right about what I was hearing. When I learned he was buying from a multi-level marketing company his story became understandable, but not believable.

I decided I would investigate the product in order to better understand the logic behind it. I watched videos regarding the science underpinning this product, and I read the scientific literature for months.

What I learned was intriguing, so I decided I would formulate a product dealing with free-radical protection that would take the science and the art of formulation to new levels. I would name the product “Ultimate Protector”!!

More recently in early 2019, I decided to upgrade the product because of significant advances in materials and research findings. It is clearer now that most plant polyphenols have Nrf2 activity and often there are many phytochemical (as many as 50 or more) in any specific plant that are both antioxidants and Nrf2 activators. Even well known ingredients such as n-acetyl-l- cysteine, lipoic acid, vitamin C, and black pepper extract exhibit Nrf2 activity. Our upgraded product has been named Ultimate Protector+.

 

Ultimate Protector+

BACKGROUND

According to Dr. Joe McCord, in the last 10 years or so there have been over 80,000 papers in peer reviewed publications that relate to Nrf2 activators. Many of these have clearly demonstrated that plant polyphenols are perhaps the best way to intake substances that will stimulate the endogenous production of protective enzymes. In fact, many reputable scientists believe the best way to prevent cancer is via the use of plant polyphenols.

There are also many papers in the scientific literature that have shown the consumption of fruits and vegetables (including herbs) that are inherently high in polyphenols to be one of the best ways to improve health and prevent conditions of poor health. Please see my blog article on this subject: “The Amazing Healing Potential of Natural Nrf2 Activators” (http://www.integratedhealthblog.com/amazing-healing-potential-natural-nrf2-activators/).

In the world of nutritional supplements it is not often that significant scientific/clinical studies are conducted on specific products. The reason for this is primarily economic. However, just as in the case of Nrf2 activators, hundreds of thousands of studies have been conducted by organizations around the world that show the benefits of specific ingredients or groups of ingredients, and these ingredients are used in the development of healthful nutritional supplements.

It is laudable that LifeVantage has had a few scientific/clinical studies done on their product containing five specific Nrf2 activators. This positively supports the huge amount of scientific papers on the subject. However, these few studies do not imply it is a better product than products developed using additional carefully-selected ingredients highlighted in the scientific literature. Progress is made continuously in the area of nutritional supplements allowing us to improve on existing products.

As an example of how being aware of the scientific literature on Nrf2 activators, as well as being experienced in the design of groundbreaking new nutritional products, I was recently delighted to observe that high ORAC5.0 values are associated with many of the best Nrf2 activators identified in the scientific literature. This is discussed in my blog article referenced above.

Indeed, this observation is in contrast to the statements by many (even the scientists) that taking antioxidants is unnecessary and perhaps harmful. It appears that these antioxidants may perform double duty by first operating as antioxidants in the body (including the gastrointestinal tract) and in the process become weak pro-oxidants that function as powerful Nrf2 activators. Of course, if you are not aware of ORAC5.0 testing, then it would not be possible to make such an observation.

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR GOALS

My goal when I formulated Ultimate Protector™ was to create a product with three basic functions. That is, 1) a source of non-GMO Vitamin C (1.5 gm/daily serving), 2) provide powerful antioxidant protection via proven high ORAC sources, and 3) a multiple ingredient source of many Nrf2 activators, thereby providing the body with means to produce a wide variety of protective enzymes endogenously.

VITAMIN C IN ULTIMATE PROTECTOR

It is important to realize Vitamin C is a vitamin that is a cofactor in at least eight enzymatic reactions, including several collagen syntheses reactions that when dysfunctional (usually because of lack of Vitamin C) cause the most severe symptoms of scurvy. In animals, these reactions are especially important in wound healing and in preventing bleeding from capillaries. It is important to understand that no other substance can provide these functions.

Vitamin C acts as an electron donor and/or hydrogen donor, and this ability makes it a potent antioxidant. It rapidly reduces superoxide and nitroxide radicals and scavenges hydroxyl, alkoxyl, and peroxyl radicals. It also reacts with non-radical species such as singlet oxygen and hypochlorous acid. It has been observed in in vitro experiments that Vitamin C acts as the first line of defense in the plasma. In order to learn more about the important role of Vitamin C, please see my blog article: “Vitamin C – An Amazing Nutrient” (www.integratedhealthblog.com/vitamin-c-an-amazing-nutrient/).

ORAC5.0 VALUES OF ULTIMATE PROTECTOR

The full spectrum of antioxidants derived from high ORAC fruits, vegetables, and herbs (as well as Vitamin C) provide extremely powerful exogenous sources of protection against oxidative stress. To obtain a quantitative measure of just how powerful these external sources are we elected to conduct ORAC testing.

The fact is that there are a variety of “free radicals” that operate in humans. The most important are the primary radicals hydroxyl, peroxyl, peroxynitrite, singlet oxygen, and superoxide anion. Brunswick Labs has test called ORAC5.0™. This test expands the ORAC platform to measure the antioxidant capacity against each of the five primary reactive oxygen species mentioned above (not just against the peroxyl radical as ORAC does). ORAC5.0™ substantially improves broad-spectrum antioxidant analysis and gives evidence of the diverse antioxidant potential of natural products against radicals.

Brunswick Labs has previously tested Ultimate Protector™ using the ORAC5.0™ tests. The results revealed an incredible overall ORAC5.0 value of 173,000 µmole TE/gram, an exceptionally high value. In addition, the results show that the formula offers excellent protection against all of the five major types of free radicals. Specifically, the results show values of 6,300 (µmole TE/gram) for peroxyl radicals, 5,900 (µmole TE/gram) for hydroxyl radicals, 2,500 (µmole TE/gram) for peroxynitrite, 106,000 (µmole TE/gram) for superoxide anion, and 52,000 (µmole TE/gram) for singlet oxygen.

Currently we are testing Ultimate Protector+ using the ORAC5.0™ (or the new ORAC6.0 test that adds hypochlorite).We will publish the new test results when they available.

 

Ultimate Protector+

Ultimate Protector+ is new and improved!

Nrf2 CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING ULTIMATE PROTECTOR

In the development of Ultimate Protector+™, I have been able to find an extremely strong ingredient called SFB® (Standardized Fruit Blend) that contains 9 different fruit extracts that have been shown to be very powerful antioxidants and Nrf2 activators. These are details below.

1. SFB® – (Standardized Fruit Blend)

SFB® is a nutritious, non-GMO blend that provides a broad spectrum of polyphenols, anthocyanins, and other antioxidants derived from water and/or ethanol extracts of whole red grape (Vitis vinifera), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), pomegranate (Punica granatum) with >75% polyphenols, blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), apple (Malus pumilla Mill), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillis), chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), and goji berry (Lycium barbarum). This powder has an ORAC value in excess of 9,000 µmole TE/g and contains >50% polyphenols.

Polyphenols and anthocyanins are not all created equal. Every fruit, vegetable and herb provides its own set of unique polyphenols and anthocyanins that reside in the body for different lengths of time and in different locations, providing a range of benefits. SFB® has been designed to provide a wide range of plant polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, OPCs, zeaxanthin and other carotinoids, etc. Published research associates these plant ingredients with healthy aging, inflammation management, improved blood sugar metabolism, and cardiovascular disease management.

SFB® provides the following benefits: Superior source of natural antioxidants and Nrf2 activators, helps ameliorate the effects of premature aging, promotes cardiovascular health, promotes healthy brain function and mental acuity, promotes healthy vision, promotes healthy blood sugar levels, and is an excellent source of flavonoids and organic acids.

I have prepared detailed blog articles for the ingredients in SFB®. Below these are summarized and links to the articles are provided.

a) Cranberry Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Cranberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Cranberry Extract

Cranberry extract is an especially good source of antioxidant polyphenols. In animal studies, the polyphenols in cranberries have been found to decrease levels of total cholesterol and so-called “bad” cholesterol. Cranberries may also inhibit the growth of tumors in human breast tissue and lower the risk of both stomach ulcers and gum disease.

Here is a list of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in found in cranberry extract.

Type of Phytonutrient Specific Molecules
Phenolic Acids hydroxybenzoic acids including vanillic acids;
—Phenolic Acids (cont.) hydroxycinnamic acids inculding caffeic,
—Phenolic Acids (cont.) coumaric, cinnamic, and ferulic acid
Proanthocyanidins epicatechin oligomers
Anthocyanins cyanidins, malvidins, and peonidins
Flavonoids quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol
Triterpenoids ursolic acid

OTHER CRANBERRY INFORMATION

    • Cranberries hold significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s). Scientific studies have shown that consumption of the berries have potential health benefits regarding cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections.
    • Antioxidant compounds in cranberry extract including OPC’s, anthocyanidin flavonoids, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin may support cardiovascular health by counteracting against cholesterol plaque formation in the heart and blood vessels. Further, these compounds help the human body lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL-good cholesterol levels in the blood.
    • Scientific studies show that cranberry juice consumption offers protection against gram-negative bacterial infections such as E.coli in the urinary system by inhibiting bacterial-attachment to the bladder and urethra.
    • It is known that cranberries turns urine acidic. This, together with the inhibition of bacterial adhesion helps prevent the formation of alkaline (calcium ammonium phosphate) stones in the urinary tract by working against proteus bacterial-infections.
    • In addition, the berries prevent plaque formation on the tooth enamel by interfering with the ability of the gram-negative bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, to stick to the surface. In this way cranberries helps prevent the development of cavities.
    • The berries are also good source of many vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, ß-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and folate and minerals like potassium, and manganese.
  • Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) demonstrates cranberry at an ORAC score of 9584 µmol TE units per 100 g, one of the highest in the category of edible berries.

b) Pomegranate Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Pomegranate

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Pomegranate Extract

For thousands of years, the pomegranate has been extensively used as a source of food and medicine. Full of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium, pomegranate has been used to control body weight, reduce cholesterol, fight against cell damage, and inhibit viral infections. Pomegranate extracts have anti-bacterial effects.

Pomegranates are rich in ellagic acid, gallic acid, lignans, polyphenols and other bioactive compounds, and have been shown to lower blood pressure and enhance vascular function. Furthermore, it can offset some of the negative effects of medications and chemicals. These compounds occur naturally in its peel, seeds, leaf and juice. The seeds are high in p-coumaric acid, plant sterols, tannins and fatty acids. In addition to their antihypertensive effects, they may help reduce blood sugar levels.

Pomegranate fruit is a rounded berry with a thick reddish skin covering approximately 200–1400 white to deep red or purple seeds. Pomegranate seeds are edible and hold strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to their high content of hydrolysable tannins and anthocyanins. As compared to the antioxidant activity of vitamin E, β-carotene, and ascorbic acid, the pomegranate antioxidants appear unique due to combinations of a wide array of polyphenols, having a broader range of action against several types of free radicals. As compared to the recognized antioxidants in red wine and green tea, anthocyanins from pomegranate fruit possess significantly higher antioxidant activity.

Pomegranate has been used in various medicinal systems of medicine for the treatment and therapy of a multitude of diseases and ailments. In the ancient Indian medicinal system, i.e., in Ayurvedic medicine, the pomegranate was considered to be a whole pharmacy unto itself. It was recommended to be used as an antiparasitic agent and to treat diarrhea and ulcers. The medicinal properties of pomegranate have sparked significant interest in today’s scientific community as evidenced by the scientific research relating to health benefits of pomegranate that have been published in last few decades.

Studies have shown that pomegranate and its constituents can efficiently affect multiple signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cellular transformation, hyperproliferation, angiogenesis, initiation of tumorigenesis, and eventually suppressing the final steps of tumorigenesis and metastasis. The pomegranate constituents are shown to modulate transcription factors, pro-apoptotic proteins, anti-apoptotic proteins, cell cycle regulator molecules, protein kinases, cell adhesion molecules, pro-inflammatory mediators, and growth factors.

c) Chokeberry (Aronia)

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Chokeberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Chokeberry Extract

HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOKEBERRY (ARONIA)

Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) has attracted scientific interest due to its deep purple, almost black pigmentation that arises from dense contents of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins. Total polyphenol content is 1752 mg per 100 g in fresh berries, anthocyanin content is 1480 mg per 100 g, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g. These values are among the highest measured in plants to date.

The plant produces these pigments mainly in the leaves and skin of the berries to protect the pulp and seeds from constant exposure to ultraviolet radiation and production of free radicals. By absorbing UV rays in the blue-purple spectrum, leaf and skin pigments filter intense sunlight, serve antioxidant functions and thereby have a role assuring regeneration of the species.

Analysis of polyphenols in chokeberries has identified the following individual chemicals (among hundreds known to exist in the plant kingdom): cyanidin-3-galactoside, cyanidin-3-arabinoside, quercetin-3-glycoside, epicatechin, caffeic acid, delphinidin, petunidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, and malvidin. All these except caffeic acid are members of the flavonoid category of phenolics.

In a standard measurement of antioxidant strength, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC, demonstrates aronia to have one of the highest values yet recorded for a fruit — 16,062 micro moles of Trolox Eq. per 100 g. The components contributing to this high measurement were both anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, with the proanthocyanidin level “among the highest in foods”, which may explain their potent astringent taste.

d) Goji Berry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Goji Berry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Goji Berry Extract

Goji Berries contain abundant polysaccharides (LBPs, comprising 5%–8% of the dried fruits), scopoletin (6-methoxy-7-hydroxycoumarin, also named chrysatropic acid, ecopoletin, gelseminic acid, and scopoletol), the glucosylated precursor, and stable vitamin C analog 2-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic acid, carotenoids (zeaxanthin and β-carotene), betaine, cerebroside, β-sitosterol, flavonoids, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins (in particular, riboflavin, thiamin, and ascorbic acid).

