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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

PRO-C super antioxidant formula 180 cap 90 cap

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


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


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

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

Dr. Packer continues:

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

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

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

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

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

grapes grape extract antioxidant

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Polymeric procyanidin fraction from defatted grape seeds protects HepG2 cells against oxidative stress by inducing phase II enzymes via Nrf2 activation.
Younghwa Kim, Youngmin Choi, Hyeonmi Ham, Heon-Sang Jeong, Junsoo Lee
Kim, Y., Choi, Y., Ham, H. et al. Food Sci Biotechnol (2013) 22: 485. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-013-0105-x

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


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

Green tea antioxidant polyphenols catechins

Green tea leaves are high in antioxidant polyphenols and catechins.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

* No established Daily Value

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

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

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

Click here to order PRO-C™.



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

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


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

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

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

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


PRO-C™ / Vitamin C Abstracts

Catechin Abstracts

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) Abstracts

Lipoic Acid Abstracts


(Therapeutic Nutrition Based Upon Biochemical Individuality)


PRO-C™Super Antioxidant Formula

Ultimate Protector™Nrf2 Activator Formula


HPDI Vitamin C Products



Dr. Hank Liers, PhD antioxidant formulasI have written extensively regarding the benefits HPDI’s PRO-C™ and Ultimate Protector™ antioxidant formulas. Based upon my experience with these formulas they are among the most effective antioxidant formulas available.

Both antioxidant formulas are included in HPDI’s system of foundational supplements and work most effectively when used with multivitamins, essential fats, and superfoods.

Yet, both formulas also are excellent standalone products that can rapidly provide the body with extremely high protection against free radicals.
Ultimate Protector antioxidant formulas

We are often asked “which of these two antioxidant formulas should I take?” My answer usually is to take both formulas. I personally take both of them on a daily basis.

Below I will briefly show the reason my answer is to take both formulas. I include information showing the relationship, in terms of ingredients of the two formulas (per serving of three (3) capsules daily of PRO-C and six (6) capsules daily of Ultimate Protector).

Ultimate Protector


PRO-C™ (per serving of three “00” veggie caps)

• Buffered non-GMO Vitamin C (1,500 mg)  buffered with Ca/Mg/Zn
• Grape Extract (seed, skin, and pulp) (90 mg)
• Green Tea Extract 95% polyphenols 40% min. EGCG (90 mg)
• Glutathione – reduced (60 mg)
• N-Acetyl-l-Cysteine (NAC) (45 mg)
• R-Lipoic Acid (15 mg)
• Coenzyme B2/R5P (3 mg)
• Coenzyme B6/P5P (3 mg)
• Selenium from l-selenomethionine (30 mcg)
• Calcium (70 mg)
• Magnesium (70 mg)
• Zinc (6 mg)

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR™ (per serving of six “0” veggie caps)

• Vitamin C as non-GMO Ascorbic acid (1500 mg)
• Anthocomplete™ (135 mg)  Wild Blueberry, Wild Bilberry, Acai, Black Currant Extract, Sweet Cherry, Raspberry, Elderberry, Blackberry, Aronia, Black Soybean Hull Extract, and Blue Corn
• CoffeeBerry®Forte (135 mg)
• Vitaberry® Plus (90 mg) freeze-dried Grape Seed, Wild Blueberry, Wild Bilberry, Cranberry, Tart Cherry, Prune, Raspberry Seed, Strawberry, Trans-Resveratrol, and Quercetin
• VitaVeggie® (90 mg)  Broccoli, Broccoli Sprouts, Tomato, Kale, Carrot, Brussels Sprouts, Onion, and Spinach
• Curcumin 95%  (90 mg)
• Trans-Resveratrol 98% (90 mg)
• Malic Acid (500 mg)
• Calcium (60 mg)
• Magnesium (60 mg)
• BioPerine® (7.5 mg)

The products together contain nine (9) unique PRO-C™ ingredients, eight (8) unique Ultimate Protector™ ingredients, and three (3) overlapping ingredients.



When PRO-C™ was first released in 1997 there were few publications available regarding Nrf2 ingredients and their benefits. The product design was based on the work of Dr. Lester Packer and his work done on the “Antioxidant Network” showing how nutrients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Glutathione, and Lipoic acid work in a redox network to regenerate key nutrients in the body (see Figure 1. below)

doctor lester packer antioxidant formulas

                                                Figure 1. – Dr. Packer’s Antioxidant Network

At that time the powerful antioxidant formulas of Grape Seed Extract and Green Tea Extract were well known, but their powerful Nrf2 effects were not discovered until later. These ingredients are able to trap free radicals and conserve the body’s store of network antioxidants.

Also, the Nrf2 effects of NAC and Lipoic acid were not known at the time, but their powerful effects on the body were known to support the production of glutathione. Additionally, the super powerful glutathione (reduced) was included with supporting coenzymes B2 (from riboflavin 5′-phosphate) and B6 (from pyridoxal 5′-phosphate) that allow the enzymes glutathione reductase and transferase to function at a higher level.


From the beginning of the design process, Ultimate Protector™ (UP) was focused on creating a highly effective Nrf2 activator formula with outstanding antioxidant effects. Our understanding was that a very broad spectrum of plant polyphenols including flavonoids, anthocyandins, oligoproanthocyanidins (OPCs), etc. would deliver the best results.

We selected Futureceuticals Anthocomplete™, CoffeeBerry® Forte, Vitaberry® Plus, and VitaVeggie® in order to accomplish this and added Curcumin 95%, and Trans-Resveratrol 98% because of the powerful scientific findings regarding Nrf2 activation for these two ingredients. We found out later in testing that this combination of ingredients produces very high ORAC5.0 values (486,000 units/serving of six capsules) and works effectively against all of the primary types of free radicals in the body.


Ultimate Protector versus PRO-C antioxidant formulas

Venn diagram showing unique and overlapping ingredients in PRO-C and Ultimate Protector.

There are 29 unique Nrf2 activator ingredients in Ultimate Protector (UP) and four (4) non-overlapping Nrf2 activator ingredients in PRO-C. Thus by taking both formulas you are able to receive 33 identifiable Nrf2 activator ingredients (870 mg). The amount of unique Nrf2 ingredients is probably significantly more than this because most of the identifiable ingredients contain a range of plant polyphenols.

