Dr. Hank Liers, PhD mighty multi vite multivitamin supplementFred Liers PhD Hank Brian mighty multi vite multivitamin

Think you take a complete multivitamin? Well, maybe not. Typical multivitamins simply do not provide enough nutrients for optimal health. Or for that matter, the proper forms and carriers of nutrients to do the job right—the all important task of providing you with essential nutrients for health. Not so easy these days? Well, Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite! can help—a lot!


The task of providing you with a complete set of nutrients—as easily absorbed forms—is where Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite! shines brightly in the world of #multivitamins. Quite simply, Dr. Hank Liers carefully formulated Mighty Multi-Vite! as the most advanced, complete multivitamin available. It uniquely includes a wide range of vitamins, minerals, cofactors, herbs, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators (nutrients that allow your body to make its own antioxidants). This wide range of nutrients alone puts Mighty Multi-Vite! in a class by itself.

Calling HPDI’s Mighty Multi-Vite! “complete” is an understatement. While other multivitamins may contain more ingredients, Dr. Hank’s goal is not to “stuff” as many ingredients (or amounts) into Mighty Multi-Vite! as possible. That is a “shotgun” approach—Dr. Hank avoids it—that often results in too large capsules, huge tablets (“horse pills”), or eight-per-day dosages that are hard to consume—and even harder to stick with over time. You get the idea.

Instead, Dr. Hank carefully designed Mighty Multi-Vite! to include both a broad range of essential nutrients and abundant amounts of the most important nutrients for health in easily to assimilate forms using multiple carriers that give the body choices. For example, the body requires far smaller amounts of coenzyme B vitamins (which are the  natural forms best utilized by cells) than conventional forms of B vitamins. This allows for more efficient dosing and does not “waste” space in the capsule allowing more room for other nutrients, like antioxidants and Nrf2 activators. In a nutshell, few multivitamins are so well balanced and designed carefully to give the body what it needs for optimal health. You get it all in just four (4) regular size capsules, daily. How easy is that?

As I mentioned, Mighty Multi-Vite! includes highly absorbable forms of nutrients. These include mineral carriers like Krebs Cycle bionutrients—carriers that feed the energy producing system in the body—including malates, ascorbates, aspartates, sebacates, citrates, and glycinates. Thus, we use magnesium malate, and calcium ascorbate and citrate. The whole point is that the body immediately recognizes and utilizes these forms.

In practice, Dr. Hank’s inclusion of the most absorbable forms and carriers means you actually absorb and assimilate more of the ingredients—whether vitamins, minerals, cofactors, antioxidants, herbs, or Nrf2 activators—than you would from the same old conventional forms and carriers (oxides, for example) found in many multivitamins, especially “off-the-shelf” or “one-a-day” type formulas. Many so-called “boutique” formulas use conventional forms and carriers. Who knew!?

To top it off, many advanced ingredients in Mighty Multi-Vite! (like Nrf2 activators) are nowhere to be found in the vast majority of multivitamins. You might not even know to look for them!

However, the biggest benefit of the science behind Mighty Multi-Vite! is how you feel when taking it. I really feel the difference. Your multivitamin should work for you and support your best health. If your multivitamin is not giving you what you need—or you can’t feel the difference it makes in your life—then why take it? Maybe it is better than nothing, but why settle for less when better options are available?

The single biggest reason I am a huge fan of Mighty Multi-Vite! is because I have taken it for more than 20 years. I have gained all the benefits it offers—for thousands of days—year after year. I am more than confident in its superior benefits not just for me, but because I have seen many other people gain benefits, and heard countless positive testimonies from happy customers. I know you can gain major benefits from it, too.

But wait, there’s more! Read the overview (below) for some nitty, gritty details distinguishing Dr. Hank’s design of Mighty Multi-Vite!. These not-so-little details can make all the difference for your good health.Mighty Multi-Vite multivitamin supplement


COMPLETE, BALANCED ESSENTIAL NUTRITION – Provides a full spectrum of nutrients exceptionally well balanced for creating and maintaining optimal heatlh. Mighty Multi-Vite! offers all of the most important vitamins along with minerals, cofactors, antioxidants, herbs, and Nrf2 activators.

RAPID, EASY ASSIMILATION – Incorporates the most bioavailable vitamin and mineral carriers most easily recognized and rapidly assimilated by your body. In addition, the formula uses multiple forms of mineral carriers to ensure assimilation. In addition, the capsule form (compared to tablets) speeds uptake because it does not require time for the body to break it down.