The predominant carotenoid is zeaxanthin, which exists mainly as dipalmitate (also called physalien or physalin). The content of vitamin C (up to 42 mg/100 g) in goji berry (also known as wolfberry) is comparable to that of fresh lemon fruits. As to the seeds, they contain zeaxanthin (83%), β-cryptoxanthin (7%), β-carotene (0.9%), and mutatoxanthin (1.4%), as well as some minor carotenoids.

In fact, increasing lines of experimental studies have revealed that L. barbarum berries have a wide array of pharmacological activities, which is thought to be mainly due to its high LBPs content. Water-soluble LBPs are obtained using an extraction process that removes the lipid soluble components such as zeaxanthin and other carotenoids with alcohol. LBPs are estimated to comprise 5%–8% of LBFs and have a molecular weight ranging from 24 kDa to 241 kDa. LBPs consist of a complex mixture of highly branched and only partly characterized polysaccharides and proteoglycans.

The glycosidic part accounts, in most cases, for about 90%–95% of the mass and consists of arabinose, glucose, galactose, mannose, rhamnose, xylose, and galacturonic acid. LBPs are considered the most important functional constituents in LBFs. Different fractions of LBPs have different activities and the galacturonic acid content is an imperative factor for activities of LBP. The bioactivities of polysaccharides are often in reverse proportion with their molecular weights. Increasing lines of evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies support the medicinal, therapeutic, and health-promoting effects of LBPs.

e) Mangosteen

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Mangosteen

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Mangosteen Extract

The Mangosteen extract in Ultimate Protector+ has been extracted with non-GMO food grade ethanol and distilled water. Testing has indicated the product contains over 10% polyphenols.

Mangosteen extract in obtained from the skin and whole fruit for which numerous biological activities have been reported including: antimutagenic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, and protective against tumorigenesis.

Mangosteen contains nutrients with antioxidant capacity, such as vitamin C and folate. Plus, it provides xanthones — a unique type of plant compound known to have strong antioxidant properties. In several test-tube and animal studies, the antioxidant activity of xanthones has resulted in anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-aging, heart protective, and antidiabetic effects.

Additionally, some research suggests that certain plant compounds in mangosteen may have antibacterial properties — which could benefit your immune health by combating potentially harmful bacteria. In a 30-day study in 59 people, those taking a mangosteen-containing supplement experienced reduced markers of inflammation and significantly greater increases in healthy immune cell numbers compared to those taking a placebo.

f) Apple Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Apple

Apples contain a large concentration of flavonoids, as well as a variety of other phytochemicals, and the concentration of these phytochemicals may depend on many factors, such as cultivar of the apple, harvest and storage of the apples, and processing of the apples. The concentration of phytochemicals also varies greatly between the apple peels and the apple flesh.

Some of the most well studied antioxidant compounds in apples include quercetin-3-galactoside, quercetin-3-glucoside, quercetin-3-rhamnoside, catechin, epicatechin, procyanidin, cyanidin-3-galactoside, coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, and phloridzin. Recently researchers have examined the average concentrations of the major phenolic compounds in six cultivars of apples. They found that the average phenolic concentrations among the six cultivars were: quercetin glycosides, 13.2 mg/100 g fruit; vitamin C, 12.8 mg/100 g fruit; procyanidin B, 9.35 mg/100 g fruit; chlorogenic acid, 9.02 mg/100 g fruit; epicatechin, 8.65 mg/100 g fruit; and phloretin glycosides, 5.59 mg/100 g fruit.

The compounds most commonly found in apple peels consist of the procyanidins, catechin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, phloridzin, and the quercetin conjugates. In the apple flesh, there is some catechin, procyanidin, epicatechin, and phloridzin, but these compounds are found in much lower concentrations than in the peels. Quercetin conjugates are found exclusively in the peel of the apples. Chlorogenic acid tends to be higher in the flesh than in the peel.

Because the apple peels contain more antioxidant compounds, especially quercetin, apple peels may have higher antioxidant activity and higher bioactivity than the apple flesh. Research showed that apples without the peels had less antioxidant activity than apples with the peels. Apples with the peels were also better able to inhibit cancer cell proliferation when compared to apples without the peels. More recent work has shown that apple peels contain anywhere from two to six times (depending on the variety) more phenolic compounds than in the flesh, and two to three times more flavonoids in the peels when compared to the flesh. The antioxidant activity of these peels was also much greater, ranging from two to six times greater in the peels when compared to the flesh, depending on the variety of the apple. This work is supported a study which found that rats consuming apple peels showed greater inhibition of lipid peroxidation and greater plasma antioxidant capacity when compared to rats fed apple flesh.

Many of these phytochemicals from apples have been widely studied, and many potential health benefits have been attributed to these specific phytochemicals. The procyanidins, epicatechin and catechin, have strong antioxidant activity and have been found to inhibit low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation in vitro. In mice, catechin inhibits intestinal tumor formation and delays tumors onset. One study found that chlorogenic acid has very high alkyl peroxyl radical (ROO•) scavenging activity. Compared to about 18 other antioxidant compounds (including quercetin, gallic acid, α-tocopherol), chlorogenic was second only to rutin. Since ROO• may enhance tumor promotion and carcinogenesis, chlorogenic acid may add to the protective effect of apples against cancer. Chlorogenic acid has been found to inhibit 8-dehydroxy-deoxyguanosine formation in cellular DNA in a rat model following treatment with 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide.

Quercetin is also a strong antioxidant, and is thought to have potential protective effects against both cancer and heart disease. Briefly, quercetin has been found to down regulate expression of mutant p53 in breast cancer cells, arrest human leukemic T-cells in G1, inhibit tyrosine kinase, and inhibit heat shock proteins. Quercetin has protected Caco-2 cells from lipid peroxidation induced by hydrogen peroxide and Fe2+. In mice liver treated with ethanol, quercetin decreased lipid oxidation and increased glutathione, protecting the liver from oxidative damage. Recently, it has been found that high doses of quercetin inhibit cell proliferation in colon carcinoma cell lines and in mammary adenocarcinoma cell lines, but at low doses quercetin increased cell proliferation (20% in colon cancer cells and 100% in breast cancer cells). However, low doses of quercetin (10 uM) inhibited cell proliferation in Mol-4 Human Leukemia cells and also induced apoptosis. Quercetin inhibited intestinal tumor growth in mice, but not in rats. Low levels of quercetin inhibited platelet aggregation, calcium mobilization, and tyrosine protein phosphorylation in platelets. Modulation of platelet activity may help prevent cardiovascular disease.

g) Blueberry and Bilberry Extract

wild bilberry and wild blueberry
Wild bilberry and wild blueberry provide Nrf2 activators.

The key compounds in bilberry fruit are called anthocyanins and anthocyanosides. These compounds help build strong blood vessels and improve circulation to all areas of the body. They also prevent blood platelets from clumping together (helping to reduce the risk of blood clots), and they have antioxidant properties (preventing or reducing damage to cells from free radicals). Anthocyanins boost the production of rhodopsin, a pigment that improves night vision and helps the eye adapt to light changes.

Bilberry fruit is also rich in tannins, a substance that acts as an astringent. The tannins have anti-inflammatory properties and may help control diarrhea.

Bilberries have been shown to have the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating of more than 20 fresh fruits and berries. The antioxidant properties of bilberries were shown to be even stronger than those of cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, or cultivated blueberries.

The antioxidant powers and health benefits of bilberries and blueberries can be attributed to a number of remarkable compounds contained in them, including the following:

  • Anthocyanins
    • malvidins
    • delphinidins
    • pelargonidins
    • cyanidins
    • peonidins
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
    • caffeic acids
    • ferulic acids
    • coumaric acids
  • Hydroxybenzoic acids
    • gallic acids
    • procatchuic acids
  • Flavonols
    • kaempferol
    • quercetin
    • myricetin
  • Other phenol-related phytonutrients
    • pterostilbene
    • resveratrol
  • Other nutrients
    • lutein
    • zeaxanthin
    • Vitamin K
    • Vitamin C
    • manganese

Other Ingredients

As with the original Ultimate Protector formula, we have included Curcumin (95% min. curcuminoids) and Trans-resveratrol (greater than 98%) because they are important in the Nrf2 and antioxidant literature. In addition, we have included Green Tea extract (high in EGCG) and VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (also present in SFB® and is very high in oligomeric proanthocyanidins – OPCs). 

These additional ingredients are detailed below:

1) Curcumin

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

We have included Curcumin (95% curcuminoids in ULTIMATE PROTECTOR™. This ingredient contains three main chemical compounds – Curcumin, Demethoxycurcumin and Bisdemethoxycurcumin – collectively known as Curcuminoids and all derived from Turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to be one of the most potent Nrf2 transcription factor activators. Studies have reported that curcumin and turmeric protect the liver against several toxicants both in vitro and in vivo. A number of reports showed the curative action of turmeric and curcuminoids. Curcumin is a potent scavenger of free radicals such as superoxide anion radicals, hydroxyl radicals, and nitrogen dioxide radicals. It exerts powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


2) Trans-Resveratrol (98% from Polygonum cuspidatum – giant knotweed)

Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) is a major source for resveratrol.

Trans-resveratrol provides antioxidant protection, boosts cellular energy, and balances the immune system. It has been proven in studies to activate the SIRT1 longevity gene and enhance cellular productivity. Several research studies have shown that trans-resveratrol activates Nrf2 transcription factor, significantly modulates biomarkers of bone metabolism, inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes such as COX-1 and COX-2, and exhibits cardioprotective effects, neuroprotective properties, and caloric restrictive behavior. Trans-resveratrol has shown the ability to increase the number of mitochondria thereby increasing total daily energy. Studies have shown that trans-resveratrol promotes an increase in mitochondrial function. Increased mitochondrial function translates into an increase in energy availability, improved aerobic capacity, and enhanced sensorimotor function. Trans-resveratrol has an ORAC value of 31,000 µmole TE/g.


3) Green Tea Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Green Tea Extract contains highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. Green tea extract is obtained from the unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis for which numerous biological activities have been reported including: cell protective, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. The green tea extract in Ultimate Protector is extracted is extracted by non-GMO ethanol and distilled water and contains ~ 90% polyphenols and 50% epigallocatechingallate (EGCG).

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant catechin compound in green tea. It is well established that EGCG is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Epidemiological studies show that consumption of 100 or more mg of EGCG per day is beneficial, as it is the most potent Nrf2 activator among all green tea catechins. EGCG exhibits robust diffusion through bodily tissues, including the endothelium of the blood brain barrier.

EGCG has the capacity to activate Nrf2/ARE and induce Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression. Several studies have shown that EGCG can also interact with kinases, causing the disassociation of Nrf2/Keap1 complex.

Protective effects of EGCG have been reported against ischemia/reperfusion injury. Administration of EGCG showed improved neurologic scores, reduced infarct volume, and ameliorated neuronal apoptosis due to increased GSH biosynthesis (via Nrf2 activation) and decreased ROS content. By inducing the expression of Nrf2 and HO-1, EGCG increases important endogenous antioxidants in microglial cells.

4) VinCare® whole grape extract (seed, pulp, and skin)

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Whole Grape Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Whole Grape Extract

Whole Grape Extract contains highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. The Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in grape 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 anthocyanidins, which are found in extracts of grape seed, 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 pulp (but not those of grape seed extract) contain trans-resveratrol that has been shown to have cell protective effects.

Grape seed extract has been reported to demonstrate a remarkable spectrum of biological, pharmacological and therapeutic properties against oxidative stress. The antioxidative activities of grape seed extract have been found to be much stronger than those of vitamins C and E. Studies have indicated that grape seed extract showed a protective effect on cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, atherosclerosis, and neuropathy, among other conditions.

Vincare® contains ~80% polypnenols and has an ORAC value of about 19,000 µmole TE/g. ORAC 5.0 testing of grape seed extract exhibits one of the highest values of any tested material at about 100,000 µmole TE/g.

It has been shown that grape seed OPCs activate nuclear erythroid2-related factor2 (Nrf2), which is a key antioxidative transcription factor, with the concomitant elevation of downstream hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1). Click here to view an excellent article entitled Proanthocyanidins [OPCs] against Oxidative Stress: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Applications.

Partial List of Phytochemicals in Ultimate Protector+

The total combination of freeze-dried and concentrated fruits, vegetables, and herbs in Ultimate Protector+ provides a wide range of choices to the body in terms of specific substances, including the following Phytochemicals: Anthocyandins, Beta-Carotene, Chlorogenic acid, Catechins, Curcuminoids, Ellagic acid, Ferulic acid, Lutein, Lycopene, Mangostins, Phenolic acids, Phloridzins, Polyphenols, Polysaccharides, Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs), PteroStilbenes, Punicalagins, Quercetin, Trans-Resveratrol, Xanthones, and Zeaxanthins.

Additional Ingredients

Also included in Ultimate Protector+ are calcium and magnesium malate that support ATP and enzyme production in the body. In addition, the product contains Bioperine® a black pepper extract that has been shown to enhance the absorption of nutrients by 30–60 percent, enhances the absorption of curcuminoids by up to a factor of 20,  and is itself an Nrf2 activator!

COMPOSITION

Six veggie capsules provides the following percentages of the Daily Value:

Serving Size: 6 Veggie Capsules Servings per Container: 30
Amount Per Serving Amounts % Daily Value
Vitamin C (as 100% USP-grade, non-GMO ascorbic acid) 1,500 mg 1667%
Calcium (from calcium malate) 60 mg 6
Magnesium (from magnesium malate) 60 mg 15
SFB®† (50% polyphenols, Orac: 9,000 units/gm) 180 mg *
Curcumin (95% min. curcuminoids from Curcuma longa) (root) 135 mg *
Green Tea extract (92% polyphenols, 50% EGCG) 135 mg *
Trans-Resveratrol 98% 135 mg *
Vincare®† whole grape extract (80% polyphenols, Orac: 19,000 units/gm) 135 mg *
Bioperine®†† 7.5 mg *
*
* Daily Value not established

Other ingredients: vegetarian capsule (veggie cap), microcrystalline cellulose, silica, and ascorbyl palmitate.