Other unique ingredients of each formula include glutathione – reduced (60 mg), malic acid (500 mcg), zinc (6 mg), selenium (30 mcg), B2 (3 mg) and B6 (3 mg) from coenzyme forms, and Bioperine (7.5 mg) (for enhanced absorption of nutrients). These are important ingredients to have the formulas work more effectively together.

The overlapping ingredients in the formula include Vitamin C (3 gm – 1.5 gm from each formula), calcium (130 mg – 70 mg from PRO-C & 60 mg from UP), magnesium (130 mg – 70 mg from PRO-C & 60 mg from UP), and a little grape seed extract (~10 mg). We view this to be very positive especially because we believe that most people should take in at least 3 grams daily of Vitamin C. Equal amounts of calcium and magnesium balance each other in the body and have many important functions such as being part of critical enzymes.


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

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



You can reach HPDI by calling 1-800-228-4265, email support(at)IntegratedHealth.com, or visit the retail website: IntegratedHealth.com

Health care professionals and resellers can apply for wholesale account, which includes access to the HPDI reseller website: HealthProductsDistributors.com. Email: Support(at)HealthProductsDistributors.com.



Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist strawberriesUltimate Protector™ contains freeze dried strawberries, as well as components from 29 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 strawberries, which is a component of VitaBerry Plus® from Futureceuticals.


VitaBerry® (N1023) is the trade name for a line of high ORAC blends of fruit powders and fruit extracts, exclusively available through FutureCeuticals.

VitaBerry® is a proprietary formula that combines wild bilberry and wild blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, prune, cherry, and grape whole powders and extracts into lines of custom blends. High in fruit polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, resveratrol, and quinic acid, VitaBerry offers 6,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

VitaBerry® Plus (N81.3) combines the standard blend of VitaBerry® with resveratrol and quercetin to deliver a minimum of 12,000 ORAC units per gram.

Strawberry strawberries


Strawberries long have grown wild in the world’s temperate regions. They have been cultivated for several thousand years and were prized among the ancient Romans. Most of the common varieties of strawberry derive from a hybrid (Frangaria x ananassa). Strawberries have an ORAC value of 1,540, which is very high among the fruits and vegetables tested by the USDA. They are a good source of vitamins C, K, B2, B5, B6, and folate. They also contain appreciable amounts of the minerals manganese, iodine, and potassium, as well as dietary fiber.

Like other berries, the antioxidants contained in strawberries may be useful against diseases of the heart and arteries by preventing the oxidation of lipids. The phytonutrient phenols most abundant in strawberries are anthocyanins and ellagitannins. The anthocyanins help to prevent oxidative damage from free radicals in body. The unique phenol profile of the strawberry enables it not only to protect the heart, but also to fight inflammation. Studies have shown that strawberries also protect the brain from oxidative stress and may therefore reduce age-related cognitive decline in brain function. Strawberries have been shown to be Nrf2 activators that can stimulate the endogenous production of protective enzymes in the body.

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

  • Anthocyanins
    • cyanidins
    • pelargonidins
  • Flavonols
    • procyanidins
    • catechins
    • gallocatechins
    • epicatechins
    • kaempferol
    • quercetin
  • Hydroxy-benzoic acids
    • ellagic acid
    • gallic acid
    • vanillic acid*
    • salicylic acid
  • Hydroxy-cinnamic acids
    • cinnamic acid
    • coumaric acid
    • caffeic acid
    • ferulic acid
  • Tannins
    • ellagitannins
    • gallotannins
  • Stilbenes
    • resveratrol

For more information on strawberries visit: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32

Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of Strawberries

Below, I provide relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of strawberries.

Strawberry as a functional food: an evidence-based review

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24345049


Emerging research provides substantial evidence to classify strawberries as a functional food with several preventive and therapeutic health benefits. Strawberries, a rich source of phytochemicals (ellagic acid, anthocyanins, quercetin, and catechin) and vitamins (ascorbic acid and folic acid), have been highly ranked among dietary sources of polyphenols and antioxidant capacity. It should however be noted that these bioactive factors can be significantly affected by differences in strawberry cultivars, agricultural practices, storage, and processing methods: freezing versus dry heat has been associated with maximum retention of strawberry bioactives in several studies. Nutritional epidemiology shows inverse association between strawberry consumption and incidence of hypertension or serum C-reactive protein; controlled feeding studies have identified the ability of strawberries to attenuate high-fat diet induced postprandial oxidative stress and inflammation, or postprandial hyperglycemia, or hyperlipidemia in subjects with cardiovascular risk factors. Mechanistic studies have elucidated specific biochemical pathways that might confer these protective effects of strawberries: upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity, downregulation of NF-kB activity and subsequent inflammation, or inhibitions of carbohydrate digestive enzymes. These health effects may be attributed to the synergistic effects of nutrients and phytochemicals in strawberries. Further studies are needed to define the optimal dose and duration of strawberry intake in affecting levels of biomarkers or pathways related to chronic diseases.

Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Types of Berries


Berries, especially members of several families, such as Rosaceae (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry), and Ericaceae (blueberry, cranberry), belong to the best dietary sources of bioactive compounds (BAC). They have delicious taste and flavor, have economic importance, and because of the antioxidant properties of BAC, they are of great interest also for nutritionists and food technologists due to the opportunity to use BAC as functional foods ingredients. The bioactive compounds in berries contain mainly phenolic compounds (phenolic acids, flavonoids, such as anthocyanins and flavonols, and tannins) and ascorbic acid. These compounds, either individually or combined, are responsible for various health benefits of berries, such as prevention of inflammation disorders, cardiovascular diseases, or protective effects to lower the risk of various cancers. In this review bioactive compounds of commonly consumed berries are described, as well as the factors influencing their antioxidant capacity and their health benefits.

Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22535616


Objective: Berries are high in flavonoids, especially anthocyanidins, and improve cognition in experimental studies. We prospectively evaluated whether greater long-term intakes of berries and flavonoids are associated with slower rates of cognitive decline in older women.