ENERGIZING – Includes coenzyme form vitamins and Krebs Cycle bionutrients that work with your body to create super high energy levels. Provides significantly higher levels of B vitamins than most multivitamins (especially coenzyme B vitamins). These vitamins are known for boosting energy, supporting the body during times of stress, and supporting nerve, heart, brain and immune system function.


• A full-spectrum of B-complex vitamins, most in coenzyme forms, as well as more conventional forms. Includes Vitamin B1 as thiamin HCl, Vitamin B2 as riboflavin and riboflavin-5’-phosphate, Vitamin B3 as niacinamide and niacin, Vitamin B5 as pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 as pyridoxine HCl and pyridoxal-5’-phosphate, folate as L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate calcium (L-5-MTHF), Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, and biotin

• All of the most absorbable and usable forms of the fat-soluble vitamin group, including Vitamin A (as alpha & beta-carotene), Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopherol succinate), Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol), and Vitamin K (as phytonadione (K1) and MK-7 (menaquinone-7) (K2))

• A complete and balanced supply of the most abundant carotenoids found in the body, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene and lutein

• A variety of the best-known herbal preparations, including whole grape extract (seeds, pulp, skin), turmeric (95% curcuminoids), broccoli sprouts powder, and octacosanol (from rice bran)

• All of the known essential minerals in forms readily absorbed and recognized by the body including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, boron, copper, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and selenium

• Mineral carriers such as ascorbates, Krebs cycle bionutrients, and amino acids providing the body with important metabolic substrates and vitamins, including citrate, succinate, malate, glycinate, aspartate, sebacate, and Vitamin C

• Contains a wide range of antioxidants and Nrf2 activators including Buffered Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Carotenoids, NAC, whole grape extract, curcuminoids, and broccoli sprouts

• Includes N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), an important sulfur-containing amino acid supporting the body’s antioxidant and detoxification systems, and betaine HCl to support digestive processes

• Includes Choline and inositol which play a crucial role in all the cell membranes of the body, in brain function, and in liver function

• Includes Nrf2 transcription factor activators (i.e., Nrf2 activators), which are nutrients that direct cells to produce their own antioxidants, making your body an antioxidant production machine. Most multivitamins contain few, if any Nrf2 activators. Mighty Multi-Vite! is one of the few multivitamins whose design intentionally provides Nrf2 activators.

• Exclusion of the prooxidant minerals of iron and iodine which can lead to excessive free-radical production and PABA that sometimes adversely affects brain function in some individuals. (Note: we sell iodine formulas separately.)

• Capsule form ensures maximum absorption of ingredients

• Four-per-day full dosage allows for partial dosing for children, seniors, and pets

• Vegetarian formula (including capsule) suitable for vegetarians and vegans

• Exclusion of ingredients such as wheat, dairy, corn, soy, gluten, and egg having well-known antigenic properties and that may be associated with allergy or delayed hypersensitivity reactions

• A minimum of excipients, fillers, lubricants, etc. having deleterious effects in some individuals

• NON-GMO (no genetically modified organisms)


Most people don’t think too hard about their multivitamins. They focus on taking the supplement de jour (whatever supplements make headlines) or continue taking the same one-a-day multivitamin.

That is too bad because a multivitamin truly is the single most important nutritional supplement. We at HPDI place the multivitamin first—above all other supplements—in importance. Our Foundational Supplements system starts with a multivitamin because it is the only formula designed to provide the basic nutrients essential for health. That is, you can add other essential nutrients (like vitamin C or essential fats) to complete your regimen. But the multivitamin remains king (or queen) because it establishes your baseline nutrient intake. That is something is to consider when selecting the multivitamin you will take daily for the rest of your life.

Ask yourself: Is my multivitamin complete, providing all the most important nutrients I need for health? Is it easily absorbed using multiple, readily assimilated forms and usable carriers of those nutrients? Is it proven to work? Is it easy to take? Do I notice the effects?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, or if you simply never think about it, then consider Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite!. You should love your multivitamin because of how it supports your health. We think you will love Mighty Multi-Vite!.


Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite!

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Dr. Hank Liers, PhD natural nrf2 activators healing potential

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

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

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


Ultimate Protector+

New Ultimate Protector+


It is interesting to note that over 16 years ago I formulated a wonderful antioxidant formula called PRO-C™. PRO-C™ contains Buffered Vitamin C (in the form of powdered calcium, magnesium, and zinc ascorbates), high-potency Grape Extract (from grape pulp, skins, and seeds), Green Tea Extract, reduced Glutathione, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), R-Lipoic Acid, coenzyme forms of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6, and Selenium.