Directions for Use: As a dietary supplement take two capsules three times daily with food, or as directed by a health care professional.

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ Does Not Contain: wheat, rye, oats, barley, corn, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, yeast, sugar, shellfish, GMOs, wax, preservatives, colorings, or artificial flavorings.

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ will be most effective when used in conjunction with other foundational nutritional supplements that support the body’s metabolism, including Multi Two or Mighty Multi-Vite!™ (therapeutic multivitamin formulas), Essential Fats plus E (essential fatty acids with Vitamin E), PRO-C™ (antioxidant formula), and one of our high-RNA Rejuvenate!™ superfoods.

†SFB® and VinCare® are registered trademark of Ethical Naturals, Inc.

†† Bioperine® is a registered trademark of Sabinsa Corporation.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

New Directions for Preventing Free-Radical Damage

Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention

Hank Liers, PhD

HANK LIERS, PHD

Dr. Hank Liers is the CEO and chief product formulator for Health Products Distributors, Inc. He has been studying and using natural means of achieving health since 1984. Dr. Liers received his PhD in physics in 1969 from the University of Minnesota and has applied his analytical abilities to learning and applying a scientific approach to nutrition.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Ultimate Protector™ Brunswick Labs ORAC5.0™ Test Results
  • Description and Comparison of ORAC Tests for Well Known Plant Ingredients and Ultimate Protector™
  • Ultimate Protector™: First Impressions
  • Questions & Answers about Ultimate Protector

OTHER RESOURCES

1

THE AMAZING HEALING POTENTIAL OF NATURAL NRF2 ACTIVATORS

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD natural nrf2 activators healing potential

When I first learned about Nrf2 activators in early 2012, I became quite enthusiastic about new knowledge that natural substances called polyphenolic compounds had the ability to activate this transcription factor. Once released in the cell Nrf2 can migrate to the nucleus and cause the body to endogenously produce high levels of key protective/antioxidant enzymes.

Also, I actively began the development of a product called Ultimate Protector that contains many concentrates and extracts from fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This product functions as 1) an excellent source of many Nrf2 activators, 2) a source of powerful antioxidants exhibiting an extremely high ORAC5.0 value per serving, and 3) a source of non-GMO Vitamin C.

More recently (July 2019) I have updated the product to Ultimate Protector+ that contains some exciting new ingredients that are now available on the market including SFB® (Standardized Fruit Blend) that contains among others mangosteen, goji berry, pomegranate, and apple extracts (click on the ingredient name to see detailed blog articles concerning these). In addition, I have added significant amounts of ingredients that are well known as potent Nrf2 activators and antioxidants including Green Tea extract and VinCare® whole grape extract.

 

Ultimate Protector+

New Ultimate Protector+

 

It is interesting to note that over 16 years ago I formulated a wonderful antioxidant formula called PRO-C™. 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, reduced Glutathione, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), R-Lipoic Acid, coenzyme forms of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6, and Selenium.

PRO-C™ has been one of the most effective products at supporting health I have ever formulated. Our current knowledge shows that PRO-C™ contains four effective Nrf2 activators, selenium needed for glutathione peroxidase functioning, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6 that support the effectiveness of glutathione, and antioxidants including Vitamin C and glutathione. I recently wrote a blog article titled PRO-C™ SUPER ANTIOXIDANT FORMULA that provides details concerning this formula.

My current personal list of supplements that I (and my wife) take every day includes both Ultimate Protector™ and PRO-C™. We feel gifted to have these products available to us!!

In this article, I will provide greater insight into the natural sources of Nrf2 activators and how they perform in the body.

SOME KEY ENZYMES MODULATED BY Nrf2 ACTIVATORS

Activation of Nrf2 results in the induction of many cytoprotective proteins. We have seen articles that claim over 200 different enzymes can be produced in the body by Nrf2 activators, but have also seen reference that over 4,000 enzymes may be produced!  Examples of some of the key enzymes are shown below:

  • NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 – a prototypical Nrf2 target gene that catalyzes the reduction and detoxification of highly reactive quinones that can cause redox cycling and oxidative stress.
  • Superoxide dismutases (SOD) – enzymes that catalyze the dismutation of superoxide (O2) into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. Thus, they are an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen where superoxide is one of the main reactive oxygen species. SOD is known to provide powerful antinflammatory activity.
  • Glutamate-cysteine ligase which is the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of glutathione (GSH), a very powerful endogenous antioxidant. Glutamate-cysteine ligaseis a characteristic Nrf2 target gene, which establish Nrf2 as a regulator of glutathione, one of the most important antioxidants in the body.
  • Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of heme into the antioxidant biliverdin, the anti-inflammatory agent carbon monoxide, and iron. HO-1 is a Nrf2 target gene that has been shown to protect from a variety of pathologies, including sepsis, hypertension, atherosclerosis, acute lung injury, kidney injury, and pain.
  • The glutathione S-transferase (GST) family includes cytosolic, mitochondrial, and microsomal enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of GSH with endogenous and xenobiotic electrophiles. After detoxification by GSH conjugation catalyzed by GSTs, the body can eliminate potentially harmful and toxic compounds. GSTs are induced by Nrf2 activation and represent an important route of detoxification.
  • The UDP-glucuronosyltransferas (UGT) family catalyze the conjugation of a glucuronic acid moiety to a variety of endogenous and exogenous substances, making them more water soluble and readily excreted. Important substrates for glucuronidation include bilirubin, and acetaminophen. Nrf2 has been shown to induce UGT1A1 and UGT1A6.
  • Multidrug resistance-associated proteins  (Mrps) are important membrane transporters that efflux various compounds from various organs and into bile or plasma, with subsequent excretion in the feces or urine, respectively. Mrps have been shown to be upregulated by Nrf2 and alteration in their expression can dramatically alter the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of compounds.

NATURAL FOODS AND FOOD EXTRACTS PROMOTE THE EXPRESSION OF Nrf2

The March 2011 Epub Biochemical Basis for Functional Ingredient Design from Fruits reports: “Functional food ingredients (nutraceuticals) in fruits range from small molecular components, such as the secondary plant products, to macromolecular entities, e.g., pectin and cellulose, that provide several health benefits.  In fruits, the most visible functional ingredients are the color components anthocyanins and carotenoids.

“In addition, several other secondary plant products, including terpenes, show health beneficial activities.  A common feature of several functional ingredients is their antioxidant function. For example, reactive oxygen species (ROS) can be oxidized and stabilized by flavonoid components, and the flavonoid radical can undergo electron rearrangement stabilizing the flavonoid radical.  Compounds that possess an orthodihydroxy or quinone structure can interact with cellular proteins in the Keap1/Nrf2/ARE pathway to activate the transcription of antioxidant enzymes.

“Carotenoids and flavonoids can also exert their action by modulating the signal transduction and gene expression within the cell. Recent results suggest that these activities are primarily responsible for the health benefits associated with the consumption of fruits and vegetables.”

One of the interesting aspects of the extensive research that has been conducted is the fact that many of the polyphenols that have been shown to activate Nrf2 have been used in natural healing formulas for many years. For example, an article in a November 2010 production titled Nutraceutical antioxidants as novel neuroprotective agent expands on the classes of “antioxidant” compounds that are neuroprotective and operate either via direct antioxidant action or via the keap1-Nrf2 pathway:

“A variety of antioxidant compounds derived from natural products (nutraceuticals) have demonstrated neuroprotective activity in either in vitro or in vivo models of neuronal cell death or neurodegeneration, respectively. These natural antioxidants fall into several distinct groups based on their chemical structures: (1) flavonoid polyphenols like epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) from green tea and quercetin from apples; (2) non-flavonoid polyphenols such as curcumin from tumeric and resveratrol from grapes; (3) phenolic acids or phenolic diterpenes such as rosmarinic acid or carnosic acid, respectively, both from rosemary; and (4) organosulfur compounds including the isothiocyanate, L-sulforaphane, from broccoli and the thiosulfonate allicin, from garlic.

“All of these compounds are generally considered to be antioxidants.  They may be classified this way either because they directly scavenge free radicals or they indirectly increase endogenous cellular antioxidant defenses, for example, via activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor pathway. Alternative mechanisms of action have also been suggested for the neuroprotective effects of these compounds such as modulation of signal transduction cascades or effects on gene expression. Here, we review the literature pertaining to these various classes of nutraceutical antioxidants and discuss their potential therapeutic value in neurodegenerative diseases.”

DIETARY FLAVONOIDS AS NRF2 ACTIVATORS

One of the ways dietary flavonoids work to confer their multiple health effects is via the keap1-Nrf2 pathway.  That is substances which are both themselves antioxidants and activators of the keap1-Nrf2 pathway produce significant results through keap1-Nrf2 and activating the body’s own antioxidant and defensive systems.

Flavonoids are a large family of polyphenolic compounds synthesized by plants. Many of the common dietary flavonoids are shown in Table 1 below along with their common food sources.

Table 1: Common Dietary Flavonoids

Flavonoid Subclass Dietary Flavonoids Some Common Food Sources
Anthocyanidins  Cyanidin, Delphinidin, Malvidin, Pelargonidin, Peonidin, Petunidin Red, blue, and purple berries; red and purple grapes; red wine
Flavonols  Monomers (Catechins) Catechin, Epicatechin, Epigallocatechin, Epicatechin gallate, Epigallocatecin gallate Dimers and Polymers: Theaflavins, Thearubigins, Proanthocyanidins Catechins: Teas (particularly green and white), chocolate, grapes, berries, apples Theaflavins, Thearubigins: Teas (particularly black and oolong) Proanthocyanidins: Chocolate, apples, berries, red grapes, red wine.
Flavanones Hesperetin, Naringenin, Eriodictyol Citrus fruits and juices, e.g., oranges, grapefruits, lemons.
Flavonols Quercetin, Kaempferol, Myricetin, Isorhamnetin Widely distributed: yellow onions, scallions, kale, broccoli, apples, berries, teas.
Flavones Apigenin, Luteolin Parsley, thyme, celery, hot peppers.
Isoflavones Daidzein, Genistein, Glycitein Soybeans, soy foods, legumes.

In addition to flavonoids many other plant based substances appear to produce health benefits through hormetic effects mediated by Nrf2.  The December 2011 publication Nutritional antioxidants and adaptive cell responses: an update reports: “Many plant antioxidants, intaken through the daily diet or plant-derived dietary supplements, have been shown able to prevent free radical-related diseases by counteracting cell oxidative stress. However, it is now considered that the in vivo beneficial effects of these phytochemicals are unlikely to be explained just by their antioxidant capability.

“Several plant antioxidants exhibit hormetic properties, by acting as ‘low-dose stressors’ that may prepare cells to resist more severe stress. In fact, low doses of these phytochemicals activate cell signaling pathways (being the most prominent examples the modulation of the Nrf2/Keap1 pathway, the NF-κB pathway and the Sirtuin-FOXO pathway) but high doses are cytotoxic.

“Herein we review the adaptive responses induced by the most known plant hormetic antioxidants, which are sulforaphane, resveratrol, curcumin, flavonoids, green tea catechins and diallylsulphides [in garlic], as well as the molecular mechanisms involved in such responses. Furthermore, this review outlines that the hormetic properties of these bioactive plant antioxidants might be successfully employed for realizing health-promoting dietary interventions especially in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.”

 

Ultimate Protector+

INTERESTING FACTS REGARDING NRF2 ACTIVATORS

1) An interesting fact is that Nrf2 is ubiquitously expressed with the highest concentrations (in descending order) in the kidney, muscle, lung, heart, liver, and brain. 

2) Another important fact is that the well-known nutrition supplement lipoic acid is a potent activator of Nrf2 and thus increases Gluthatione levels, which may explain its protective effect against diabetic co-morbidities. Additionally, the nutritional supplements tocotrienols (active forms of Vitamin E) and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) are also effective Nrf2 activators!

3) We have observed that the natural plant substances with the highest ORAC5.0 values appear to be among the most effective Nrf2 activators. For example, see the table below. In particular, note that Curcumin (98%), Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract, and Reservatrol which are commonly used for their excellent Nrf2 activator effects are the most powerful in-vitro antioxidants . Please note that Ultimate Protector is over 50% more powerful as an antioxidant than the best single plant ingredient.

TABLE 2: ORAC5.0™ COMPARATIVE RESULTS

Ingredient Peroxyl Radical Hydroxyl Radical Peroxy-nitrite Radical Super-
oxide Radical
Singlet O2 Radical Total ORAC5.0
Curcumin 98% 5,750 8,920 906 597 66,290 82,500
Bilberry 25% 7,000 25,000 1,000 16,000 5,000 54,000
Cocoa 10,000 28,000 1,000 11,000 2,000 52,000
Grape Seed Extract 17,000 47,000 1,000 25,000 4,000 94,000
Green Tea Extract 11,000 41,000 2,000 56,000 3,000 113,000
Coffee Berry Extract 5,000 29,000 1,000 1,000 2,000 38,000
Mangosteen 4,000 8,000 1,000 18,000 4,000 35,000
Pine Bark 7,000 23,000 1,000 17,000 2,000 50,000
Resveratrol 12,000 50,000 1,000 8,000 22,000 93,000
ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
Results are expressed in micro mole TE/g
4) Here is a list of the ingredients in ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+: USP-grade non-GMO Vitamin C, SFB® standardized fruit blend (~50% polyphenols, high-ORAC powder: 9,000 µmole TE/g) from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry), Curcumin (standardized extract with 95% curcuminoids), Trans-Resveratrol (98% from Giant Knotweed), Green Tea Extract (93% polyphenols, 50% EGCG), VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (>80% polyphenols, ORAC>19,000 µmole TE/g), Calcium Malate, Magnesium Malate, and Bioperine® (a patented black pepper extract that enhances absorption of all ingredients and is a known Nrf2 activator).