Methods: Beginning in 1980, a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire was administered every 4 years to Nurses’ Health Study participants. In 1995–2001, we began measuring cognitive function in 16,010 participants, aged ≥70 years; follow-up assessments were conducted twice, at 2-year intervals. To ascertain long-term diet, we averaged dietary variables from 1980 through the initial cognitive interview. Using multivariate-adjusted, mixed linear regression, we estimated mean differences in slopes of cognitive decline by long-term berry and flavonoid intakes.

Results: Greater intakes of blueberries and strawberries were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline (eg, for a global score averaging all 6 cognitive tests, for blueberries: p-trend = 0.014 and mean difference = 0.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.01–0.07, comparing extreme categories of intake; for strawberries: p-trend = 0.022 and mean difference = 0.03, 95% CI = 0.00–0.06, comparing extreme categories of intake), after adjusting for multiple potential confounders. These effect estimates were equivalent to those we found for approximately 1.5 to 2.5 years of age in our cohort, indicating that berry intake appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. Additionally, in further supporting evidence, greater intakes of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline (p-trends = 0.015 and 0.053, respectively, for the global score).

Interpretation: Higher intake of flavonoids, particularly from berries, appears to reduce rates of cognitive decline in older adults.

Addition of strawberries to the usual diet decreases resting chemiluminescence of fasting blood in healthy subjects-possible health-promoting effect of these fruits consumption

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24912053


OBJECTIVE: Regular strawberry consumption augmented plasma antioxidant activity and decreased lipid peroxidation suggests preventive potential of these fruits against oxidative stress-dependent disorders. Blood phagocytes are important source of oxidants that may contribute to systemic oxidative stress. We examined the effect of strawberry consumption on the luminol enhanced whole blood chemiluminescence (LBCL) reflecting oxidants generation by circulating phagocytes in healthy subjects.

METHODS: Thirty-one healthy subjects (being on their usual diet) consumed 500 g of strawberry pulp daily (between 11.00-14.00) for 30 days (1st strawberry course) and after 10 day wash-out the cycle was repeated (2nd strawberry course). Fasting blood and spot morning urine samples were collected before and after each strawberry course for measuring resting and agonist (fMLP)-induced LBCL, various phenolics and plasma antioxidant activity. Twenty subjects served as a control in respect to LBCL changes over the study period.

RESULTS: Strawberry consumption decreased median resting LBCL and this effect was more evident after the 1st course (by 38.2%, p < 0.05) than after the the 2nd one (18.7%), while fMLP-induced LBCL was constant. No changes in LBCL were noted in controls. Strawberries increased fasting plasma levels of caffeic acid and homovanillic acid as well as urolithin A and 4-hydroxyhippuric acid in spot urine. Plasma antioxidant activity and the number of circulating phagocytes did not change over the study period. Resting LBCL correlated positively with the number of circulating polymorphonuclear leukocytes at all occasions and negative correlation with plasma 4-hydroxyhippuric acid was noted especially after the first strawberry course (r = -0.46, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The decrease in resting LBCL suggests that regular strawberry consumption may suppress baseline formation of oxidants by circulating phagocytes. This may decrease the risk of systemic imbalance between oxidants and anti-oxidants and be one of mechanisms of health-promoting effect of these fruits consumption.

Consumption of strawberries on a daily basis increases the non-urate 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity of fasting plasma in healthy subjects

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25120279


Strawberries contain anthocyanins and ellagitanins which have antioxidant properties. We determined whether the consumption of strawberries increase the plasma antioxidant activity measured as the ability to decompose 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) in healthy subjects. The study involved 10 volunteers (age 41 ± 6 years, body weight 74.4 ± 12.7 kg) that consumed 500 g of strawberries daily for 9 days and 7 matched controls. Fasting plasma and spot morning urine samples were collected at baseline, during fruit consumption and after a 6 day wash-out period. DPPH decomposition was measured in both deproteinized native plasma specimens and pretreated with uricase (non-urate plasma). Twelve phenolics were determined with HPLC. Strawberries had no effect on the antioxidant activity of native plasma and circulating phenolics. Non-urate plasma DPPH decomposition increased from 5.7 ± 0.6% to 6.6 ± 0.6%, 6.5 ± 1.0% and 6.3 ± 1.4% after 3, 6 and 9 days of supplementation, respectively. The wash-out period reversed this activity back to 5.7 ± 0.8% (p<0.01). Control subjects did not reveal any changes of plasma antioxidant activity. Significant increase in urinary urolithin A and 4-hydroxyhippuric (by 8.7- and 5.9-times after 6 days of supplementation with fruits) was noted. Strawberry consumption can increase the non-urate plasma antioxidant activity which, in turn, may decrease the risk of systemic oxidants overactivity.

One-month strawberry-rich anthocyanin supplementation ameliorates cardiovascular risk, oxidative stress markers and platelet activation in humans

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24406274


Strawberries are an important fruit in the Mediterranean diet because of their high content of essential nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals, which seem to exert beneficial effects in human health. Healthy volunteers were supplemented daily with 500 g of strawberries for 1 month. Plasma lipid profile, circulating and cellular markers of antioxidant status, oxidative stress and platelet function were evaluated at baseline, after 30 days of strawberry consumption and 15 days after the end of the study. A high concentration of vitamin C and anthocyanins was found in the fruits. Strawberry consumption beneficially influenced the lipid profile by significantly reducing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides levels (-8.78%, -13.72% and -20.80%, respectively; P<.05) compared with baseline period, while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol remained unchanged. Strawberry supplementation also significant decreased serum malondialdehyde, urinary 8-OHdG and isoprostanes levels (-31.40%, -29.67%, -27.90%, respectively; P<.05). All the parameters returned to baseline values after the washout period. A significant increase in plasma total antioxidant capacity measured by both ferric reducing ability of plasma and oxygen radical absorbance capacity assays and vitamin C levels (+24.97%, +41.18%, +41.36%, respectively; P<.05) was observed after strawberry consumption. Moreover, the spontaneous and oxidative hemolysis were significant reduced (-31.7% and -39.03%, respectively; P<.05), compared to the baseline point, which remained stable after the washout period. Finally, strawberry intake significant decrease (P<.05) the number of activated platelets, compared to both baseline and washout values. Strawberries consumption improves plasma lipids profile, biomarkers of antioxidant status, antihemolytic defenses and platelet function in healthy subjects, encouraging further evaluation on a population with higher cardiovascular disease risk.

