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Supporting Healthy Oxidative Balance

Nutrition studies have found that taking Enzogenol as a dietary supplement can reduce oxidative stress, including protein oxidation and DNA damage in the body and thereby support a healthy oxidative balance.

The effects of Enzogenol on parameters of oxidative balance were published in the following peer-reviewed research articles:

Oxidative stress is a term for the damage to biomolecules, tissues, organs and the whole body through oxidative processes from reactive molecules called free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Our body counteracts these oxidative processes through the use of antioxidants. For a more in-depth look at anti-oxidants and health please see below. 

This section gives some general explanations on how antioxidants, free radicals, oxidative stress and flavonoids relate to our body's health and well-being.

The Role of Antioxidants
Free Radicals - the cause of oxidative stress
Flavonoids - a key ingredient

The Role of Antioxidants

Scientists have discovered that Enzogenol's highly effective and complex blend of antioxidants help to fight the free radicals that cause damage to the cells in our bodies.

Antioxidants are vital in combating the free radicals that are constantly forming in our bodies due to oxidation. Free radicals damage the cells in our bodies, and an imbalance of free radicals causes oxidative stress which can cause grave disturbances in cell metabolism. Curbing the activity of free radicals in your body, helps to slow down the processes that cause disease and ageing, and can contribute to a longer, healthier life.

Our bodies gain antioxidants from two sources:
  1. Our body's in-house antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione.
  2. Dietary antioxidants, from sources such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains.

As we grow older our body's defense system loses its effectiveness and we hold fewer antioxidants. Fewer free radicals are neutralised and this can lead to a slow build-up of damaged molecules in the body.

Therefore, to reduce the damage to our bodies caused by free radicals, we are wise to add antioxidants to our diets.

Enzogenol is a blend of special antioxidants including proanthocyanidins (also called OPC, oligomeric procyanidins), numerous other flavonoids, and organic acids. This complex blend makes Enzogenol one of the most powerful and effective antioxidants available to combat free radical damage.

Many researchers claim that dietary changes designed to decrease the rate of free radical reactions in the body can increase the span of healthy life by years. Flavonoids like those in Enzogenol are antioxidant compounds found in plants. They are natural dietary disease-preventing, health-promoting substances.

Free Radicals - the cause of oxidative stress

Just as oxidation takes place all around us, it also occurs in our bodies. Millions of chemical reactions involving oxidation take place in our bodies every second.

An imbalance of free radicals causes oxidative stress, and oxidative stress can cause damage to the building blocks of our body: DNA, proteins and lipids.

Some facts about free radicals and oxidative stress:
Free radicals are unstable, reactive molecules that often contain oxygen. They are unstable because they have one free reactive electron and they desperately want to pair this free electron with another electron to become stable. To get another electron they rob one from anything they can. Healthy cells in our bodies are a good source for these electrons. Free radicals go about their business in our bodies relentlessly and very quickly, and can cause a lot of damage. It is estimated that our DNA receives about 10,000 "hits" from free radicals per cell per day (Ames, 1993).

An imbalance of free radicals in the body is called oxidative stress. Our cells can cope with some oxidative stress as they have developed endogenous antioxidants that are the defense mechanisms fighting off the constant attack from free radicals. Our body-cells have also developed repair mechanisms that are there to ensure that damaged molecules and cells do not cause permanent harm to our entire body. However not all damage can be repaired and the unrepaired damage can accumulates in the body.

Major oxidative stress can cause grave disturbances in cell metabolism and contribute to human disease. Tissue damage and injury can also lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, protein damage and ischaemic (lack of oxygen) injury.

The human body constantly produces free radicals and other oxygen derived molecules (such as hydrogen peroxide). It has a relatively small reserve of antioxidant defense capacity.
Today, people continuously subject themselves to many substances and activities that increase the level of free radicals in their bodies, so the body can easily become overpopulated with oxygen-derived species that upset cell biochemistry. Sources of free radicals include metabolism by-products, macrophages and neutrophils, UV radiation, pollution, fatty foods, chemicals, cigarette smoke and exercise.