NEUROPROTECTION BY POLYPHENOL STIMULATION OF THE NRF2 / ARE PATHWAY 

Below are two abstracts that discuss how modulation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway by food polyphenols can provide neuroprotection through the activation of the heme-oxygenase enzyme.

Modulation of Nrf2/ARE pathway by food polyphenols: a nutritional neuroprotective strategy for cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. (Oct. 2011)

ABSTRACT

In recent years, there has been a growing interest, supported by a large number of experimental and epidemiological studies, for the beneficial effects of some phenolic substances, contained in commonly used spices and herbs, in preventing various age-related pathologic conditions, ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases. Although the exact mechanisms by which polyphenols promote these effects remain to be elucidated, several reports have shown their ability to stimulate a general xenobiotic response in the target cells, activating multiple defense genes.

Data from our and other laboratories have previously demonstrated that curcumin, the yellow pigment of curry, strongly induces heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression and activity in different brain cells via the activation of heterodimers of NF-E2-related factors 2 (Nrf2)/antioxidant responsive element (ARE) pathway. Many studies clearly demonstrate that activation of Nrf2 target genes, and particularly HO-1, in astrocytes and neurons is strongly protective against inflammation, oxidative damage, and cell death. In the central nervous system, the HO system has been reported to be very active, and its modulation seems to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders.

Recent and unpublished data from our group revealed that low concentrations of epigallocatechin-3-gallate, the major green tea catechin, induces HO-1 by ARE/Nrf2 pathway in hippocampal neurons, and by this induction, it is able to protect neurons against different models of oxidative damages. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that other phenolics, such as caffeic acid phenethyl ester and ethyl ferulate, are also able to protect neurons via HO-1 induction. These studies identify a novel class of compounds that could be used for therapeutic purposes as preventive agents against cognitive decline.

The major green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, induces heme oxygenase in rat neurons and acts as an effective neuroprotective agent against oxidative stress. (Aug. 2009)

ABSTRACT

Oxidative stress induced by hyperglycemia is a key factor in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications, such as neuropathy. Recently, green tea catechins have received much attention, as they can facilitate a number of antioxidative mechanisms and improve glycemic control. The aim of this study was to investigate the cytoprotective effects of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) against oxidative stress damage in a cell line of rat neurons. The role of heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) induction by EGCG and the transcriptional mechanisms involved were also evaluated.

Immortalized rat neurons (H 19-7) were exposed to various concentrations of EGCG (10-200 microM). After treatments (6 or 24 hours), cells were harvested for the determination of heme oxygenase activity, mRNA levels, and protein expression. Nuclear levels of Nrf2, a transcriptional factor involved in HO-1 activation, were also measured. Neurons were pretreated for 12 hours with EGCG 50 microM or EGCG 50 microM + zinc protoporphyrin IX 10 microM and then exposed for 2 hours to 50 mmicro/mL glucose-oxidase before cell viability was determined.

In cultured neurons, elevated expression of HO-1 mRNA and protein were detected after 6 hours of incubation with 25-100 microM EGCG, and its induction relates with the activation of Nrf2. Interestingly, pre-incubation (12 hours) with EGCG 50 microM resulted in an enhanced cellular resistance to glucose oxidase-mediated oxidative damage; this cytoprotective effect was considerably attenuated by zinc protoporphyrin IX, an inhibitor of heme oxygenase activity.

In this study, we demonstrated that EGCG, the major green tea catechin, induced HO-1 expression in cultured neurons, possibly by activation of the transcription factor Nrf2, and by this mechanism was able to protect against oxidative stress-induced cell death.

 

The following review article abstract shows how natural products containing Nrf2 activator/antioxidant ingredients might be used to support health and anti-aging.

Nrf2/ARE Signaling Pathway: Key Mediator in Oxidative Stress and Potential Therapeutic Target in ALS (July 2012)

REVIEW ARTICLE

Abstract: Nrf2 (nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2) is a basic region leucine-zipper transcription factor which binds to the antioxidant response element (ARE) and thereby regulates the expression of a large battery of genes involved in the cellular antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defence as well as mitochondrial protection. As oxidative stress, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunctions have been identified as important pathomechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), this signaling cascade has gained interest both with respect to ALS pathogenesis and therapy. Nrf2 and Keap1 expressions are reduced in motor neurons in postmortem ALS tissue.

Nrf2-activating compounds have shown therapeutic efficacy in the ALS mouse model and other neurodegenerative disease models. Alterations in Nrf2 and Keap1 expression and dysregulation of the Nrf2/ARE signalling program could contribute to the chronic motor neuron degeneration in ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, Nrf2 emerges as a key neuroprotective molecule in neurodegenerative diseases.

Our recent studies strongly support that the Nrf2/ARE signalling pathway is an important mediator of neuroprotection and therefore represents a promising target for development of novel therapies against ALS, Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Simultaneous blockage of disease-specific broad toxic signaling cascades in motor neurons and glia may ultimately lead to more efficient neuroprotection in ALS. Stimulation of defense mechanisms that modulate neuroprotective genes which affect both neuronal and glial functions is a novel therapeutic approach and holds great promise. A key molecule to affect a variety of defense mechanisms is the transcription factor Nrf2 which activates the Nrf2/ARE signaling program. Nrf2 acts as master regulator of the cellular antioxidant response by stimulation of over 250 phase II genes that should be referred to as “prolife genes” since they save cells from death.

Nrf2 activation can at once regulate the expression of multiple cytoprotective enzymes that are capable of simultaneous inhibition of major pathogenic pathways described in ALS such as oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Decreased Nrf2 expression was found in motor neurons in ALS postmortem brain and spinal cord. We have established the proof-of-concept that the Nrf2/ARE program is a viable target with excellent therapeutic potential for ALS. While there are still multiple gaps of knowledge on the path from Nrf2 dissociation to nuclear localization and its action as transcription factor, activation of the Nrf2 signaling cascade represents a novel and unique attempt to find a cure for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases by fortifying the intrinsic defense mechanisms of neurons.

CONCLUSION

In this article I have shown how foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, and their extracts can stimulate extremely powerful protective enzymes in the body that work to keep us healthy. I strongly suggest that our readers eat an organic diet that emphasizes these foods and highly recommend the use of nutritional supplements such as Ultimate Protector+ and PRO-C™ that can further support the activation of the Nrf2 pathways in the body!

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PREVENTING FREE RADICAL DAMAGE WITH ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+

Back in 2012, I learned about Nrf2 activators and was excited about pursuing the development of a supplement that would incorporate the new knowledge we were learning into a effective product for preventing free radical damage. At that time, I published two articles: New Directions for Preventing Free Fadical Damage and Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention. I started working on a new Nrf2-activator formula I called Ultimate Protector that incorporated many of the ideas contained in these articles. The product was introduced November 2012.

More recently, in early 2019, I decided to upgrade the product using new information and ingredients. The upgraded product is called Ultimate Protector+. In this article, I provide new details of our design logic and product ingredients. I expect the new formula to be released in July 2019.

Ultimate Protector+

Ultimate Protector+ is new and improved!

PREVENTING FREE RADICAL DAMAGE WITH ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+

Ultimate Protector+™ is a unique cell protection formula that simultaneously meets the needs for high levels of non-GMO Vitamin C, full spectrum antioxidants (high ORAC values), and protective enzyme activators (Nrf2 activators) in a single product. This potent combination of characteristics distinguishes the formula because no other single product available today offers such complete protection. This is the single best formula for preventing free radical damage that is available.

Ultimate Protector+™ provides extremely high levels of natural antioxidants, including high levels of ingredients such as polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanidins, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, catechins, curcuminoids, pterostilbene, resveratrol, chlorogenic acid, punicalagins, zeaxanthin and other carotenoids that act powerfully as antioxidants. These antioxidants come from more than 12 plant-based ingredients with demonstrated free-radical quenching capacity. These “exogenous” food-based antioxidants (supplied from outside the body) provide you with immense oxidative defenses that can be used to defend against free-radical assault.

Ultimate Protector+™ contains USP-grade non-GMO Vitamin C , SFB® standardized fruit blend (~50% polyphenols, high-ORAC powder: 9,000 µmole TE/g) from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry), Curcumin (standardized extract with 95% curcuminoids), Trans-Resveratrol (98% from Giant Knotweed), Green Tea Extract (90% polyphenols, 50% EGCG), VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (>80% polyphenols, ORAC>19,000 µmole TE/g), Calcium Malate, Magnesium Malate, and Bioperine® (a patented black pepper extract that enhances absorption of all ingredients and is a known Nrf2 activator).

Ultimate Protector+™ is contained in a capsule suitable for vegetarians (i.e., a veggie cap) and contains no magnesium stearate.

NUTRITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS AND APPLICATIONS

Ultimate Protector+™ satisfies three distinct needs:

1) The need for a non-GMO Vitamin C product. That is, a Vitamin C formula that avoids protein from genetically modified sources such as corn, potatoes, or beets.

2) The need for a single, powerful antioxidant formula for preventing free radical damage. That is, a single, easy-to-take antioxidant formula offering a broad range of extremely high-ORAC plant source antioxidants. These antioxidants should protect against the full range of free radicals found in the human body including: superoxide anion (O2·-), peroxyl radicals (ROO·), hydroxyl radicals (HO·), singlet oxygen (1O2), and peroxynitrite (ONOO-).

3) The need for a supplement providing a full spectrum of Nrf2 activators. That is, a supplement providing a wide range of natural Nrf2 transcription factor activators that allow the body to make its own antioxidant enzymes (e.g., superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, hemeoxygenase, and glutathione peroxidase). Scientific research has shown that these are found naturally in many fruits, vegetable, and herbs. These ingredients provide a wide range of Nrf2 activators that result in significantly high levels of the endogenously produced antioxidant enzymes.

The ways Ultimate Protector+™ satisfies these three needs are discussed below:

1) NON-GMO VITAMIN C / ASCORBIC ACID

High-quality, USP grade Vitamin C has been obtained historically from corn, potatoes, and/or beets. Unfortunately, many of these sources have to a large extent gone to genetically modified (GMO) variants. However, with highly refined production methods and the use of PCR testing, we have been able to obtain final products that are free from GMOs.

In nature, Vitamin C is found generally in plant sources containing polyphenols. Vitamin C and polyphenols work together to provide a high level of antioxidant protection and they support the function of each other in the process. For example, Vitamin C is needed by the body to produce collagen and certain polyphenols (especially oligomeric proanthocyanidins) (OPCs) crosslink the collagen and make it stronger.

2) EXTREMELY HIGH ORAC SOURCES

Free radicals are reactive species that can have adverse effects on normal physiological functions. Studies associate the five major types of free radicals (i.e., hydroxyl, peroxyl, peroxynitrite, singlet oxygen, and superoxide anion) with health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, breakdown of vital proteins, chronic inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. Avoiding free radical damage is the goal.

Antioxidants function as a vital line of defense against free radicals by blocking their attack on DNA, vital proteins, lipids, and amino acids. Until now, efforts to identify the effect of antioxidants on all five types of free radicals were constrained by limited testing procedures. However, new technological developments have resulted in a comprehensive testing method called the Total ORAC5.0™ assay. Because of the development of the Total ORAC5.0™ test, it is now possible to target and measure the effects of antioxidants on the five major types of free radicals found in the body.

We are currently in the process of testing Ultimate Protector+™ using this new ORAC5.0™ assay. We are confident that our formula offers protection against these five major types of free-radicals because we combine a wide range of extremely high-ORAC fruit, vegetable, and herbal blends. As soon as the results are available (in July 2019), we will update this article with the findings.

3) NRF2 TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR ACTIVATORS

In order to survive under a variety of environmental or intracellular stresses, our cells have developed highly efficient protective mechanisms to protect themselves from oxidative or electrophilic challenges. Proteins that comprise phase II detoxification and antioxidant enzymes provide an enzymatic line of defense against reactive oxygen species (ROS). These enzymes include superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase (GST), and glutamate cysteine ligase.

Induction of phase II and antioxidant enzymes are regulated at the DNA/gene level by an antioxidant responsive element (ARE). ARE-mediated gene expression plays a central role in the cellular defense against cellular oxidative damage. Experimental evidence supports the view that induction of ARE-mediated cytoprotective enzymes is a critical and sufficient mechanism to enable protection against disease provoked by environmental and endogenous insults.

One of the key ARE-binding transcription factors is Nrf2. Induction of cytoprotective enzymes in response to ROS, electrophiles, and phytochemicals is a cellular event that is highly dependent on Nrf2 protein. By activating Nrf2 signaling, phytochemicals can increase cellular detoxification and antioxidant enzymes, thereby enhancing removal of ROS and toxic chemicals and preventing disease. Numerous research studies carried out over the last 15 years have demonstrated the effectiveness of a very wide range of Nrf2 activators extracted from fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

For example, a study with sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate present abundantly in cruciferous vegetables) shows that oral administration of this phytochemical can effectively block benzo[a]pyrene-induced forestomach tumors in mice. This protective effect was abrogated in mice that could not produce Nrf2. This supports the critical role of phase II detoxification and antioxidant enzymes in the prevention of carcinogenesis by chemopreventive agents.

Nrf2 is normally bound in the cytoplasm of cells to a protein called KEAP1. However, when an appropriate phytochemical agent attaches to a kinase receptor on the cell wall a phosphate group is released that causes the Nrf2 to be released. Also, there are other mechanisms that allow Nrf2 to be released from KEAP1. The released Nrf2 then migrates into the cell nucleus and causes an antioxidant enzyme (e.g., superoxide dismutase (SOD)) to be fabricated and released. This endogenously produced enzyme then can protect against ROS, electrophiles, and other toxic agents.