Impact of strawberries on human health: insight into marginally discussed bioactive compounds for the Mediterranean diet


OBJECTIVE: To review and update the current knowledge on the potential impact of strawberry on human health, with particular attention on compounds and indirect mechanisms of action not exhaustively considered.

DESIGN: Personal perspectives and recent data.

SETTING: International.

RESULTS: Our research group was among the few groups that have recently investigated the folate content in fresh, stored and processed strawberries, and the data look very promising. As well, some in vivo evidence of the impact of strawberry intake on the folate status in humans have already been reported, but a new increasing interest on this field is strongly hoped. Furthermore, the hypouricaemic effects previously ascribed to cherry consumption need to be evaluated in respect to strawberry intake. At the moment, inconsistent results come from the few investigations designed at this proposal. In our studies, a great interindividual variability was observed on plasma urate levels in response to strawberry intake, suggesting a putative effect.

CONCLUSIONS: The mechanisms responsible for the potential health-promoting effects of strawberry may not be necessarily searched in the activity of phytochemicals. Particularly, a greater interest should be addressed to show whether a prolonged strawberry consumption may effectively improve the folate status and reduce the incidence of folate-related pathological conditions. Furthermore, the hypouricaemic effects of cherries need to be evaluated also in respect to strawberry intake, and the mechanisms of actions and anti-gout potentialities need to be studied in detail. Future investigations involving human trials should be aimed at following these underestimated scientific tracks.

strawberry strawberries fruit


Strawberries are an important fruit full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector such an outstanding nutritional supplement.


Contact Us:

You can reach HPDI by calling 1-800-228-4265, email support(at)IntegratedHealth.com, or visit the retail website: www.IntegratedHealth.com

Health care professionals and retailers can apply for wholesale account, which includes access to the HPDI reseller website: www.HealthProductsDistributors.com


Frequently Asked Questions About Our Products

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD productsWe frequently receive questions about our products and share the answers with you on our blog. If you have questions please e-mail us at support(at)integratedhealth.com. We will answer your questions directly, and likely include your question and our answer in a future products FAQ blog article.



Q. How Much Protein is in Rejuvenate! Plus and What are the Sources?

Rejuvenate! PlusA. The protein (11.7 gm total per serving) profile in Rejuvenate! Plus is 30% rice protein (organic & non-GMO), 16% vegetable sprouts/pea protein (organic), 11% hemp protein (organic), 11% protein from chlorella, 9% protein from alfalfa grass, 7% from spirulina (Hawaii Pacifica), 6% from flax seeds (organic), 3% from nutritional yeast, and the rest from miscellaneous other ingredients. This is a beautiful blend of a large number of healthy protein sources!!

The rice protein we do use amounts to 5.0 gm per 31 gram serving and is a blend of 80% Orzatein (organic) from China and 47.5% non-gmo grown in California. The net amount of the 80% orzatein (organic) from China in the product is 3.3 grams (a small amount!). Please be advised that we routinely test Rejuvenate! Plus for heavy metals and have never seen significant amounts of any heavy metals.

Personally, four members of my family including me take 1 or 2 servings of Rejuvenate! Plus daily and have done so for many years with excellent results. We are very particular about the foods we put in our body!!

Q. What are the Sources of Enzymes, Soy, and Vitamin D3 in Rejuvenate! Plus?

A. The enzymes are plant based. Protease Enzymes from Aspergillus oryzae ferment. Cellulase Enzymes from Trichoderma oryzae ferment. Alpha-Galactosidase enzymes from Aspergillus niger ferment. CereCalase enzymes (contains hemicellulase, beta-glucanase & phytase) from Aspergillus niger ferment.

The product contains d-alpha tocopheryl succinate. This ingredient is characterized as “soy-antigen free” because of the way it is processed. PCR testing reveals no soy protein even though it originally comes from soy. High-gamma mixed tocopherols is characterized as “soy-antigen free” because of the way it is processed. PCR testing reveals no soy protein even though it originally comes from soy.

The Vitamin D3 is extracted from lanolin. Lanolin is extracted from wool (sheep).

Q. What Form of Vitamin B3 is in Rejuvenate! Plus and will It Cause Flushing?

A. There is 40 mg of the B3 in Rejuvenate! Plus as niacinamide. This form of B3 will not cause flushing.

Q. What Part of the Aloe Vera Plant is in Your Rejuvenate Plus Product?

A. Rejuvenate! Plus contains Organic ActivAloe® 200:1 from gel that is made into a powder.

Q. Do Your Rejuvenate! Products Contain Any Nut or Soy Allergens?

Rejuveante OriginalA. I checked with the manufacturer and was assured that there is no soy or nut allergens in the Rejuvenate, Rejuvenate Plus, or Rejuvenate Berries & Herbs products.

Q. How Do You Make Rejuvenate! Original Lemonade?

A. Rejuvenate! Original lemonade consists of one scoop of Rejuvenate! Original, 2–3 tablespoons of organic lemon juice (fresh or Santa Cruz brand), and 2–3 tablespoons of organic grade B maple syrup. Put these ingredients in a one-quart glass Mason jar and fill with purified water (and maybe some ice made from purified water). Some people like to add a bit of cayenne. This is a great summertime drink!

Q. How Much Rice Bran Oil is in Complete E?

A. There is approximately 250 mg of rice bran oils per capsule in addition to the Vitamin E. The profile of fatty acids is approximately 38% monounsaturated, 37% polyunsaturated, and 25% saturated fatty acids. This amounts to about 100 mg of polyunsaturated fatty acids per capsule. Very little, but useful!

Q. I Want to Know More About the Black Soybean Hull Extract in Ultimate Protector.

up-product-includesA. Black soybean hull extract contains a high percentage of polyphenols (greater than 60% and as high as 100%) including 10–45% anthocyanidins, 10–25% catechins, and 40–80% OPC. There is unlikely to be any soy protein or phytoestrogens in the product due to the extraction processes used. (See: http://www.google.com/patents/US8206764).