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Table 1: Common Dietary Flavonoids

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

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

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

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


Ultimate Protector+


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

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

3) We have observed that the natural plant substances with the highest ORAC5.0 values appear to be among the most effective Nrf2 activators. For example, see the table below. In particular, note that Curcumin (98%), Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract, and Reservatrol which are commonly used for their excellent Nrf2 activator effects are the most powerful in-vitro antioxidants . Please note that Ultimate Protector+ is over 100% more powerful as an antioxidant than the best single plant ingredient.


Ingredient Peroxyl Radical Hydroxyl Radical Peroxy-nitrite Radical Super-
oxide Radical
Singlet O2 Radical Total ORAC5.0
Curcumin 98% 5,750 8,920 906 597 66,290 82,500
Bilberry 25% 7,000 25,000 1,000 16,000 5,000 54,000
Cocoa 10,000 28,000 1,000 11,000 2,000 52,000
Grape Seed Extract 17,000 47,000 1,000 25,000 4,000 94,000
Green Tea Extract 11,000 41,000 2,000 56,000 3,000 113,000
Coffee Berry Extract 5,000 29,000 1,000 1,000 2,000 38,000
Mangosteen 4,000 8,000 1,000 18,000 4,000 35,000
Pine Bark 7,000 23,000 1,000 17,000 2,000 50,000
Resveratrol 12,000 50,000 1,000 8,000 22,000 93,000
ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+    3,376    5,569 2,758 221,866 34,169 267,738
Results are expressed in micro mole TE/g

The total Ultimate Protector+ ORAC5.0 value per serving of 6 small vegetarian capsules (containing 3.55 g) is over 950,00 Micro mole TE.

4) Here is a list of the ingredients in ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+: USP-grade non-GMO Vitamin C, SFB® standardized fruit blend (~50% polyphenols, high-ORAC powder: 9,000 µmole TE/g) from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry), Curcumin (standardized extract with 95% curcuminoids), Trans-Resveratrol (98% from Giant Knotweed), Green Tea Extract (93% polyphenols, 50% EGCG), VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (>80% polyphenols, ORAC>19,000 µmole TE/g), Calcium Malate, Magnesium Malate, and Bioperine® (a patented black pepper extract that enhances absorption of all ingredients and is a known Nrf2 activator).


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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






Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention

Dr. Hank Liers here considers mechanisms involved in the activation of transcription factor Nrf2. Nrf2 is encoded by the NFE2L2 gene. Nrf2 can induce expression of genes encoding for antioxidant enzymes. Thus, it contributes to regulation of oxidative stress. Dr. Liers’ interest regards use of natural phytochemical Nrf2 activators for improving health. Also, see his post, “New Directions for Preventing Free-Radical Damage”(06.27.19).


Dr. Hank Liers, PhD nrf2 activatorsDespite progress in the early detection and treatment of cancer, overall mortality rates for most cancers of epithelial origin have not declined during the past three decades. Consequently, in recent years attention has been directed to cancer prevention.

Carcinogenesis can be viewed as a multistep process in which the genes controlling proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are transformed and altered under selective environmental pressures.

Tumor development involves three distinct, yet closely linked, phases: initiation, promotion, and progression. The initiation phase is a rapid and irreversible event that occurs when a normal cell is exposed to a carcinogenic event. Frequently, unrepairable or misrepaired DNA damage happens in the initiation phase.

Promotion and progression processes are relatively longer processes than the initiation stage, and are considered reversible. Using various animal cancer models, scientists found that all three cancer development stages can be intervened by treatment with natural (or synthetic) chemicals.

Epidemiological and population studies also establish a close relationship between incidence of cancer and consumption of certain types of food.

The term “chemoprevention” was first coined in 1976 by Michael Sporn, when he referred to prevention of malignancy development by vitamin A and its synthetic analogs. Since then, chemoprevention has been adopted as one of the major tactics to modulate the process of carcinogenesis. Many research studies have proven this strategy is effective in reducing the incidence of cancer in well-defined high-risk groups.

Chemoprevention is by definition the use of natural (or pharmacologic) agents to inhibit the development of invasive cancer. The chemicals with a cancer preventive activity are referred to as chemopreventive agents. A chemopreventive agent can inhibit carcinogenesis either by blocking the DNA damage at initiation stage or by arresting or reversing the processes at promotion and progression stages. Most of the chemical substances used in cancer chemoprevention studies are natural phytochemicals found in food.