In practical experience, it has been found that a combination of multiple polyphenols works significantly better than single ingredients. In fact, in one experiment it was found that a combination of five ingredients all known to be Nrf2 activators was 18 times more effective than any single ingredient. Furthermore, it was found that this combination of five ingredients was able to increase levels of SOD by 30% and catalase by 56% after 120 days of taking the combination.

In view of the considerations above, we include a wide range of Nrf2 activators in Ultimate Protector+™. These include a large variety of freeze-dried and concentrated fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These include Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, Goji Berry), Curcumin (standardized extract with 95% curcuminoids), Trans-Resveratrol (98% from Giant Knotweed), Green Tea Extract (93% polyphenols, 50% EGCG), VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (>80% polyphenols, ORAC>19,000 µmole TE/g)

Ultimate Protector+™ includes the following phytonutrients in its array of freeze-dried and concentrated fruits, vegetables, and herbs: polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, xanthines, chlorogenic acid, pterostilbenes, resveratrol, phloridzin, quercetin, zeaxanthin, carotinoids, polysaccharides, quinic acid, and more.

The phytochemical ingredients in Ultimate Protector+™ are discussed below:

1. SFB® – (Standardized Fruit Blend)

SFB® is a nutritious, non-GMO blend that provides a broad spectrum of polyphenols, anthocyanins, and other antioxidants derived from water and/or ethanol extracts of grape (Vitis vinifera), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), pomegranate (Punica granatum) with >75% polyphenols, blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), apple (Malus pumilla Mill), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillis), chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), and goji berry (Lycium barbarum). This powder has an ORAC value in excess of 9,000 µmole TE/g and contains 50% polyphenols.

Polyphenols and anthocyanins are not all created equal. Every fruit, vegetable and herb provides its own set of unique polyphenols and anthocyanins that reside in the body for different lengths of time and in different locations, providing a range of benefits. SFB® has been designed to provide a wide range of plant polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, OPCs, zeaxanthin and other carotinoids, etc. Published research associates these plant ingredients with healthy aging, inflammation management, improved blood sugar metabolism, and cardiovascular disease management.

SFB® provides the following benefits: Superior source of natural antioxidants and Nrf2 activators, helps ameliorate the effects of premature aging, promotes cardiovascular health, promotes healthy brain function and mental acuity, promotes healthy vision, promotes healthy blood sugar levels, and is an excellent source of flavonoids and organic acids.

I have prepared detailed blog articles for the ingredients in SFB®. Below some of these are summarized and links to the articles are provided.

a) Cranberry Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Cranberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Cranberry Extract

Cranberry extract is an especially good source of antioxidant polyphenols. In animal studies, the polyphenols in cranberries have been found to decrease levels of total cholesterol and so-called “bad” cholesterol. Cranberries may also inhibit the growth of tumors in human breast tissue and lower the risk of both stomach ulcers and gum disease.

Here is a list of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in found in cranberry extract.

Type of Phytonutrient Specific Molecules
Phenolic Acids hydroxybenzoic acids including vanillic acids;
—Phenolic Acids (cont.) hydroxycinnamic acids inculding caffeic,
—Phenolic Acids (cont.) coumaric, cinnamic, and ferulic acid
Proanthocyanidins epicatechin oligomers
Anthocyanins cyanidins, malvidins, and peonidins
Flavonoids quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol
Triterpenoids ursolic acid

OTHER CRANBERRY INFORMATION

    • Cranberries hold significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s). Scientific studies have shown that consumption of the berries have potential health benefits regarding cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections.
    • Antioxidant compounds in cranberry extract including OPC’s, anthocyanidin flavonoids, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin may support cardiovascular health by counteracting against cholesterol plaque formation in the heart and blood vessels. Further, these compounds help the human body lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL-good cholesterol levels in the blood.
    • Scientific studies show that cranberry juice consumption offers protection against gram-negative bacterial infections such as E.coli in the urinary system by inhibiting bacterial-attachment to the bladder and urethra.
    • It is known that cranberries turns urine acidic. This, together with the inhibition of bacterial adhesion helps prevent the formation of alkaline (calcium ammonium phosphate) stones in the urinary tract by working against proteus bacterial-infections.
    • In addition, the berries prevent plaque formation on the tooth enamel by interfering with the ability of the gram-negative bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, to stick to the surface. In this way cranberries helps prevent the development of cavities.
    • The berries are also good source of many vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, ß-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and folate and minerals like potassium, and manganese.
  • Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) demonstrates cranberry at an ORAC score of 9584 µmol TE units per 100 g, one of the highest in the category of edible berries.

b) Pomegranate Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Pomegranate

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Pomegranate

For thousands of years, the pomegranate has been extensively used as a source of food and medicine. Full of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium, pomegranate has been used to control body weight, reduce cholesterol, fight against cell damage, and inhibit viral infections. Pomegranate extracts have anti-bacterial effects.

Pomegranates are rich in ellagic acid, gallic acid, lignans, polyphenols and other bioactive compounds, and have been shown to lower blood pressure and enhance vascular function. Furthermore, it can offset some of the negative effects of medications and chemicals. These compounds occur naturally in its peel, seeds, leaf and juice. The seeds are high in p-coumaric acid, plant sterols, tannins and fatty acids. In addition to their antihypertensive effects, they may help reduce blood sugar levels.

Pomegranate fruit is a rounded berry with a thick reddish skin covering approximately 200–1400 white to deep red or purple seeds. Pomegranate seeds are edible and hold strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to their high content of hydrolysable tannins and anthocyanins. As compared to the antioxidant activity of vitamin E, β-carotene, and ascorbic acid, the pomegranate antioxidants appear unique due to combinations of a wide array of polyphenols, having a broader range of action against several types of free radicals. As compared to the recognized antioxidants in red wine and green tea, anthocyanins from pomegranate fruit possess significantly higher antioxidant activity.

Pomegranate has been used in various medicinal systems of medicine for the treatment and therapy of a multitude of diseases and ailments. In the ancient Indian medicinal system, i.e., in Ayurvedic medicine, the pomegranate was considered to be a whole pharmacy unto itself. It was recommended to be used as an antiparasitic agent and to treat diarrhea and ulcers. The medicinal properties of pomegranate have sparked significant interest in today’s scientific community as evidenced by the scientific research relating to health benefits of pomegranate that have been published in last few decades.

Studies have shown that pomegranate and its constituents can efficiently affect multiple signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cellular transformation, hyperproliferation, angiogenesis, initiation of tumorigenesis, and eventually suppressing the final steps of tumorigenesis and metastasis. The pomegranate constituents are shown to modulate transcription factors, pro-apoptotic proteins, anti-apoptotic proteins, cell cycle regulator molecules, protein kinases, cell adhesion molecules, pro-inflammatory mediators, and growth factors.

c) Chokeberry (Aronia)

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Chokeberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Chokeberry

HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOKEBERRY (ARONIA)

Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) has attracted scientific interest due to its deep purple, almost black pigmentation that arises from dense contents of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins. Total polyphenol content is 1752 mg per 100 g in fresh berries, anthocyanin content is 1480 mg per 100 g, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g. These values are among the highest measured in plants to date.

The plant produces these pigments mainly in the leaves and skin of the berries to protect the pulp and seeds from constant exposure to ultraviolet radiation and production of free radicals. By absorbing UV rays in the blue-purple spectrum, leaf and skin pigments filter intense sunlight, serve antioxidant functions and thereby have a role assuring regeneration of the species.

Analysis of polyphenols in chokeberries has identified the following individual chemicals (among hundreds known to exist in the plant kingdom): cyanidin-3-galactoside, cyanidin-3-arabinoside, quercetin-3-glycoside, epicatechin, caffeic acid, delphinidin, petunidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, and malvidin.All these except caffeic acid are members of the flavonoid category of phenolics.

In a standard measurement of antioxidant strength, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC, demonstrates aronia to have one of the highest values yet recorded for a fruit — 16,062 micro moles of Trolox Eq. per 100 g. The components contributing to this high measurement were both anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, with the proanthocyanidin level “among the highest in foods”, which may explain their potent astringent taste.

d) Goji Berry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Goji Berry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Goji Berry

Goji Berries contain abundant polysaccharides (LBPs, comprising 5%–8% of the dried fruits), scopoletin (6-methoxy-7-hydroxycoumarin, also named chrysatropic acid, ecopoletin, gelseminic acid, and scopoletol), the glucosylated precursor, and stable vitamin C analog 2-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic acid, carotenoids (zeaxanthin and β-carotene), betaine, cerebroside, β-sitosterol, flavonoids, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins (in particular, riboflavin, thiamin, and ascorbic acid).

The predominant carotenoid is zeaxanthin, which exists mainly as dipalmitate (also called physalien or physalin). The content of vitamin C (up to 42 mg/100 g) in goji berry (also known as wolfberry) is comparable to that of fresh lemon fruits. As to the seeds, they contain zeaxanthin (83%), β-cryptoxanthin (7%), β-carotene (0.9%), and mutatoxanthin (1.4%), as well as some minor carotenoids.

In fact, increasing lines of experimental studies have revealed that L. barbarum berries have a wide array of pharmacological activities, which is thought to be mainly due to its high LBPs content. Water-soluble LBPs are obtained using an extraction process that removes the lipid soluble components such as zeaxanthin and other carotenoids with alcohol. LBPs are estimated to comprise 5%–8% of LBFs and have a molecular weight ranging from 24 kDa to 241 kDa. LBPs consist of a complex mixture of highly branched and only partly characterized polysaccharides and proteoglycans.

The glycosidic part accounts, in most cases, for about 90%–95% of the mass and consists of arabinose, glucose, galactose, mannose, rhamnose, xylose, and galacturonic acid. LBPs are considered the most important functional constituents in LBFs. Different fractions of LBPs have different activities and the galacturonic acid content is an imperative factor for activities of LBP. The bioactivities of polysaccharides are often in reverse proportion with their molecular weights. Increasing lines of evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies support the medicinal, therapeutic, and health-promoting effects of LBPs.

e) Mangosteen

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Mangosteen

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Mangosteen

The Mangosteen extract in Ultimate Protector+ has been extracted with non-GMO food grade ethanol and distilled water. Testing has indicated the product contains over 10% polyphenols.

Mangosteen extract in obtained from the skin and whole fruit for which numerous biological activities have been reported including: antimutagenic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, and protective against tumorigenesis.

Mangosteen contains nutrients with antioxidant capacity, such as vitamin C and folate. Plus, it provides xanthones — a unique type of plant compound known to have strong antioxidant properties. In several test-tube and animal studies, the antioxidant activity of xanthones has resulted in anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-aging, heart protective, and antidiabetic effects.

Additionally, some research suggests that certain plant compounds in mangosteen may have antibacterial properties — which could benefit your immune health by combating potentially harmful bacteria. In a 30-day study in 59 people, those taking a mangosteen-containing supplement experienced reduced markers of inflammation and significantly greater increases in healthy immune cell numbers compared to those taking a placebo.

f) Apple Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Apple

Apples contain a large concentration of flavonoids, as well as a variety of other phytochemicals, and the concentration of these phytochemicals may depend on many factors, such as cultivar of the apple, harvest and storage of the apples, and processing of the apples. The concentration of phytochemicals also varies greatly between the apple peels and the apple flesh.

Some of the most well studied antioxidant compounds in apples include quercetin-3-galactoside, quercetin-3-glucoside, quercetin-3-rhamnoside, catechin, epicatechin, procyanidin, cyanidin-3-galactoside, coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, and phloridzin. Recently researchers have examined the average concentrations of the major phenolic compounds in six cultivars of apples. They found that the average phenolic concentrations among the six cultivars were: quercetin glycosides, 13.2 mg/100 g fruit; vitamin C, 12.8 mg/100 g fruit; procyanidin B, 9.35 mg/100 g fruit; chlorogenic acid, 9.02 mg/100 g fruit; epicatechin, 8.65 mg/100 g fruit; and phloretin glycosides, 5.59 mg/100 g fruit.

The compounds most commonly found in apple peels consist of the procyanidins, catechin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, phloridzin, and the quercetin conjugates. In the apple flesh, there is some catechin, procyanidin, epicatechin, and phloridzin, but these compounds are found in much lower concentrations than in the peels. Quercetin conjugates are found exclusively in the peel of the apples. Chlorogenic acid tends to be higher in the flesh than in the peel.

Because the apple peels contain more antioxidant compounds, especially quercetin, apple peels may have higher antioxidant activity and higher bioactivity than the apple flesh. Research showed that apples without the peels had less antioxidant activity than apples with the peels. Apples with the peels were also better able to inhibit cancer cell proliferation when compared to apples without the peels. More recent work has shown that apple peels contain anywhere from two to six times (depending on the variety) more phenolic compounds than in the flesh, and two to three times more flavonoids in the peels when compared to the flesh. The antioxidant activity of these peels was also much greater, ranging from two to six times greater in the peels when compared to the flesh, depending on the variety of the apple. This work is supported a study which found that rats consuming apple peels showed greater inhibition of lipid peroxidation and greater plasma antioxidant capacity when compared to rats fed apple flesh.

Many of these phytochemicals from apples have been widely studied, and many potential health benefits have been attributed to these specific phytochemicals. The procyanidins, epicatechin and catechin, have strong antioxidant activity and have been found to inhibit low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation in vitro. In mice, catechin inhibits intestinal tumor formation and delays tumors onset. One study found that chlorogenic acid has very high alkyl peroxyl radical (ROO•) scavenging activity. Compared to about 18 other antioxidant compounds (including quercetin, gallic acid, α-tocopherol), chlorogenic was second only to rutin. Since ROO• may enhance tumor promotion and carcinogenesis, chlorogenic acid may add to the protective effect of apples against cancer. Chlorogenic acid has been found to inhibit 8-dehydroxy-deoxyguanosine formation in cellular DNA in a rat model following treatment with 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide.