Q. I Want to know How Much Caffeine is in Ultimate Protector.

A. A study done on CoffeeBerry extract shows a 0.44% caffeine content. Since each capsule contains 45 mg of the extract the amount of caffeine per capsule is about 0.2 mg (or 1.2 mg per serving of 6 capsules). (See: http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/news/study-compares-higher-antioxidant-coffee-fruit-extract-coffee-powder).

Q. I Want to Know More About the Blue Corn Extract in Ultimate Protector, and if it contains aspergillus mold.

A. Ultimate Protector contains an extract of blue corn optimized for the anthocyanidin content. Due to the extraction process, it is unlikely that the final material contains any aspergillus. Also, since there is only a small amount of blue corn extract in the product (I estimate less than 5 mg per capsule) it is even more unlikely that aspergillus is a problem.

Q. Does the Vitamin C in Ultimate Protector contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)?

A. The process of producing Vitamin C involves using the starting material of d-glucose derived from plant materials such as corn, beets, potatoes, cassava, etc. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstein_process). Each of these starting materials will contain some protein that could be in part from genetically modified materials. In most cases—especially in the production of USP grade materials that we use in Ultimate Protector™—the protein will be completely removed. As a precaution that no genetically modified protein remains, PCR testing is conducted (See: http://www.nongmoproject.org/product-verification/about-gmo-testing/guidelines/). The Vitamin C we use in Ultimate Protector™ has been tested using this method, and is certified by independent laboratories to contain no GMOs.

Q. Is There Any Vitamin E in Ultimate Protector Product?

A. There is no Vitamin E in Ultimate Protector. The Vitamin C per cap is 250 mg which is 415% of the Vitamin C RDA. Once in the body, the Vitamin C is able to regenerate oxidized Vitamin E to its unoxidized form. The other main ingredients in Ultimate Protector are plant-based antioxidants (external) and other plant-based substances (called Nrf2 activators) that stimulate the body to make it own antioxidants (internal). In this regard, it is a very powerful supplement!

Q. What are the Plant Sources in Ultimate Protector that provide High ORAC5.0 Values?

A. There are six ingredients that provide high ORAC values. Three of these ingredients (AnthoComplete®, VitaBerry® Plus, and VitaVeggie®) are a mixture of extracts from a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Below each of the ingredients are listed along with website/product information:

1) AnthoComplete® from Futureceuticals (http://www.futureceuticals.com/products/anthocomplete™),
2) CoffeeBerry® Forte from Futureceuticals (http://www.futureceuticals.com/products/coffee-fruit),
3) VitaBerry® Plus from Futureceuticals (http://www.futureceuticals.com/products/vitaberry®),
4) VitaVeggie® from Futureceuticals (http://www.futureceuticals.com/products/vitaveggie®).
5) Resveratrol (98% min.) is derived from the Giant Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
6) Curcumin (95% min. curcuminoids) from Sabinsa (http://www.sabinsa.com/products/standardized-phytoextracts/c3/)

All of these sources are non-GMO. None of our sources claim organic. This in part may be because they are extracts and as such may have been processed in a manner not considered to be organic. Please consider that this is a nutritional supplement and not a food.

Q. What Form of 5-MTHF Do You Use in Your Products?

A. We use only the Quatrefolic form of folate made by the Italian company Gnosis. See: http://www.quatrefolic.com/4thGeneration.html. This contains only the active non-racemic form of folate and no folic acid. Quatrefolic®, provides the metabolic reduced form utilized and stored in the human body – (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate.

Q. Why is the Number of Organisms in Your Prescript-Assist™ Formula Low Compared to Other Probiotics?

A. It turns out that it’s an example of the old story of trying to compare apples to oranges. SBO (soil-based organisms), the type found in Prescript Assist, are much more hardy and not destroyed as easily by pH differences in your stomach and intestines like the traditional lactic acid probiotics that have crowded the refrigerators in health food stores for many years.

Have you noticed that in recent years typical probiotics have gone from 5–10 million CFUs (Colony-Forming Units) to 30–50 million CFUs? Why are all of these probiotic formulas competing on this level? Because lactic-acid based probiotics are killed off by the millions on their journey through your stomach acids and the pH changes in the intestines. Very few make it to their intended target and even fewer colonize there very well once they make it compared to the sturdier SBOs.

Prescript AssistSoil-Based Organisms (SBO) are extremely hardy and can make this journey with far, far more organisms colonizing their target. They also do not degrade when kept at room temperature for many months. They do not have to be refrigerated like the traditional lactic acid probiotics, which lose their potency and effectiveness quickly when left unrefrigerated or when they are shipped through the mail without dry ice.

Prescript-Assist goes even a step further by providing prebiotics for the SBOs so that when they arrive in your lower intestinal tract, they have the preferred foods necessary for quick colonization and growth. The 29 strains they have chosen for this product are far more comprehensive than traditional probiotics that have 5–10 strains.

Q. Is Prescript-Assist Toxic?

A. Over the last 10 years a very large number of people have taken Prescript Assist with excellent results. The overall statistics say that it works and is generally safe.

It is true that some people have felt that Prescript-Assist has not helped them and in fact they may feel worse. My assessment of this is that these people have severe gut dysbiosis and experience die-off like symptoms upon taking it. These individuals need to go more slowly and do a detoxification/cleansing program while using Prescript Assist. I recommend taking supplements such as HPDI’s Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula, digestive enzymes (Prolyt and Digase), and Dr. Richard Schultze’s Intestinal Formula #1 (if you are blocked, i.e., sluggish bowel).

Also, doing a juice flush could be important. So many people have a lifetimes’s buildup of fecal matter in their systems. Taking a single pill alone is not the solution. Doing an overall cleansing and having a good nutritional program is important for most people. Some professionals recommend that after an initial round of Prescript-Assist you only need to take a few capsules per week to maintain a healthy gut bacteria profile. You can read more about it here: http://www.prescript-assist.com/products/?gclid=CNSBvs7m3cUCFUuTfgodSp8AqQ

Q. What is the Purity of Fish Liver Oil in Your Vitamin D3 Plus Product?

Vitamin D3 PlusA: I am always careful when formulating any product to minimize any potential toxins. Vitamin D3 and Vitamin A from fish liver oils, as are found in the HPDI Vitamin D3 Plus formula, are highly concentrated sources which means that only milligram amounts are needed. This in itself means that there would be very low levels of toxins. This is verified by testing that shows mercury levels of less than 0.003 ppm, lead levels of less than 0.005 ppm, cadmium levels of less than 0.002 ppm, and arsenic levels of less than 0.004 ppm. By ‘less than’ it means the amounts are below the detection limits. Very low, indeed!