Flavonoids - a key ingredient

Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds found in plants, and are natural disease-preventing, health-promoting dietary substances. Epidemiological studies have shown that higher intake of flavonoids is associated with lower disease frequency and better health. However, studies have also shown that our normal intake of flavonoids through eating a range of fruits and vegetables is not adequate with todays average diets.

Flavonoids are some of the most powerful and effective antioxidant compounds available to humans - and since we are unable to produce flavonoids ourselves, we must get them from the food we eat and from supplements.

Pine bark extracts are a particularly good source of highly concentrated flavonoid compounds. Enzogenol, with its potent pine bark extract and pure water extraction process, is one of the most effective ways in which we can stock up on the amounts of flavonoids we need to support our health.

Flavonoid-related facts - more than just an antioxidant
Flavonoids are diverse both in their characteristics and chemical structures. More than 4000 flavonoids have been identified and some say there could be as many as 20,000 in plants.
A well-balanced extract reflects the full spectrum of flavonoid compounds, including proanthocyanidins, across all molecular weights. In addition to the antioxidant activity, plant flavonoids have a wide range of other biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, collagen stabilising, and important effects on cell signalling. Flavonoids from many plant sources have been used throughout the world as traditional medical treatments for many ailments and disorders.

All plant extracts are made up of many compounds, with the range related to the biological evolution of the source material. All materials are not equal in this regard - over time, evolution has developed very complex compounds which provide sophisticated defense mechanisms for plants. Tree bark is nature's ultimate defense system, providing protection to trees for decades and even centuries.

The study of flavonoids
Research into flavonoids has dramatically increased over the past two decades.

Flavonoids first came into the spotlight in the 1930s when Szent-Györgyi and his colleagues extracted two flavonoids from citrus fruit. They investigated the effects of the flavonoids and found they decreased the fragility and permeability of people's capillaries. This is why flavonoids were then called "vitamin P" - for permeability.

This was probably the first study undertaken on the effect of flavonoids on human health, but the work could not be repeated so the claim that flavonoids were vitamins was dropped in the 1950s.

Since then, many biological effects countering inflammatory, bacterial, viral, microbial, hormonal, carcinogenic, neoplastic and allergic disorders (Middleton, 1996) have been reported for flavonoids in in vitro and in vivo systems.

Flavonoids exert these antioxidant effects by neutralising all types of oxidising radicals (Bors et al, 1998) including the superoxide (Robak, et al, 1998) and hydroxyl radicals (Husain, et al, 1987) and by chelation. A chelator binds to metal ions in our bodies to prevent them being available for oxidation.


Ames, BN, Shigenaga, MK, Hagen, TM (1993) Oxidants, antioxidants, and the degenerative diseases of aging. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA: 90, 7915-7922
Bors, W, Heller, W, Michel, C. (1998) The Chemistry of Flavonoids. From Flavonoids in Health and Disease, Edited by C A Rice-Evans and L Packer, Marcel Dekker, New York.
Hertog, MGL, Feskens EJM, Hollman PCH, Katan MB, Kromhout, D (1993) Dietary antioxidant flavonoids and risk of coronary heart disease: the Zutphen Elderly Study Lancet 342, 1007-1011
Husain, S R, Cillard, J, Cillard, P (1987) Hydroxyl Radical Scavenging Activity of Flavonoids. Phytochemistry, 26 (9)
Keli, SO, Hertog MGL, Feskens EJM, Kromhout D (1996) Dietary Flavonoids, Antioxidant Vitamins, and Incidence of Stroke. Arch Intern Med 156, 637-642
Middleton, E (1996) Biological Properties of Plant Flavonoids: An Overview. International Journal of Pharmacognosy 34 (5)
Pryor, WA, Cornicelli, JA< Devall, LJ, Tait, B, Trivedi, BK, Witak, DT, Wu, M (1993) J.Org.Chem. 58 (13), 3521-3531
Robak, J, Gryglewski, R J. (1988) Flavonoids are Scavengers of Superoxide Anions. Biochemical Pharmacology, 37(5)

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