Quercetin is also a strong antioxidant, and is thought to have potential protective effects against both cancer and heart disease. Briefly, quercetin has been found to down regulate expression of mutant p53 in breast cancer cells, arrest human leukemic T-cells in G1, inhibit tyrosine kinase, and inhibit heat shock proteins. Quercetin has protected Caco-2 cells from lipid peroxidation induced by hydrogen peroxide and Fe2+. In mice liver treated with ethanol, quercetin decreased lipid oxidation and increased glutathione, protecting the liver from oxidative damage. Recently, it has been found that high doses of quercetin inhibit cell proliferation in colon carcinoma cell lines and in mammary adenocarcinoma cell lines, but at low doses quercetin increased cell proliferation (20% in colon cancer cells and 100% in breast cancer cells). However, low doses of quercetin (10 uM) inhibited cell proliferation in Mol-4 Human Leukemia cells and also induced apoptosis. Quercetin inhibited intestinal tumor growth in mice, but not in rats. Low levels of quercetin inhibited platelet aggregation, calcium mobilization, and tyrosine protein phosphorylation in platelets. Modulation of platelet activity may help prevent cardiovascular disease.

g) Blueberry and Bilberry Extract

wild bilberry and wild blueberry
Wild bilberry and wild blueberry provide Nrf2 activators.

The key compounds in bilberry fruit are called anthocyanins and anthocyanosides. These compounds help build strong blood vessels and improve circulation to all areas of the body. They also prevent blood platelets from clumping together (helping to reduce the risk of blood clots), and they have antioxidant properties (preventing or reducing damage to cells from free radicals). Anthocyanins boost the production of rhodopsin, a pigment that improves night vision and helps the eye adapt to light changes.

Bilberry fruit is also rich in tannins, a substance that acts as an astringent. The tannins have anti-inflammatory properties and may help control diarrhea.

Bilberries have been shown to have the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating of more than 20 fresh fruits and berries. The antioxidant properties of bilberries were shown to be even stronger than those of cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, or cultivated blueberries.

The antioxidant powers and health benefits of bilberries and blueberries can be attributed to a number of remarkable compounds contained in them, including the following:

  • Anthocyanins
    • malvidins
    • delphinidins
    • pelargonidins
    • cyanidins
    • peonidins
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
    • caffeic acids
    • ferulic acids
    • coumaric acids
  • Hydroxybenzoic acids
    • gallic acids
    • procatchuic acids
  • Flavonols
    • kaempferol
    • quercetin
    • myricetin
  • Other phenol-related phytonutrients
    • pterostilbene
    • resveratrol
  • Other nutrients
    • lutein
    • zeaxanthin
    • Vitamin K
    • Vitamin C
    • manganese

2) Curcumin

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

We have included Curcumin (95% curcuminoids in ULTIMATE PROTECTOR™. This ingredient contains three main chemical compounds – Curcumin, Demethoxycurcumin and Bisdemethoxycurcumin – collectively known as Curcuminoids and all derived from Turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to be one of the most potent Nrf2 transcription factor activators. Studies have reported that curcumin and turmeric protect the liver against several toxicants both in vitro and in vivo. A number of reports showed the curative action of turmeric and curcuminoids. Curcumin is a potent scavenger of free radicals such as superoxide anion radicals, hydroxyl radicals, and nitrogen dioxide radicals. It exerts powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


3) Trans-Resveratrol (98% from Polygonum cuspidatum – giant knotweed)

giant knotweed resveratrol

Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) is a major source for resveratrol.

Trans-resveratrol provides antioxidant protection, boosts cellular energy, and balances the immune system. It has been proven in studies to activate the SIRT1 longevity gene and enhance cellular productivity. Several research studies have shown that trans-resveratrol activates Nrf2 transcription factor, significantly modulates biomarkers of bone metabolism, inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes such as COX-1 and COX-2, and exhibits cardioprotective effects, neuroprotective properties, and caloric restrictive behavior. Trans-resveratrol has shown the ability to increase the number of mitochondria thereby increasing total daily energy. Studies have shown that trans-resveratrol promotes an increase in mitochondrial function. Increased mitochondrial function translates into an increase in energy availability, improved aerobic capacity, and enhanced sensorimotor function. Trans-resveratrol has an ORAC value of 31,000 µmole TE/g.


4) Green Tea Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Green Tea Extract contains highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. Green tea extract is obtained from the unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis for which numerous biological activities have been reported including: cell protective, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. The green tea extract in Ultimate Protector is extracted is extracted by non-GMO ethanol and distilled water and contains ~ 90% polyphenols and 50% epigallocatechingallate (EGCG).

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant catechin compound in green tea. It is well established that EGCG is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Epidemiological studies show that consumption of 100 or more mg of EGCG per day is beneficial, as it is the most potent Nrf2 activator among all green tea catechins. EGCG exhibits robust diffusion through bodily tissues, including the endothelium of the blood brain barrier.

EGCG has the capacity to activate Nrf2/ARE and induce Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression. Several studies have shown that EGCG can also interact with kinases, causing the disassociation of Nrf2/Keap1 complex.

Protective effects of EGCG have been reported against ischemia/reperfusion injury. Administration of EGCG showed improved neurologic scores, reduced infarct volume, and ameliorated neuronal apoptosis due to increased GSH biosynthesis (via Nrf2 activation) and decreased ROS content. By inducing the expression of Nrf2 and HO-1, EGCG increases important endogenous antioxidants in microglial cells.

5) VinCare® whole grape extract (seed, pulp, and skin)

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Whole Grape Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Whole Grape Extract

Whole Grape Extract contains highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. The Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in grape 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 anthocyanidins, which are found in extracts of grape seed, 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 pulp (but not those of grape seed extract) contain trans-resveratrol that has been shown to have cell protective effects.

Grape seed extract has been reported to demonstrate a remarkable spectrum of biological, pharmacological and therapeutic properties against oxidative stress. The antioxidative activities of grape seed extract have been found to be much stronger than those of vitamins C and E. Studies have indicated that grape seed extract showed a protective effect on cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, atherosclerosis, and neuropathy, among other conditions.

Vincare® contains ~80% polypnenols and has an ORAC value of about 19,000 µmole TE/g. ORAC 5.0 testing of grape seed extract exhibits one of the highest values of any tested material at about 100,000 µmole TE/g.

It has been shown that grape seed OPCs activate nuclear erythroid2-related factor2 (Nrf2), which is a key antioxidative transcription factor, with the concomitant elevation of downstream hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1). Click here to view an excellent article entitled Proanthocyanidins [OPCs] against Oxidative Stress: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Applications.

7) Bioperine®:

Bioperine® is a black pepper extract that has been shown to enhance the absorption of nutrients by 30–60 percent and makes all of the nutrients in this product more effective.

Ultimate Protector+™ will be most effective when used in conjunction with other foundational nutritional supplements that support the body’s metabolism, including Multi Two or Mighty Multi-Vite!™ (therapeutic multivitamin formulas), Omega Plus (essential fatty acids with Vitamin E), PRO-C™ (antioxidant formula), and one of our high-RNA Rejuvenate!™ superfoods.

COMPOSITION: six veggie capsules provides the following percentages of the Daily Value:

Serving Size: 6 Veggie Capsules Servings per Container: 30
Amount Per Serving Amounts % Daily Value
Vitamin C (as 100% USP-grade, non-GMO ascorbic acid) 1,500 mg 1667%
Calcium (from calcium malate) 60 mg 6
Magnesium (from magnesium malate) 60 mg 15
SFB®† (50% polyphenols, Orac: 9,000 units/gm) 180 mg *
Curcumin (95% min. curcuminoids from Curcuma longa) (root) 135 mg *
Green Tea extract (92% polyphenols, 50% EGCG) 135 mg *
Trans-Resveratrol 98% 135 mg *
Vincare®† whole grape extract (80% polyphenols, Orac: 19,000 units/gm) 135 mg *
Bioperine®†† 7.5 mg *
*
* Daily Value not established

Other ingredients: vegetarian capsule (veggie cap), microcrystalline cellulose, silica, and ascorbyl palmitate.

Directions for Use: As a dietary supplement take two capsules three times daily with food, or as directed by a health care professional.

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR Does Not Contain: wheat, rye, oats, barley, corn, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, yeast, sugar, shellfish, GMOs, wax, preservatives, colorings, or artificial flavorings.

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+™ will be most effective when used in conjunction with other foundational nutritional supplements that support the body’s metabolism, including Multi Two or Mighty Multi-Vite!™ (therapeutic multivitamin formulas), Essential Fats plus E (essential fatty acids with Vitamin E), PRO-C™ (antioxidant formula), and one of our high-RNA Rejuvenate!™ superfoods.

†SFB® and VinCare® are registered trademark of Ethical Naturals, Inc.

†† Bioperine® is a registered trademark of Sabinsa Corporation.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

New Directions for Preventing Free-Radical Damage

Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention

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ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ INGREDIENTS – GREEN TEA EXTRACT

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberry Ultimate Protector+ includes green tea extract, as well as extracts from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article, I explore the ingredient green tea extract. Green tea extract is added as a separate ingredient in Ultimate Protector+.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract (high in EGCG) 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.

The green tea extract in Ultimate Protector+ has been extracted with non-GMO food grade ethanol and distilled water. Testing has indicated the product over 93% polyphenols, over 50% EGCG, and about 4% caffeine.

Bioactive Compounds in Tea
Tea contains over 2,000 components, including polyphenols (flavonoids), pigments (carotenoids and chlorophyll), alkaloids (caffeine, theophylline, theobromine), lignans, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, amino acids (including L-theanine), vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, riboflavin), and various minerals and trace elements.

Flavonoids in Green Tea
Dietary flavonoids are divided in six subclasses: flavan-3-ols, anthocyanidins, flavanones, flavonols, flavones, and isoflavones. Total flavonoid content in green tea is about 138 mg a per 100 mL. A major subclass of flavonoids in green tea is that of flavan-3-ols. Flavan-3-ol monomers, also known as catechins, constitute 30%-42% of the solid weight of brewed green tea. The principal catechins found in tea are (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea. It has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties

Vitamins and Minerals Found in Green Tea

Green Tea Plant

GREEN TEA STUDIES

Below we provide information from several research articles that highlight some of the potential health effects of green tea extracts.

1. EGCG upregulates phase-2 detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes via the Nrf2 signaling pathway in human breast epithelial cells

Hye-Kyung Na and Young-Joon Surh
Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res, Volume 46, 2005
From: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/65/9_Supplement/367.1

Abstract

There are multiple lines of compelling evidence from epidemiologic and laboratory studies supporting that frequent consumption of green tea is inversely associated with the risk of several types of human cancer and other chronic diseases. The chemopreventive and chemoprotective activity of green tea have been attributed to the polyphenolic ingredient (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Oxidative DNA damage has been implicated in initiation of carcinogenesis. The induction of phase-2 detoxifying or antioxidant defense enzymes contributes to the cancer chemopreventive and cytoprotective effects of many phytochemicals against oxidative stress. Here, we report that treatment of human breast epithelial (MCF10A) cells with EGCG induces the mRNA expression of both modulatory and catalytic subunits of γ-glutamate-cystein ligase (GCL), which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of GSH. In addition, EGCG upregulated the expression of other antioxidant enzymes, including manganese superoxide dismutase and glutathione S-transferase π in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. NF-E2-related factor (Nrf2), a basic-leucine zipper transcription factor, has been reported to regulate the antioxidant/electrophile responsive elements (ARE/EpRE)-mediated expression of various phase-2 detoxifying or antioxidant enzymes. The nuclear accumulation and ARE/EpRE binding of Nrf2 were increased in EGCG-treated MCF10A cells. Moreover, MCF10A cells transfected with the luciferase reporter gene under the control of ARE/EpRE-driven promoter exhibited a strong transcriptional activity following exposure to EGCG. In contrast, mutation of the GC core box in the ARE/EpRE-driven promoter abolished the EGCG-induced transcriptional activity. MCF10A cells transiently transfected with dominant negative Nrf-2 were less responsive to EGCG-induced expression of GCLC mRNA compared to the vector-transfected control cells. Furthermore, EGCG treatment activated the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase1/2 and Akt through phosphorylation. These findings, taken together, suggest that induction of antioxidant enzymes by EGCG can be mediated by activation of Nrf2 and possibly upstream signaling kinases, which may provide the cells with acquired antioxidant defense capacity against oxidative insult.

2. Neurological mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Volume 15, Issue 9, September 2004, Pages 506-516
OrlyWeinreba, SilviaMandela, TamarAmitaMoussa, B.H.Youdima
From: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2004.05.002

Abstract
Tea consumption is varying its status from a mere ancient beverage and a lifestyle habit, to a nutrient endowed with possible prospective neurobiological–pharmacological actions beneficial to human health. Accumulating evidence suggest that oxidative stress resulting in reactive oxygen species generation and inflammation play a pivotal role in neurodegenerative diseases, supporting the implementation of radical scavengers, transition metal (e.g., iron and copper) chelators, and nonvitamin natural antioxidant polyphenols in the clinic. These observations are in line with the current view that polyphenolic dietary supplementation may have an impact on cognitive deficits in individuals of advanced age. As a consequence, green tea polyphenols are now being considered as therapeutic agents in well controlled epidemiological studies, aimed to alter brain aging processes and to serve as possible neuroprotective agents in progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. In particular, literature on the putative novel neuroprotective mechanism of the major green tea polyphenol, (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), are examined and discussed in this review.