On the basis of the inhibition stages, chemopreventive agents have been classified into two categories, namely blocking agents and suppressing agents. Blocking agents act by preventing carcinogens from reaching the target sites, from undergoing metabolic activation, or from subsequently interacting with crucial cellular macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins at initiation stages.

Suppressing agents, on the other hand, inhibit the malignant transformation of initiated cells at either the promotion or the progression stage. Some agents may work on all three stages of carcinogenesis, and are hence classified into both categories.


Many different animal models and cancer cell lines have been used to evaluate the chemopreventive values of phytochemicals, and have led to the discovery of new classes of chemopreventive agents. These agents include isothiocyanates (such as sulforaphane) from cruciferous vegetables, polyphenols from green and black tea, curcuminoids (from turmeric root), stilbenes such as resveratrol (from giant knotweed plant), flavonoids such as quercetin, and anthocyanidins (from many fruits and soybeans).

Progress also has been made in understanding the mode of action of newly identified chemopreventive agents. Exposure to the chemopreventive agents produces certain level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or electrophiles, and causes mild oxidative/electrophilic stresses in cells.

Ultimate Protector+

Such mild oxidative stresses are sufficient to initiate the signaling pathways that, in turn, can activate a variety of cellular events, such as induction of phase II detoxification enzymes and antioxidant enzymes, expression of tumor-suppressor genes, and inhibition of cell proliferation and angiogenesis.

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

Induction of phase II and antioxidant enzymes are regulated at the DNA/gene level by antioxidant responsive element (ARE). ARE-mediated gene expression plays a central role in the cellular defense against cellular oxidative damage.

Experimental evidence supports the view that induction of ARE-mediated cytoprotective enzymes is a critical and sufficient mechanism to enable protection against carcinogenesis provoked by environmental and endogenous insults.

One of the key ARE-binding transcription factors is Nrf2. Induction of cytoprotective enzymes in response to ROS, electrophiles, and chemopreventive agents is a cellular event that is highly dependent on Nrf2 protein.


By activating Nrf2 signaling, chemopreventive agents can increase cellular detoxification and antioxidant enzymes, thereby enhancing removal of reactive carcinogens and blocking carcinogenesis. This hypothesis has been tested in many studies.

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

Nrf2 is normally bound in the cytoplasm of cells to a protein called KEAP1. However, when an appropriate phytochemical agent attaches to a kinase receptor on the cell wall a phosphate group is released that causes the Nrf2 to be released. The Nrf2 then migrates into the cell nucleus and causes an antioxidant enzyme, such as SOD, to be released. This endogenously produced enzyme then can protect against ROS, electrophiles, and chemopreventive agents.

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


In view of the above information and the fact that new and more effective ingredients are available, we have updated our exceptional formula designed to maximize activation of Nrf2 in the body. This new product is ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+. It is among the most advanced, natural Nrf2 activator formula on the market today.

We include a broad range of Nrf2 activators in ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+. These activators source from a wide variety of freeze-dried and concentrated fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These include USP-grade non-GMO Vitamin C , SFB® standardized fruit blend (~50% polyphenols, high-ORAC powder: 9,000 µmole TE/g) from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry), Curcumin(standardized extract with 95% curcuminoids), Trans-Resveratrol(98% from Giant Knotweed), Green Tea Extract(90% polyphenols, 50% EGCG),  and VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (>80% polyphenols, ORAC>19,000 µmole TE/g). In addition the product contains Calcium Malate and Magnesium Malate, that support ATP and enzyme product and Bioperine® (a patented black pepper extract that significantly enhances absorption of all ingredients and is a known Nrf2 activator).

Phytochemicals provided by the array of freeze-dried and concentrated fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the formula include: Polyphenols, Phenolic acids, Proanthocyanidins (OPCs), Anthocyandins, Catechins, Glucosinolates, Zeaxanthin, Lutein, Lycopene, Beta Carotene, Chlorogenic acid, Ellagic acid, Quercetin, Quinic acid, Trans-Resveratrol, Ferulic acid, Punicalagins, Phloridzin, Polysaccharides, Xanthones and more.

In addition to these Nrf2 activators (above), ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ contains an extremely broad array of plant based antioxidants from the same sources described above, as well as from non-GMO USP grade Vitamin C. All ingredients in this product have been used in chemoprevention protocols, as well as in protocols aimed at preventing free-radical damage in the body.

Ultimate Protector is now available on the HPDI website!


Ultimate Protector+Ultimate Protector+ is new and improved



“Resveratrol induces glutathione synthesis by activation of Nrf2 and protects against cigarette smoke-mediated oxidative stress in human lung epithelial cells.”  Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 294: L478–L488, 2008.