Q. Can the Licorice in Your Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula Cause High Blood Pressure?

irf-product-includesA. The licorice in Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula is from the powdered root of organically grown licorice. Each serving contains 40 mg. It is highly unlikely that this amount of the whole root could cause blood pressure issues.


Contact Us:

You can reach HPDI by calling 1-800-228-4265, email support(at)IntegratedHealth.com, or visit the retail website: www.IntegratedHealth.com

Health care professionals and retailers can apply for wholesale account, which includes access to the HPDI reseller website: www.HealthProductsDistributors.com




Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberry

Ultimate Protector contains resveratrol, as well as components from 29 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 ingredient resveratrol, which is added as a separate ingredient in addition to being a component in VitaBerry Plus® from Futureceuticals.

Resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi. Natural sources of resveratrol include giant knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) and the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries. Resveratrol has two isomers: cis and trans, with the latter being the most abundant.  Piceid, also known as polydatin, is a glucoside form of resveratrol found in Japanese knotweed. HPDI includes the very pure 99% resveratrol form from giant knotweed in Ultimate Protector. This material contains greater than 96% of the trans form.

giant knotweed resveratrol

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



VitaBerry® (N1023) is the trade name for a line of high ORAC blends of fruit powders and fruit extracts, exclusively available through FutureCeuticals.

VitaBerry® is a proprietary formula that combines wild bilberry and wild blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, prune, cherry, and grape whole powders and extracts into lines of custom blends. High in fruit polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, resveratrol, and quinic acid, VitaBerry offers 6,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

VitaBerry® Plus (N81.3) combines the standard blend of VitaBerry® with resveratrol and quercetin to deliver a minimum of 12,000 ORAC units per gram.


Resveratrol provides anti-oxidant 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 significantly modulates biomarkers of bone metabolism, inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes such as COX-1 and COX-2, and exhibits chemopreventive properties, 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, that translates into an increase in energy availability, improved aerobic capacity, and enhanced sensorimotor function. Resveratrol has been shown to be a powerful Nrf2 activator that can support the body’s endogenous production of protective enzymes.

Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of Resveratrol

Databases of scientific studies (like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database) contain thousands of up-to-date studies and abstracts about resveratrol

Below, we provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of resveratrol.

Resveratrol confers endothelial protection via activation of the antioxidant transcription factor Nrf2.


Epidemiological studies suggest that Mediterranean diets rich in resveratrol are associated with reduced risk of coronary artery disease. Resveratrol was also shown to confer vasoprotection in animal models of type 2 diabetes and aging. However, the mechanisms by which resveratrol exerts its antioxidative vasculoprotective effects are not completely understood. Using a nuclear factor-E(2)-related factor-2 (Nrf2)/antioxidant response element-driven luciferase reporter gene assay, we found that in cultured coronary arterial endothelial cells, resveratrol, in a dose-dependent manner, significantly increases transcriptional activity of Nrf2. Accordingly, resveratrol significantly upregulates the expression of the Nrf2 target genes NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1, gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase, and heme oxygenase-1. Resveratrol treatment also significantly attenuated high glucose (30 mM)-induced mitochondrial and cellular oxidative stress (assessed by flow cytometry using MitoSox and dihydroethidine staining). The aforementioned effects of resveratrol were significantly attenuated by the small interfering RNA downregulation of Nrf2 or the overexpression of Kelch-like erythroid cell-derived protein 1, which inactivates Nrf2. To test the effects of resveratrol in vivo, we used mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD), which exhibit increased vascular oxidative stress associated with an impaired endothelial function. In HFD-fed Nrf2(+/+) mice, resveratrol treatment attenuates oxidative stress (assessed by the Amplex red assay), improves acetylcholine-induced vasodilation, and inhibits apoptosis (assessed by measuring caspase-3 activity and DNA fragmentation) in branches of the femoral artery. In contrast, the aforementioned endothelial protective effects of resveratrol were diminished in HFD-fed Nrf2(-/-) mice. Taken together, our results indicate that resveratrol both in vitro and in vivo confers endothelial protective effects which are mediated by the activation of Nrf2.


Mitochondrial Protection by Resveratrol

From: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/745451


Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are thought to play important roles in mammalian aging. Resveratrol is a plant-derived polyphenol that exerts diverse antiaging activities, mimicking some of the molecular and functional effects of dietary restriction. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the mitochondrial protective effects of resveratrol, which could be exploited for the prevention or amelioration of age-related diseases in the elderly.


Age-specific mortality rates from heart disease, stroke, complications of diabetes, Alzheimer disease, and cancer increase exponentially with age, which imposes a huge financial burden on the health care systems in the Western world. There is an urgent need for effective therapeutic strategies that have the potential to promote health in the elderly, simultaneously preventing or delaying the development of various diseases of aging. During the past decade, dietary supplementation with resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene) has emerged as a promising approach to counteract age-related diseases. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in more than 70 species of plants, including grapes (Vitis vinifera), cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), and peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), which was shown to confer diverse physiological effects in laboratory animals including cancer protection, microvascular protection, neuroprotection, cardioprotection, and antidiabetic effects. In this review, we consider the evidence in support of the hypothesis that mitochondrial protective effects of resveratrol underlie its antiaging action that can prevent/delay the development of age-related diseases in the cardiovascular system and other organs. The use of resveratrol as a dietary supplement to promote mitochondrial health in the elderly and diabetic patients is discussed.