3. Renoprotective effects of (+)-catechin in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model

Abstract
Diabetic nephropathy is a complication of diabetes mellitus leading to end-stage renal disease. Oxidative stress and inflammation play a major role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Green tea, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, has been shown to be renoprotective. We hypothesized that (+)-catechin (CTN), a component of green tea, is responsible for the renoprotection. Our investigation of the therapeutic potential of CTN in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats demonstrated for the first time that the effects of CTN treatment were comparable with the effects of an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) enalapril for the treatment of albumin excretion. After 12 weeks of CTN treatment with 35 mg/d in the drinking water, urinary albumin excretion and plasma creatinine concentrations in all the diabetic treatment groups were reduced, compared with the diabetic group with no treatment. Urine creatinine and creatinine clearance were higher in diabetic groups treated with CTN and ACEi compared with the diabetic group with no treatment. Endothelin 1, lipid peroxidation, concentration of alanine transferase enzyme, and expression of fibronectin were lower in all the treatment groups compared with the diabetic group with no treatment. Concentrations of free thiols were higher in the CTN-treated group compared with the diabetic rats with no treatment. Our findings suggest that CTN has renoprotective properties comparable with ACEi, and coadministration of CTN and enalapril might be useful in reducing albumin excretion as well as improving endothelial function. (+)-Catechin might be successfully used in the future for clinical situations where ACEi is poorly tolerated or contraindicated.

4. Green Tea Polyphenol (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Restores Nrf2 Activity and Ameliorates Crescentic Glomerulonephritis

published: March 18, 2015https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0119543
Ting Ye , Junhui Zhen , Yong Du , Jason K. Zhou, Ai Peng, Nosratola D. Vaziri, Chandra Mohan , Yan Xu , Xin J. Zhou
From: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0119543

Abstract
Crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN) is the most severe form of GN and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality despite aggressive immunotherapy with steroids, cytotoxic drugs, and plasmapheresis. We examined the therapeutic efficacy of the green tea polyphenol (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG, 50 mg/kg BW/day x3weeks), a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent, on experimental crescentic GN induced in 129/svJ mice by administration of rabbit anti-mouse glomerular basement membrane sera. Routine histology and key molecules involved in inflammatory and redox signaling were studied. EGCG treatment significantly reduced mortality, decreased proteinuria and serum creatinine, and markedly improved renal histology when compared with vehicle-treated mice. The improvements in renal function and histology were accompanied by the restoration of Nrf2 signaling (which was impaired in vehicle-treated mice) as shown by increased nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and cytoplasmic glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit, glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit, and glutathione peroxidase. EGCG-treated mice also showed reduction in p-Akt, p-JNK, p-ERK1/2 and p-P38 as well as restoration of PPARγ and SIRT1 levels. Lower dose of EGCG (25 mg/kg BW/day x2 weeks) treatment also significantly decreased proteinuria and serum creatinine, and markedly improved renal histology when compared with vehicle-treated mice. Thus, our data illustrate the efficacy of EGCG in reversing the progression of crescentic GN in mice by targeting multiple signaling and inflammatory pathways as well as countering oxidative stress.

SUMMARY

Green Tea Extract is an exciting natural ingredient full of important polyphenols, catechins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector such an outstanding nutritional supplement. Continued research shows an amazing list of health benefits for this substance including its ability to function as a powerful stimulator of Nrf2 activity. It truly belongs in the Ultimate Protector+™ formula.

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ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ INGREDIENTS – BLUEBERRY AND BILBERRY

Dr. Hank Liers, PhDUltimate Protector+ contains blueberry and bilberry extracts, as well as components from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article, I will explore the ingredients blueberry and bilberry, which are components of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend from Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Blueberry and Bilberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Bilberry and Blueberry

SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend

SFB® is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. High in fruit polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, catechins, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, resveratrol, and quinic acid. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers over 40–50% polyphenols as well as >9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

Polyphenols, anthocyanins, and other plant components are powerful ingredients associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF
BILBERRY AND BLUEBERRY

Bilberry is any of several Eurasian  species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, bearing edible, nearly black berries. The species most often referred to is Vaccinium myrtillus L., but there are several other closely related species. Bilberries are distinct from blueberries but closely related. Whereas the bilberry is native to Europe, the blueberry is native to North America.

The bilberry fruit is smaller than that of the blueberry, but with a fuller taste. Bilberries are darker in color, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of purple. While blueberry fruit pulp is light green in color, bilberry is red or purple, heavily staining the fingers, lips, and tongue of consumers eating the raw fruit. The color comes from diverse anthocyanins.

So-called wild (lowbush) blueberries, smaller than cultivated highbush ones, are prized for their intense color. “Wild” has been adopted as a marketing term for harvests of managed native stands of lowbush blueberries. The bushes are not planted or genetically manipulated, but they are pruned or burned every two years, and pests are “managed.” The content of polyphenols and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush cultivars.

wild bilberry and wild blueberry

Wild bilberry and wild blueberry provide Nrf2 activators.

The key compounds in bilberry fruit are called anthocyanins and anthocyanosides. These compounds help build strong blood vessels and improve circulation to all areas of the body. They also prevent blood platelets from clumping together (helping to reduce the risk of blood clots), and they have antioxidant properties (preventing or reducing damage to cells from free radicals). Anthocyanins boost the production of rhodopsin, a pigment that improves night vision and helps the eye adapt to light changes.

Bilberry fruit is also rich in tannins, a substance that acts as an astringent. The tannins have anti-inflammatory properties and may help control diarrhea.

Bilberries have been shown to have the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating of more than 20 fresh fruits and berries. The antioxidant properties of bilberries were shown to be even stronger than those of cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, or cultivated blueberries.

The antioxidant powers and health benefits of bilberries and blueberries can be attributed to a number of remarkable compounds contained in them, including the following:

  • Anthocyanins
    • malvidins
    • delphinidins
    • pelargonidins
    • cyanidins
    • peonidins
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
    • caffeic acids
    • ferulic acids
    • coumaric acids
  • Hydroxybenzoic acids
    • gallic acids
    • procatchuic acids
  • Flavonols
    • kaempferol
    • quercetin
    • myricetin
  • Other phenol-related phytonutrients
    • pterostilbene
    • resveratrol
  • Other nutrients
    • lutein
    • zeaxanthin
    • Vitamin K
    • Vitamin C
    • manganese

Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of Bilberry and Blueberry

Databases of scientific studies (like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database) contain thousands of up-to-date studies and abstracts about various Vaccinium species, including wild bilberry and wild blueberry (V. myrtillis and V. angustfolium, respectively).

We provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects of wild bilberry and wild blueberry.

In vitro anticancer activity of fruit extracts from Vaccinium species.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8693031

Abstract

Fruit extracts of four Vaccinium species (lowbush blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, and lingonberry) were screened for anticarcinogenic compounds by a combination of fractionation and in vitro testing of their ability to induce the Phase II xenobiotic detoxification enzyme quinone reductase (QR) and to inhibit the induction of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the rate-limiting enzyme in polyamine synthesis, by the tumor promoter phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (TPA). The crude extracts, anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin fractions were not highly active in QR induction whereas the ethyl acetate extracts were active QR inducers. The concentrations required to double QR activity (designated CDqr) for the ethyl acetate extracts of lowbush blueberry, cranberry, lingonberry, and bilberry were 4.2, 3.7, 1.3, and 1.0 microgram tannic acid equivalents (TAE), respectively, Further fractionation of the bilberry ethyl acetate extract revealed that the majority of inducer potency was contained in a hexane/chloroform subfraction (CDqr = 0.07 microgram TAE). In contrast to their effects on QR, crude extracts of lowbush blueberry, cranberry, and lingonberry were active inhibitors of ODC activity. The concentrations of these crude extracts needed to inhibit ODC activity by 50% (designated IC50) were 8.0, 7.0, and 9.0 micrograms TAE, respectively. The greatest activity in these extracts appeared to be contained in the polymeric proanthocyanidin fractions of the lowbush blueberry, cranberry, and lingonberry fruits (IC50 = 3.0, 6.0, and 5.0 micrograms TAE, respectively). The anthocyanidin and ethyl acetate extracts of the four Vaccinium species were either inactive or relatively weak inhibitors of ODC activity. Thus, components of the hexane/chloroform fraction of bilberry and of the proanthocyanidin fraction of lowbush blueberry, cranberry, and lingonberry exhibit potential anticarcinogenic activity as evaluated by in vitro screening tests.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) anthocyanins modulate heme oxygenase-1 and glutathione S-transferase-pi expression in ARPE-19 cells.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17460300

Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine whether anthocyanin-enriched bilberry extracts modulate pre- or posttranslational levels of oxidative stress defense enzymes heme-oxygenase (HO)-1 and glutathione S-transferase-pi (GST-pi) in cultured human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.

METHODS: Confluent ARPE-19 cells were preincubated with anthocyanin and nonanthocyanin phenolic fractions of a 25% enriched extract of bilberry (10(-6)-1.0 mg/mL) and, after phenolic removal, cells were oxidatively challenged with H(2)O(2). The concentration of intracellular glutathione was measured by HPLC and free radical production determined by the dichlorofluorescin diacetate assay. HO-1 and GST-pi protein and mRNA levels were determined by Western blot and RT-PCR, respectively.

RESULTS: Preincubation with bilberry extract ameliorated the intracellular increase of H(2)O(2)-induced free radicals in RPE, though H(2)O(2) cytotoxicity was not affected. By 4 hours, the extract had upregulated HO-1 and GST-pi protein by 2.8- and 2.5-fold, respectively, and mRNA by 5.5- and 7.1-fold, respectively, in a dose-dependent manner. Anthocyanin and nonanthocyanin phenolic fractions contributed similarly to mRNA upregulation.

CONCLUSIONS: Anthocyanins and other phenolics from bilberry upregulate the oxidative stress defense enzymes HO-1 and GST-pi in RPE, suggesting that they stimulate signal transduction pathways influencing genes controlled by the antioxidant response element.

Berry anthocyanins suppress the expression and secretion of proinflammatory mediators in macrophages by inhibiting nuclear translocation of NF-κB independent of NRF2-mediated mechanism.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24565673

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to compare the anti-inflammatory effects of anthocyanins from blueberry (BBA), blackberry (BKA), and blackcurrant (BCA) and to determine the relationship between their antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory effect in macrophages. Major anthocyanins in BBA, BKA and BCA were malvidin-3-glucoside (16%), cyanidin-3-glucoside (98%) and delphinidin-3-rutinoside (44%), respectively. BKA showed higher total antioxidant capacity than BBA and BCA. RAW 264.7 macrophages were incubated with 0-20 μg/ml of BBA, BKA and BCA, and subsequently activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to measure proinflammatory cytokine production. Interleukin 1β (IL-1β) messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were significantly decreased by all berry anthocyanins at 10 μg/ml or higher. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) mRNA levels and secretion were also significantly decreased in LPS-treated macrophages. The levels of the repression were comparable for all berry anthocyanins. LPS-induced nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65 translocation to the nucleus was markedly attenuated by all of the berry anthocyanins. In bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) from nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 wild-type (Nrf2(+/+)) mice, BBA, BKA and BCA significantly decreased cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels with a concomitant decrease in IL-1β mRNA levels upon LPS stimulation. However, in the BMM from Nrf2(-/-) mice, the anthocyanin fractions were able to significantly decrease IL-1β mRNA despite the fact that ROS levels were not significantly affected. In conclusion, BBA, BKA and BCA exert their anti-inflammatory effects in macrophages, at least in part, by inhibiting nuclear translocation of NF-κB independent of the NRF2-mediated pathways.

Purified Anthocyanins from Bilberry and Black Currant Attenuate Hepatic Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Steatohepatitis in Mice with Methionine and Choline Deficiency

From: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf504926n

Abstract

The berries of bilberry and black currant are rich source of anthocyanins, which are thought to have favorable effects on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This study was designed to examine whether purified anthocyanins from bilberry and black currant are able to limit the disorders related to NASH induced by a methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet in mice. The results showed that treatment with anthocyanins not only alleviated inflammation, oxidative stress, steatosis and even fibrosis, but also improved the depletion of mitochondrial content and damage of mitochondrial biogenesis and electron transfer chain developed concomitantly in the liver of mice fed the MCD diet. Furthermore, anthocyanins treatment promoted activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). These data provide evidence that anthocyanins possess significant protective effects against NASH and mitochondrial defects in response to a MCD diet, with mechanism maybe through affecting the AMPK/PGC-1α signaling pathways.

Effect of blueberry on hepatic and immunological functions in mice.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20382588

Abstract

Background: Conventional drugs used in the treatment and prevention of liver diseases often have side effects, therefore research into natural substances are of significance. This study examined the effects of blueberry on liver protection and cellular immune functions.

METHODS: To determine the effects of blueberry on liver protective function, male mice were orally administered blueberry (0.6 g/10 g) or normal saline for 21 days. Hepatic RNA was extracted by Trizol reagent, and the expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and Nqo1 was determined by real-time RT-PCR. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in liver homogenate were determined, and liver index was measured. To assess the effects of blueberry on cellular immune function, male mice received blueberry (0.4, 0.6, or 0.8 g/10 g) for 35 days, and the percentages of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T lymphocyte subgroups in peripheral blood were detected by flow cytometry, the index of the thymus and spleen was measured, and lymphocyte proliferation in the spleen was determined by MTT assay.

RESULTS: Blueberry treatment significantly increased the expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and Nqo1, the important antioxidant components in the liver. Hepatic SOD in the blueberry group was higher and MDA was lower than that in the control group (P<0.05). Blueberry also increased the index of the spleen and enhanced the proliferation of lymphocytes of the spleen (P<0.05). The percentages of the CD3+ and CD4+ T lymphocyte subsets and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio were also increased by blueberry (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Blueberry induces expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and Nqo1, which can protect hepatocytes from oxidative stress. In addition, blueberry can modulate T-cell function in mice.