“Nrf2 as a master redox switch in turning on the cellular signaling involved in the induction of cytoprotective genes by some chemopreventive phytochemicals.” Planta Med. 2008 Oct; 74(13): 1526–39. Epub 2008 Oct 20.

“Nrf2: a potential molecular target for cancer chemoprevention by natural compounds.” Antioxid Redox Signal. 2006 Jan–Feb; 8(1–2):99–106.

“Cancer chemoprevention by phytochemicals: potential molecular targets, biomarkers and animal models.” Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2007 Sep; 28(9): 1409–21.

“Natural dietary anti-cancer chemopreventive compounds: redox-mediated differential signaling mechanisms in cytoprotection of normal cells versus cytotoxicity in tumor cells.” Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2007 Apr; 28(4): 459–72.

“Anticarcinogenesis by dietary phytochemicals: cytoprotection by Nrf2 in normal cells and cytotoxicity by modulation of transcription factors NF-kappa B and AP-1 in abnormal cancer cells.” Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Apr; 46(4): 1257–70. Epub 2007 Sep 15.

“Signal transduction events elicited by cancer prevention compounds.” Mutat Res. 2001 Sep 1; 480–481: 231–41.

“Targeting specific cell signaling transduction pathways by dietary and medicinal phytochemicals in cancer chemoprevention.” Toxicology. 2010 Dec 5; 278(2): 229–41. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

“NF-kappa B and Nrf2 as potential chemopreventive targets of some anti-inflammatory and antioxidative phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activities.” Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17 Suppl 1:269–72.

“Regulation of NF-E2-Related Factor 2 Signaling for Cancer Chemoprevention: Antioxidant Coupled with Antiinflammatory.” Antioxid Redox Signal. 2010 Dec 1; 13(11): 1679–98. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

“Molecular targets of dietary phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane for cancer chemoprevention.” AAPS J. 2010 Mar; 12(1): 87–97. Epub 2009 Dec 15.

“Dietary chemopreventive compounds and ARE/EpRE signaling.” Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Jun 15; 36(12): 1505–16.

 “Multiple molecular targets in cancer chemoprevention by curcumin.” AAPS J. 2006 Jul 7; 8(3): E443–9.


Ultimate Protector™

The Amazing Healing Potential of Natural Nrf2 Activators – by Dr. Hank Liers

Preventing Free-Radical Damage Using Ultimate Protector™ – by Dr. Hank Liers

New Directions for Preventing Free-Radical Damage  – by Dr. Hank Liers

Ultimate Protector and the Role of Foundational Supplements for Health – by Fred Liers, PhD



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

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

Ultimate Protector+

Ultimate Protector+ is new and improved!


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

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

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

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


Ultimate Protector+™ satisfies three distinct needs:

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Antioxidants function as a vital line of defense against free radicals by blocking their attack on DNA, vital proteins, lipids, and amino acids. Until now, efforts to identify the effect of antioxidants on all six types of free radicals were constrained by limited testing procedures. However, new technological developments have resulted in a comprehensive testing method developed by Brunswick Labs called the Total ORAC6.0 assay. Because of the development of the Total ORAC6.0 test, it is now possible to target and measure the effects of antioxidants on the six major types of free radicals found in the body.

Recently [8/2019] Brunswick Labs has tested ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+™ using the new ORAC6.0 test. The results reveal an incredible overall ORAC6.0 value of 272,743 µmole TE/gram (i.e., 272,743 per gram!). This corresponds to a total ORAC6.0 value per of over 968,000 μmole TE per serving of 6 six small capsules. In addition, the ORAC5.0 value was measured to be over 950,000 μmole TE per serving. The results have shown that the formula offers excellent protection against all of the six major types of free radicals found in the body.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. SFB® – (Standardized Fruit Blend)

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

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

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

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

a) Cranberry Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Cranberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Cranberry Extract

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

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

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


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

b) Pomegranate Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Pomegranate

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Pomegranate

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

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

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

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

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

c) Chokeberry (Aronia)

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Chokeberry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Chokeberry


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

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

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

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

d) Goji Berry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Goji Berry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Goji Berry

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

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

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

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

e) Mangosteen

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Mangosteen

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Mangosteen

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

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

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

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

f) Apple Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Apple

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

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

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

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

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

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

g) Blueberry and Bilberry Extract

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) Curcumin

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

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

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

giant knotweed resveratrol

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

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

4) Green Tea Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

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

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

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

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

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

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Whole Grape Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Whole Grape Extract

Whole Grape Extract contains highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. The Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in grape extract are able to strengthen collagen fibers in aging or damaged connective tissue and can act as a preventative against connective tissue degradation. Some research indicates that anthocyanidins, which are found in extracts of grape seed, skin, and stems (but not in grape seed extract), can reduce oxidized glutathione while at the same time become reduced themselves. In addition, extracts of grape skin and pulp (but not those of grape seed extract) contain trans-resveratrol that has been shown to have cell protective effects.