Resveratrol induces glutathione synthesis by activation of Nrf2 and protects against cigarette smoke-mediated oxidative stress in human lung epithelial cells

From: http://ajplung.physiology.org/content/294/3/L478 


Nuclear erythroid-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a redox-sensitive transcription factor, is involved in transcriptional regulation of many antioxidant genes, including glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL). Cigarette smoke (CS) is known to cause oxidative stress and deplete glutathione (GSH) levels in alveolar epithelial cells. We hypothesized that resveratrol, a polyphenolic phytoalexin, has antioxidant signaling properties by inducing GSH biosynthesis via the activation of Nrf2 and protects lung epithelial cells against CS-mediated oxidative stress. Treatment of human primary small airway epithelial and human alveolar epithelial (A549) cells with CS extract (CSE) dose dependently decreased GSH levels and GCL activity, effects that were associated with enhanced production of reactive oxygen species. Resveratrol restored CSE-depleted GSH levels by upregulation of GCL via activation of Nrf2 and also quenched CSE-induced release of reactive oxygen species. Interestingly, CSE failed to induce nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in A549 and small airway epithelial cells. On the contrary, Nrf2 was localized in the cytosol of alveolar and airway epithelial cells due to CSE-mediated posttranslational modifications such as aldehyde/carbonyl adduct formation and nitration. On the other hand, resveratrol attenuated CSE-mediated Nrf2 modifications, thereby inducing its nuclear translocation associated with GCL gene transcription, as demonstrated by GCL-promoter reporter and Nrf2 small interfering RNA approaches. Thus resveratrol attenuates CSE-mediated GSH depletion by inducing GSH synthesis and protects epithelial cells by reversing CSE-induced posttranslational modifications of Nrf2. These data may have implications in dietary modulation of antioxidants in treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Effect of Nrf2 activators on release of glutathione, cysteinylglycine and homocysteine by human U373 astroglial cells

From: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231713000645


Neurons rely on the release and subsequent cleavage of GSH to cysteinylglycine (CysGly) by astrocytes in order to maintain optimal intracellular GSH levels. In neurodegenerative diseases characterised by oxidative stress, neurons need an optimal GSH supply to defend themselves against free radicals released from activated microglia and astroglia. The rate of GSH synthesis is controlled largely by the activity of γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase. Expression of γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase and of the Xc- system, which facilitates cystine uptake, is regulated by the redox-sensitive transcription factor, nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Compounds that can activate the Nrf2-ARE pathway, referred to as ‘Nrf2 activators’ are receiving growing attention due to their potential as GSH-boosting drugs.

This study compares four known Nrf2 activators, R-α-Lipoic acid (LA), tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), sulforaphane (SFN) and Polygonum cuspidatum extract containing 50% resveratrol (PC-Res) for their effects on astroglial release of GSH and CysGly. GSH levels increased dose-dependently in response to all four drugs. Sulforaphane produced the most potent effect, increasing GSH by up to 2.4-fold. PC-Res increased GSH up to 1.6-fold, followed by TBHQ (1.5-fold) and LA (1.4-fold). GSH is processed by the ectoenzyme, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, to form CysGly. Once again, SFN produced the most potent effect, increasing CysGly by up to 1.7-fold, compared to control cells. TBHQ and PC-Res both induced fold increases of 1.3, followed by LA with a fold increase of 1.2. The results from the present study showed that sulforaphane, followed by lipoic acid, resveratrol and Polygonum multiflorum were all identified as potent “GSH and Cys-Gly boosters”.

Resveratrol Upregulates Nrf2 Expression To Attenuate Methylglyoxal-Induced Insulin Resistance in Hep G2 Cells

From: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf302831d


Oxidative stress can result in insulin resistance, a primary cause of type-2 diabetes. Methylglyoxal (MG), a highly reactive dicarbonyl metabolite generated during glucose metabolism, has also been confirmed to cause pancreatic injury and induce inflammation, thereby resulting in insulin resistance. Recently, resveratrol has been reported to exert antioxidant properties, protecting cells from the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The aim of this study was to evaluate resveratrol activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) to attenuate MG-induced insulin resistance in Hep G2 cells. Therefore, the molecular signaling events affecting resveratrol-mediated heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and glyoxalase expression levels were further investigated in this study. Our findings indicated that resveratrol activated the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway but not the p38 or c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways, subsequently leading to Nrf2 nuclear translocation and elevation of HO-1 and glyoxalase expression levels. Moreover, resveratrol significantly elevated glucose uptake and protected against MG-induced insulin resistance in Hep G2 cells. In contrast, depletion of Nrf2 by small interfering RNA (si-RNA) resulted in the abrogation of HO-1 and glyoxalase expression in the MG-treated resveratrol group in Hep G2 cells. Administration of an appropriate chemopreventive agent, such as resveratrol, may be an alternative strategy for protecting against MG-induced diabetes.


Resveratrol restores sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) activity and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1) expression after hemorrhagic injury in a rat model.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24395567


Severe hemorrhage leads to decreased blood flow to tissues resulting in decreased oxygen and nutrient availability affecting mitochondrial function. A mitoscriptome profiling study demonstrated alteration in several genes related to mitochondria, consistent with the mitochondrial functional decline observed after trauma hemorrhage (T-H). Our experiments led to the identification of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) as a potential target in T-H. Administration of resveratrol (a naturally occurring polyphenol and activator of SIRT1) after T-H improved left ventricular function and tissue ATP levels. Our hypothesis was that mitochondrial function after T-H depends on SIRT1 activity. In this study, we evaluated the activity of SIRT1, a mitochondrial functional modulator, and the mitochondrial-glycolytic balance after T-H. We determined the changes in protein levels of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK)-1 and nuclear c-Myc, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC)-1α and NF-E2-related factor (NRF)2 after T-H and after treatment with resveratrol or a combination of sirtinol (a SIRT1 inhibitor) and resveratrol. We have also tested the activity of mitochondrial complex 1. SIRT1 enzyme activity was significantly decreased after T-H, whereas resveratrol treatment restored the activity. We found elevated PDK1 and c-Myc levels and decreased PGC-1α, NRF2 and mitochondrial complex I activity after T-H. The reduced SIRT1 activity after T-H may be related to declining mitochondrial function, since resveratrol was able to reinstate SIRT1 activity and mitochondrial function. The elevated level of PDK1 (an inhibitor of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex) after T-H indicates a possible shift in cellular energetics from mitochondria to glycolysis. In conclusion, SIRT1 modulation alters left ventricular function after T-H through regulation of cellular energetics.