Anthocyanins: Janus Nutraceuticals Displaying Chemotherapeutic and Neuroprotective Properties

From: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-4575-9_21

Abstract

Anthocyanins are natural polyphenolic compounds widely distributed as pigments in many fruits and vegetables. In addition to displaying antioxidant properties, these nutraceuticals exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and pro-apoptotic activities suggesting their potential as novel chemotherapeutic agents. Through cell cycle down-regulation, and context-specific pro-oxidant activity, anthocyanins induce cytotoxicity in cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, via regulation of the Bcl-2 protein family and induction of caspase-dependent or caspase-independent apoptotic pathways, anthocyanins inhibit the growth of cancers by inducing cell death. Moreover, by modulating the activities of specific kinases and proteases, including (but not limited to) cyclin-dependent kinases, mitogen-activated protein kinases, matrix metalloproteases, and urokinase-type plasminogen activators, anthocyanins induce apoptosis, inhibit motility, and suppress invasion of cancer cells. In marked contrast to their effects in cancer cells, we have found that anthocyanins display significant anti-apoptotic activity in neurons. Antioxidant properties of these nutraceuticals, particularly at the level of the mitochondria, appear to underlie their neuroprotective effects. The opposing effects of anthocyanins on cancer cells and neurons suggest that these nutraceuticals are promising candidates for development as either chemotherapeutic agents or novel neuroprotective compounds for the treatment of cancers or neurodegenerative diseases, respectively.

Recent Research on Polyphenolics in Vision and Eye Health

From: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf903038r#end-1

Abstract

A long-standing yet controversial bioactivity attributed to polyphenols is their beneficial effects in vision. Although anecdotal case reports and in vitro research studies provide evidence for the visual benefits of anthocyanin-rich berries, rigorous clinical evidence of their benefits is still lacking. Recent in vitro studies demonstrate that anthocyanins and other flavonoids interact directly with rhodopsin and modulate visual pigment function. Additional in vitro studies show flavonoids protect a variety of retinal cell types from oxidative stress-induced cell death, a neuroprotective property of significance because the retina has the highest metabolic rate of any tissue and is particularly vulnerable to oxidative injury. However, more information is needed on the bioactivity of in vivo conjugates and the accumulation of flavonoids in ocular tissues. The direct and indirect costs of age-related vision impairment provide a powerful incentive to explore the potential for improved vision health through the intake of dietary polyphenolics.

Bilberry Extracts Induce Gene Expression Through the Electrophile Response Element

From: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15327914nc5401_11#.VLK6LVqBO24

Abstract

A number of genes important for detoxification and antioxidant defense induced by mild stress generated by, for example, physical activity/exercise, caloric restriction, or alcohol may provide health benefits by causing the organism to mount such a defense response. More recently, induction of these defenses has also been attributed to phytochemicals or secondary metabolites from dietary plants. Many polyphenols, which constitute a large fraction of these phytochemicals, increase cellular levels of antioxidants, such as glutathione and other components of the detoxification systems, via the transactivation of genes containing electrophile response elements (EpREs) within their promoters. One such gene, γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, has previously been shown to be positively regulated by quercetin, a flavonoid found in high concentrations in onions, apples, and bilberries through EpRE transactivation. As a further step, we have investigated whether bilberries and quercetin have the ability to induce transcription of Fos-related antigen 1 (Fra-1), which contains two EpREs in its promoter. Fra-1 is a member of the activator protein 1 (AP-1) family of transcription factors and, due to the lack of transactivation domain Fra-1, can suppress activation of AP-1. We present results demonstrating that extracts from bilberries, and the flavonoid quercetin, abundant in bilberries, induce the fra-1 promoter and the cellular content of Fra-1 mRNA. We further provide evidence that this induction is mediated through EpREs.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

From: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/nutrition-research/learning-center/plant-profiler/vaccinium-myrtillus.html

Synonyms / Common Names / Related Terms
Airelle, anthocyanins, Bickbeere (German), bilberry leaf, black whortle, Blaubeere (Dutch), blaubessen, bleaberry, blueberry, blueberry leaf, bogberry, bog bilberry, burren myrtle, cranberry, dwarf bilberry, dyeberry, Ericaceae (family), European blueberry, Heidelbeere (Dutch), Heidelbeereblatter, heidelberry, huckleberry, hurtleberry, lingonberry, lowbush blueberry, Mirtillo nero (Italian), Myrtilli folium, Myrtilli fructus, Myrtilus niger Gilib., Optiberry, resveratrol, sambubiosides, trackleberry, Vaccinium angulosum Dulac, Vaccinium montanum Salibs., Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanoside extract, VMA extract, VME, whortleberry, wineberry
Mechanism of Action

Pharmacology:

  • Constituents: Bilberry contains several compounds that have demonstrated biological activity. The main chemicals contained in bilberry extract have been shown to be: anthocyanins30,31, flavonoids, hydroquinone, oleanolic acid, neomyrtillin, sodium, tannins, and ursolic acid17,20,32,33,34. Bilberry also contains resveratrol.28,29 The anthocyanosides, tannins, and flavonoids have been of particular scientific interest. Flavonoids have been shown in vitro to possess a number of biological properties, including inhibition of prostacyclin synthesis, reduction of capillary permeability and fragility, free radical scavenging, inhibition of a wide range of enzymes, impairment of coagulation and platelet aggregation, and anticarcinogenicity.33,5
  • Mechanism of action: Anthocyanins and other phenolics from bilberry upregulate the oxidative stress defense enzymes heme-oxygenase-1 and glutathione S-transferase-pin cultured human retinal pigment epithelial cells, suggesting that they stimulate signal transduction pathways, influencing genes controlled by the antioxidant response element.30
  • Antibacterial effects: In an in vitro study using Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus aureus Oxford, Enterococcus faecalisBacillus subtilis, and Escherichia coli, an aqueous extract of bilberry leaves had a MIC of 12.7-17.8mg/mL and an aqueous extract of bilberry fruit had a MIC of 15.4-30.7mg/mL.24
  • Anticarcinogenic effects: In an in vitro study, anthocyanin-rich extracts from bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) inhibited the growth of a colon cancer cell line.6
  • Bomser et al. screened fruit extracts of bilberry for potential anticarcinogenic compounds by a combination of fractionation and in vitro testing of their ability to induce the Phase 2 xenobiotic detoxification enzyme quinone reductase (QR) and to inhibit the induction of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the rate-limiting enzyme in polyamine synthesis, by the tumor promoter phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (TPA).5 The crude extracts, anthocyanin, and proanthocyanidin fractions were not found to be highly active in Phase 2 xenobiotic detoxification enzyme quinone reductase (QR) induction, whereas the ethyl acetate extracts were active QR inducers. The concentrations required to double QR activity (designated CDqr) for the ethyl acetate extracts of bilberry were 1.0mcg tannic acid equivalents (TAE). Further fractionation of the bilberry ethyl acetate extract revealed that the majority of inducer potency was contained in a hexane/chloroform subfraction (CDqr = 0.07mcg TAE). The anthocyanidin and ethyl acetate extracts of bilberry were either inactive or relatively weak inhibitors of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity. The authors concluded that components of the hexane/chloroform fraction of bilberry exhibit potential anticarcinogenic activity, as evaluated by in vitro screening tests.
  • Antihyperglycemic effects: In normal and depancreatized dogs, oral administration of bilberry leaves reduced hyperglycemia, even when the glucose was injected intravenously concurrently.15,16
  • Antioxidant effects: Bilberry contains anthocyanosides that are flavonoid derivatives of anthocyanins (the blue, red, or violet pigments found in many berry varieties), which are closely related in structure and activity to flavonoids17 and possess free radical scavenging/antioxidant properties. Antioxidant properties have been attributed to bilberry based on in vitro studies.1,2,34
  • Antiplatelet activity: In a clinical study of 30 subjects with normal platelet aggregation, 480mg of Myrtocyan® (Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanins) daily, 3g of ascorbic acid daily, or both treatments all reduced platelet aggregation after 30 and 60 days.11 Bilberry anthocyanins reduced platelet aggregation more than ascorbic acid alone, but bilberry anthocyanins and ascorbic acid together were the most effective. Also, in in vitro studies, anthocyanins extracted from bilberry have inhibited platelet aggregation.13,14,10,12
  • Flavonoids have been shown in vitro to inhibit prostacyclin synthesis. In one animal model, Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanosides were studied for their effects on prostacyclin-like activity in rat arterial issue.7
  • Antiproliferative effects: According to one laboratory study, anthocyanins were the predominant phenolic compounds in bilberry extracts.31 Compared to other plants with anthocyanins, such as black currant or lingonberry, cell growth inhibition was greater for bilberry than other plants studied. The pro-apoptosis marker, Bax, was increased 1.3-fold in bilberry-treated cells, whereas the pro-survival marker, Bcl-2, was detected only in control cells. The results demonstrated that bilberry and other berry extracts containing anthocyanins inhibited cancer cell proliferation, mainly via the p21WAF1 pathway.
  • Antiulcer effects: In an animal study, large doses of cyanidin chloride from bilberry significantly increased gastric mucosal release of prostaglandin E2.19 In animal models of gastric ulcers, cyanidin chloride showed antiulcer activity.26,8
  • Astringent effects: Bilberry contains tannins that have been used medicinally as astringents and to treat diarrhea.
  • Connective tissue stabilizing effects: An in vitro study has suggested that anthocyanosides appear to stabilize connective tissue by enhancing collagen synthesis, inhibiting collagen degradation, and enhancing collagen cross linking.35 In contrast, Boniface et al. found a significant decrease in connective tissue synthesis (collagen and glycoproteins) in gingival tissue samples of 12 adult diabetics treated with 600mg of anthocyanosides daily for two months.36
  • Hepatoprotective activity: In an animal study, anthocyans exerted a protective effect on liver cells.27
  • Hyperglycemic effects: In an oral glucose tolerance test in healthy rats, an alcoholic extract of Vaccinium myrtillus leaves increased serum glucose levels compared to controls.25
  • Hypotensive effects: Bilberry has been theorized to potentially drop blood pressure, based on pre-clinical evidence of vascular smooth muscle-relaxing properties.21,22,23
  • Anthocyanoside extracts have been shown to have smooth muscle-relaxing activity, which may account for their purported effects in one series of women with dysmenorrhea.18 Bioflavonoids and extracts of anthocyanosides (such as those present in bilberry) have been shown to relax vascular smooth muscles in experimental models, possibly via stimulation of prostaglandins.21,22,23
  • Intracellular signaling effects: Anthocyanosides have been shown to inhibit cAMP phosphodiesterase, which is involved in intracellular signal transduction pathways.8
  • Ocular effects: Anthocyanosides have been shown to exert direct effects on the retina, including the alteration of local enzymatic reactions and enhancement of the recovery of rhodopsin.9 The multi-ingredient product Mirtogenol (Pycnogenol® – French maritime pine bark extract and Mirtoselect® – standardized bilberry extract) has been reported to lower intraocular pressure and improve ocular blood flow.37
  • Smooth muscle relaxant effects: Anthocyanoside extracts have been shown to have smooth muscle-relaxing activity, which may account for their purported effects in one series of women with dysmenorrhea.18 Bioflavonoids and extracts of anthocyanosides (such as those present in bilberry) have been shown to relax vascular smooth muscles in experimental models, possibly via stimulation of prostaglandins.21,22,23
  • Vasoprotective effects: Flavonoids have been shown in vitro to reduce capillary permeability and fragility. Anthocyanosides have been studied for their potential protective effect in disorders due to abnormal capillary fragility.33

Pharmacodynamics/Kinetics:

  • There are limited data regarding the pharmacodynamics and kinetics of Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) anthocyanosides (VMA). In one animal study, bilberry anthocyanosides were rapidly distributed after intra-peritoneal injection and intravenous administration.38 In another animal study, bilberry anthocyanosides were found to be eliminated via the bile and urine with a modest level of liver extraction.32
  • Bioavailability in animals is low. Following oral doses in rats, plasma levels of VMA reached a peak at 15 minutes and declined rapidly within two hours, and the absolute bioavailability was 1.2% of the administered dose.38 The gastrointestinal absorption of VMA was 5% of the administered dose. Another study found a differential affinity of VMA for certain tissues (especially skin and kidney).20 This suggests that different tissues may have more persistent local concentrations.
References:

  1. Martin-Aragon S, Basabe B, Benedi JM, and et all. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant properties of Vaccinium myrtillus. Pharmaceutical Biology 1999;37(2):109-113.
  2. Prior R, Cao G, Martin A, and et all. Antioxidant capacity as influence by total phenolic and anthocyanin content, maturity, and variety of Vaccinium species. J Agricult Food Chem 1998;46:2686-2693.
  3. Martin-Aragon S, Basabe B, Benedi J, and et all. Antioxidant action of Vaccinium myrtillus L. Phytotherapy 1998;46:S104-S106.
  4. Laplaud, P. M., Lelubre, A., and Chapman, M. J. Antioxidant action of Vaccinium myrtillus extract on human low density lipoproteins in vitro: initial observations. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 1997;11(1):35-40. 9182074
  5. Bomser, J., Madhavi, D. L., Singletary, K., and Smith, M. A. In vitro anticancer activity of fruit extracts from Vaccinium species. Planta Med 1996;62(3):212-216.
  6. Zhao, C., Giusti, M. M., Malik, M., Moyer, M. P., and Magnuson, B. A. Effects of commercial anthocyanin-rich extracts on colonic cancer and nontumorigenic colonic cell growth. J Agric Food Chem  10-6-2004;52(20):6122-6128. 15453676
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BLUEBERRY & BILBERRY SUMMARY

Wild bilberries and wild blueberries are important fruits full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.