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

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

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

7) Bioperine®:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


New Directions for Preventing Free-Radical Damage

Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention



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

Ultimate Protector+ contains curcuminoids (greater than 95% from turmeric), as well as extracts from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article I will explore the ingredient curcuminoids. Curcuminoids are added as a separate ingredient in Ultimate Protector+.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

Curcuminoids are the major active component of turmeric, a yellow compound isolated from the plant Curcuma longa (a member of the ginger family) and has been used for centuries in traditional medicines. Curcuminoids in turmeric include curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdesmethoxycurcumin (these are standardized in the Sabinsa Curcumin C3 Complex® ingredient).

turmeric plant curcuminoids

The turmeric plant produces beautiful flowers

Extensive research over the past 30 years indicates that these molecules can provide positive benefits against a wide range of health issues related to cell function, lungs, liver, nervous system, joint function, metabolism, and cardiovascular system. Numerous lines of evidence indicate that curcuminoids are highly pleiotropic with anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, wound healing, and antimicrobial activities.

Curcuminoids exert both direct and indirect antioxidant effects by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inducing the expression of cytoprotective proteins in an Nrf2-dependent way. It is considered a bifunctional antioxidant. The nuclear-factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), is a ubiquitous master transcription factor which induces the endogenous production of cytoprotective proteins/enzymes through binding to antioxidant response elements (AREs) at the DNA/gene level.

An excellent and extensive online source of information on curcuminoids (curcumin) can be found at: http://examine.com/supplements/Curcumin/

Scientific Studies on the Health Protective Effects of Curcuminoids

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

Curcumin curcuminoids

Turmeric root is the source of curcuminoids

Below we provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of curcumin/curcuminoids.

Pharmacological basis for the role of curcumin in chronic diseases: an age-old spice with modern targets


Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a yellow pigment in the spice turmeric (also called curry powder), has been used for centuries as a treatment for inflammatory diseases. Extensive research within the past two decades has shown that curcumin mediates its anti-inflammatory effects through the downregulation of inflammatory transcription factors (such as nuclear factor kappaB), enzymes (such as cyclooxygenase 2 and 5 lipoxygenase) and cytokines (such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 1 and interleukin 6). Because of the crucial role of inflammation in most chronic diseases, the potential of curcumin has been examined in neoplastic, neurological, cardiovascular, pulmonary and metabolic diseases. The pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of curcumin have been examined in animals and in humans. Various pharmacological aspects of curcumin in vitro and in vivo are discussed in detail here.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin


Curcumin, a yellow pigment from Curcuma longa, is a major component of turmeric and is commonly used as a spice and food-coloring agent. It is also used as a cosmetic and in some medical preparations. The desirable preventive or putative therapeutic properties of curcumin have also been considered to be associated with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because free-radical-mediated peroxidation of membrane lipids and oxidative damage of DNA and proteins are believed to be associated with a variety of chronic pathological complications such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases, curcumin is thought to play a vital role against these pathological conditions. The anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin is most likely mediated through its ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), lipoxygenase (LOX), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). COX-2, LOX, and iNOS are important enzymes that mediate inflammatory processes. Improper upregulation of COX-2 and/or iNOS has been associated with the pathophysiology of certain types of human cancer as well as inflammatory disorders. Because inflammation is closely linked to tumor promotion, curcumin with its potent anti-inflammatory property is anticipated to exert chemopreventive effects on carcinogenesis. Hence, the past few decades have witnessed intense research devoted to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. In this review, we describe both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, the mode of action of curcumin, and its therapeutic usage against different pathological conditions.