Resveratrol suppresses PAI-1 gene expression in a human in vitro model of inflamed adipose tissue.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23819014


Increased plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels are associated with a number of pathophysiological complications; among them is obesity. Resveratrol was proposed to improve obesity-related health problems, but the effect of resveratrol on PAI-1 gene expression in obesity is not completely understood. In this study, we used SGBS adipocytes and a model of human adipose tissue inflammation to examine the effects of resveratrol on the production of PAI-1. Treatment of SGBS adipocytes with resveratrol reduced PAI-1 mRNA and protein in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Further experiments showed that obesity-associated inflammatory conditions lead to the upregulation of PAI-1 gene expression which was antagonized by resveratrol. Although signaling via PI3K, Sirt1, AMPK, ROS, and Nrf2 appeared to play a significant role in the modulation of PAI-1 gene expression under noninflammatory conditions, those signaling components were not involved in mediating the resveratrol effects on PAI-1 production under inflammatory conditions. Instead, we demonstrate that the resveratrol effects on PAI-1 induction under inflammatory conditions were mediated via inhibition of the NF κ B pathway. Together, resveratrol can act as NF κ B inhibitor in adipocytes and thus the subsequently reduced PAI-1 expression in inflamed adipose tissue might provide a new insight towards novel treatment options of obesity.


Effects of resveratrol in experimental and clinical non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24799987


The prevalence of obesity and related conditions like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing worldwide and therapeutic options are limited. Alternative treatment options are therefore intensively sought after. An interesting candidate is the natural polyphenol resveratrol (RSV) that activates adenosinmonophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and silent information regulation-2 homolog 1 (SIRT1). In addition, RSV has known anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we review the current evidence for RSV-mediated effects on NAFLD and address the different aspects of NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) pathogenesis with respect to free fatty acid (FFA) flux from adipose tissue, hepatic de novo lipogenesis, inadequate FFA β-oxidation and additional intra- and extrahepatic inflammatory and oxidant hits. We review the in vivo evidence from animal studies and clinical trials. The abundance of animal studies reports a decrease in hepatic triglyceride accumulation, liver weight and a general improvement in histological fatty liver changes, along with a reduction in circulating insulin, glucose and lipid levels. Some studies document AMPK or SIRT1 activation, and modulation of relevant markers of hepatic lipogenesis, inflammation and oxidation status. However, AMPK/SIRT1-independent actions are also likely. Clinical trials are scarce and have primarily been performed with a focus on overweight/obese participants without a focus on NAFLD/NASH and histological liver changes. Future clinical studies with appropriate design are needed to clarify the true impact of RSV treatment in NAFLD/NASH patients.


Modulatory role of resveratrol on cytotoxic activity of cisplatin, sensitization and modification of cisplatin resistance in colorectal cancer cells.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25815689


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-associated mortality worldwide. Cisplatin (CIS) is one of the most active cytotoxic agents in current use and it has proven efficacy against various human malignancies. However, its clinical usefulness has been restricted by detrimental side effects, including nephrotoxicity and myelosuppression. The aim of the present study was to attempt to decrease the required dose of CIS, in order to minimize its side effects, and increase its capability to arrest, delay or reverse carcinogenesis. In addition, the present study aimed to ameliorate CIS‑resistance in CRC cells, using the natural compound resveratrol (RSVL). RSVL (3,4′, 5‑trihydroxy‑trans‑stilbene) is a naturally occurring polyphenol present in the roots of white hellebore (Veratrum grandiflorum O. Loes) and extracted from >70 other plant species. RSVL can exert antioxidant and anti‑inflammatory activities, and it has been shown to be active in the regulation of numerous cellular events associated with carcinogenesis. The present study evaluated the effects of RSVL on sensitization of both parent and CIS‑resistant HCT‑116 CRC cells to the action of cisplatin. The CIS was administered at a dose of 5 and 20 µg/ml, and CIS cytotoxicity, apoptosis, cell cycle and cisplatin cellular uptake were examined in the presence and absence of RSVL (15 µg/ml). RSVL treatment showed anti‑proliferative effects and enhanced the cytotoxic effects of cis against the growth of both parent and CIS‑resistant HCT‑116 CRC cells, with a half maximal inhibitory concentration of 4.20 µg/ml and 4.72 µg/ml respectively. RSVL also induced a significant increase in the early apoptosis fraction and enhanced the subsequent apoptotic effects of CIS. The cellular uptake of CIS was significantly increased in the presence of RSVL, as compared with CIS treatment alone, and RSVL treatment sensitized the CIS‑resistant HCT‑116 cells. In conclusion, RSVL treatment increased the cytotoxic activity of CIS against the growth of both parent and CIS‑resistant HCT-116 CRC cells.


Resveratrol treatment rescues hyperleptinemia and improves hypothalamic leptin signaling programmed by maternal high-fat diet in rats.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25801629


PURPOSE: Perinatal high-fat diet is associated with obesity and metabolic diseases in adult offspring. Resveratrol has been shown to exert antioxidant and anti-obesity actions. However, the effects of resveratrol on leptinemia and leptin signaling are still unknown as well as whether resveratrol treatment can improve metabolic outcomes programmed by maternal high-fat diet. We hypothesize that resveratrol treatment in male rats programmed by high-fat diet would decrease body weight and food intake, and leptinemia with changes in central leptin signaling.

METHODS: Female Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control group (C), which received a standard diet containing 9 % of the calories as fat, and high-fat group (HF), which received a diet containing 28 % of the calories as fat. Dams were fed in C or HF diet during 8 weeks before mating and throughout gestation and lactation. C and HF male offspring received standard diet throughout life. From 150 until 180 days of age, offspring received resveratrol (30 mg/Kg body weight/day) or vehicle (carboxymethylcellulose).

RESULTS: HF offspring had increased body weight, hyperphagia and increased subcutaneous and visceral fat mass compared to controls, and resveratrol treatment decreased adiposity. HF offspring had increased leptinemia as well as increased SOCS3 in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, which suggest central leptin resistance. Resveratrol treatment rescued leptinemia and increased p-STAT3 content in the hypothalamus with no changes in SOCS3, suggesting improvement in leptin signaling.

CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our data suggest that resveratrol could reverse hyperleptinemia and improve central leptin action in adult offspring from HF mothers attenuating obesity.



Resveratrol is an important polyphenol, antioxidant, and Nrf2 activator that helps to make Ultimate Protector such an outstanding nutritional supplement.