Curcumin: The Indian Solid Gold


Turmeric, derived from the plant Curcuma longa, is a gold-colored spice commonly used in the Indian subcontinent, not only for health care but also for the preservation of food and as a yellow dye for textiles. Curcumin, which gives the yellow color to turmeric, was first isolated almost two centuries ago, and its structure as diferuloylmethane was determined in 1910. Since the time of Ayurveda (1900 Bc) numerous therapeutic activities have been assigned to turmeric for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. Extensive research within the last half century has proven that most of these activities, once associated with turmeric, are due to curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illnesses. These effects are mediated through the regulation of various transcription factors, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, protein kinases, and other enzymes. Curcumin exhibits activities similar to recently discovered tumor necrosis factor blockers (e.g., HUMIRA, REMICADE, and ENBREL), a vascular endothelial cell growth factor blocker (e.g., AVASTIN), human epidermal growth factor receptor blockers (e.g., ERBITUX, ERLOTINIB, and GEFTINIB), and a HER2 blocker (e.g., HERCEPTIN). Considering the recent scientific bandwagon that multitargeted therapy is better than monotargeted therapy for most diseases, curcumin can be considered an ideal “Spice for Life”.

Curcumin decreases oxidative stress in mitochondria isolated from liver and kidneys of high-fat diet-induced obese mice


Oxidative stress plays a key role in obesity and diabetes-related mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction is characterized by increased oxidative damage, nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, and a reduced ratio of adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) production/oxygen consumption. Curcumin represents a potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. In this study, our objective was to determine the effect of curcumin treatment on oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice (OM). These results suggest that curcumin treatment increased oxygen consumption and significantly decreased lipid and protein oxidation levels in liver mitochondria isolated from HFD-induced OM compared with those in the untreated OM (UOM). In kidney mitochondria, curcumin treatment significantly increased oxygen consumption and decreased lipid and protein peroxidation levels in HFD-induced OM when compared with those in UOM. Curcumin treatment neither has any effect on body weight gain nor have any effects on mitochondrial NO synthesis. These findings suggest that obesity induces oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, whereas curcumin may have a protective role against obesity-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Curcumin for radiation dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of thirty breast cancer patients.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23745991


Radiation dermatitis occurs in approximately 95% of patients receiving radiotherapy (RT) for breast cancer. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the ability of curcumin to reduce radiation dermatitis severity in 30 breast cancer patients. Eligible patients were adult females with noninflammatory breast cancer or carcinoma in situ prescribed RT without concurrent chemotherapy. Randomized patients took 2.0 grams of curcumin or placebo orally three times per day (i.e., 6.0 grams daily) throughout their course of RT. Weekly assessments included Radiation Dermatitis Severity (RDS) score, presence of moist desquamation, redness measurement, McGill Pain Questionnaire-Short Form and Symptom Inventory questionnaire. The 30 evaluable patients were primarily white (90%) and had a mean age of 58.1 years. Standard pooled variances t test showed that curcumin reduced RDS at end of treatment compared to placebo (mean RDS = 2.6 vs. 3.4; P = 0.008). Fisher’s exact test revealed that fewer curcumin-treated patients had moist desquamation (28.6% vs. 87.5%; P = 0.002). No significant differences were observed between arms for demographics, compliance, radiation skin dose, redness, pain or symptoms. In conclusion, oral curcumin, 6.0 g daily during radiotherapy, reduced the severity of radiation dermatitis in breast cancer patients.

Curcumin attenuates insulin resistance in hepatocytes by inducing Nrf2 nuclear translocation

From: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/22024084


BACKGROUND/AIMS: NF-E2-Related Factor-2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that plays a crucial role in the cellular protection against oxidative stress. Curcumin has been reported to induce Nrf2 nuclear translocation and upregulate the expression of numerous reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxifying and antioxidant genes in hepatocytes.This study was designed to investigate whether curcumin-induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation could reduce ROS-mediated insulin resistance in cultured LO2 hepatocytes. METHODOLOGY: Human LO2 hepatocytes were incubated with curcumin and glucose oxidase (GO) in the presence/absence of wortmannin (a phosphatidyinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor). Oxidative stress, cellular damage, Nrf2 nuclear translocation and insulin resistance were measured. RESULTS: GO exposure significantly increased intracellular ROS, glutathione (GSH) depletion, malondialdehyde (MDA) formation, and increased activities of cellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and aspartate amino transferase (AST), as well as causing insulin resistance. Curcumin pretreatment significantly attenuated these disturbances in intracellular ROS, liver enzyme activity and significantly antagonized the lipid peroxidation, GSH depletion and insulin resistance induced by GO in LO2 hepatocytes. These effects paralleled Nrf2 nuclear translocation induced by curcumin. Wortmannin partially blocked curcumin-induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation. In addition, wortmannin prevented curcumin-induced improvements in intracellular ROS, MDA formation, GSH depletion, liver enzyme activity and insulin resistance in cultured LO2 hepatocytes. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that curcumin could reduce ROS-mediated insulin resistance in hepatocytes, at least in part through nuclear translocation of Nrf2.

Long Term Effect of Curcumin in Restoration of Tumour Suppressor p53 and Phase-II Antioxidant Enzymes via Activation of Nrf2 Signalling and Modulation of Inflammation in Prevention of Cancer

From: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/curcumin-potentiated-significant-increase-nrf2-activation-it-restored-activityPLoS One.


Inhibition of carcinogenesis may be a consequence of attenuation of oxidative stress via activation of antioxidant defence system, restoration and stabilization of tumour suppressor proteins along with modulation of inflammatory mediators. Previously we have delineated a significant role of curcumin during its long-term effect in regulation of glycolytic pathway and angiogenesis, which in turn results in prevention of cancer via modulation of stress activated genes. The present study was designed to investigate long-term effects of curcumin in regulation of Nrf2 mediated phase-II antioxidant enzymes, tumour suppressor p53 and inflammation under oxidative tumour microenvironment in liver of T-cell lymphoma bearing mice. Inhibition of Nrf2 signalling observed during lymphoma progression, resulted in down regulation of phase II antioxidant enzymes, p53 as well as activation of inflammatory signals. Curcumin potentiated a significant increase in Nrf2 activation. It restored activity of phase-II antioxidant enzymes like GST, GR, NQO1, and tumour suppressor p53 level. In addition, curcumin modulated inflammation via upregulation of TGF-β and reciprocal regulation of iNOS and COX2. The study suggests that during long term effect, curcumin leads to prevention of cancer by inducing phase-II antioxidant enzymes via activation of Nrf2 signalling, restoration of tumour suppressor p53 and modulation of inflammatory mediators like iNOS and COX2 in liver of lymphoma bearing mice.

Curcumin Activates the Heme Oxygenase-1 Gene via Regulation of Nrf2 and the Antioxidant Responsive Element

From: http://www.academia.edu/309816/Curcumin_Activates_the_Haem_Oxygenase-1_Gene_via_Regulation_of_Nrf2_and_the_Antioxidant-Responsive_Element


The transcription factor Nrf2, which normally exists in an inactive state as a consequenceof binding to a cytoskeleton-associated protein Keap1, can be activated by redox-dependent stimuli. Alteration of the Nrf2/Keap1 interaction enables Nrf2 to translocate to the nucleus, bind to the antioxidant responsive element (ARE) and initiates the transcription of genes encoding for detoxifying enzymes and cytoprotective proteins. This response is also triggered by a class of electrophilic compounds including polyphenols and plant-derived constituents. Recently, the natural antioxidants curcumin and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) have been identified as potent inducers of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a redox-sensitive inducible protein that provides protection against various forms of stress. Here, we show that in renal epithelial cells both curcumin and CAPE stimulate the expression of Nrf2 in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. This effect was associated with a significant increase in HO-1 protein expression and hemeoxygenase activity. From several lines of investigation we also report that curcumin (and, by inference, CAPE) stimulates HO-1 gene activity by promoting inactivation of the Nrf2/Keap1 complex leading to increased Nrf2 binding to the resident HO-1 AREs. Moreover, using antibodies and specific inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, we provide data implicating p38 MAPK in curcumin-mediated HO-1 induction. Taken together, these results demonstrate that induction of HO-1 by curcumin and CAPE requires the activation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway.

Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.


The medicinal properties of curcumin obtained from Curcuma longa L. cannot be utilised because of poor bioavailability due to its rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall. In this study, the effect of combining piperine, a known inhibitor of hepatic and intestinal glucuronidation, was evaluated on the bioavailability of curcumin in rats and healthy human volunteers. When curcumin was given alone, in the dose 2 g/kg to rats, moderate serum concentrations were achieved over a period of 4 h. Concomitant administration of piperine 20 mg/kg increased the serum concentration of curcumin for a short period of 1-2 h post drug. Time to maximum was significantly increased (P < 0.02) while elimination half life and clearance significantly decreased (P < 0.02), and the bioavailability was increased by 154%. On the other hand in humans after a dose of 2 g curcumin alone, serum levels were either undetectable or very low. Concomitant administration of piperine 20 mg produced much higher concentrations from 0.25 to 1 h post drug (P < 0.01 at 0.25 and 0.5 h; P < 0.001 at 1 h), the increase in bioavailability was 2000%. The study shows that in the dosages used, piperine enhances the serum concentration, extent of absorption and bioavailability of curcumin in both rats and humans with no adverse effects.


Curcuminoids are important polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help make Ultimate Protector+ an outstanding nutritional supplement.