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The Power of Antioxidants: Enhancing Health and Vitality with Polyphenols

The Power of Antioxidants: Enhancing Health and Vitality with Polyphenols

In various supplement categories, antioxidants or “antioxidant health” has become interchangeable with well-being and overall healthy living. Antioxidants have been praised for their ability to fight free radicals and combat oxidative stress in the body.

How do Antioxidants Work?

Antioxidants are molecules that help neutralize free radicals by inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable molecules with unpaired electrons which can cause damage to cells and DNA. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals by donating electrons to stabilize these free radicals preventing them from causing damage in the body. By maintaining the balance between oxidation –those substances that cause oxidation, and antioxidants –those substances that inhibit oxidation, is essential for maintaining cellular and physiological function.[1]

When there is an imbalance, oxidative stress occurs leading to cellular damage and potentially contributing to the development of disease. Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress in the body by neutralizing reactive oxygen species preserving cellular integrity and function.

One of the most popular research review papers on antioxidants published in 2010 explored the cellular damage caused by oxidative stress, and the potential of dietary antioxidants as functional foods in managing human disease. The review concluded that the potential of antioxidants from dietary and plant sources presents a viable strategy for combating oxidative stress and overall healthy well-being. It showed that combining traditional health principles with modern research methodologies can pave the way for innovative approaches to improving improve health outcomes.

Fast forward almost 15 years there is a wealth of information and clinical research on antioxidants in functional foods and as ingredients.

Health Benefits of Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a vital role as an ingredient in dietary supplements offering a wide variety of benefits for overall health and well-being. They are most well-known for providing cellular protection by shielding cells from oxidative damage, supporting benefits in weight management, immune support, healthy aging, cellular vitality, and cognitive function. Some antioxidants provide dual benefits through the regeneration of other antioxidants in the body, such as Vitamin E or glutathione, which have already donated their electrons to neutralize free radicals.  This recycling process enhances the overall antioxidant capacity of the body and enhances additional health benefits.

Polyphenols as the Ultimate Antioxidant

Polyphenols are a group of phytochemical compounds naturally occurring in plants. These compounds include phenolic acids, flavonoids, catechins, tannins, lignans, and anthocyanidins. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants and can neutralize free radicals and reactive oxygen specific in the body. This antioxidant activity reduces oxidative stress and protects the cells from damage. Polyphenols can also modulate signaling pathways involved in the body’s inflammatory response, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. In addition, some polyphenols can inhibit the activity of enzymes involved in the process of lipid metabolism and DNA replication.[2]

There are over 8,000 known types of polyphenols found in a variety of fruit, vegetables, whole grain, nuts and seeds, tea, coffee, and red wine. Incorporating polyphenol-rich foods into the diet is a great way to enhance health and well-being.[3]

Polynol: The Powerhouse Antioxidant (Do you need tm after all polynol)

Polynol™ is a natural polyphenol-rich extract derived from sugarcane. The novel preparation of Polynol has been shown to have a large concentration of both polyphenol and other antioxidant compounds. The bioactive properties of Polynol harness advantages to promote overall well-being.  The benefits of the antioxidant capability of Polynol include supporting a healthy inflammatory response, immune support, and boosting cellular health.

Weight Management and Body Composition

A recent study evaluated the potential of polyphenol extracts from sugarcane in mitigating diet-induced obesity showed polyphenol-rich sugarcane extract (PRSE) fed mice had a lower mean weight from week one onward. The measurements included assessments of energy expenditure and activity, digestibility, glycemic response, body composition, and adipocyte hormones to gauge the impact of PRSE on the progression of obesity. In addition, the results showed an increase in energy expenditure in the feces treatment group compared to the control group.

Immune Function

A 2021 study investigated the immunomodulatory properties of polyphenol rich sugarcane extract (PRSE) on human monocytes. The study focused on assessing the effect of PRSE on cell surface markets, cytokine secretion, and NF- kB activation in human monocyte cells.  The results showed that PRSE exhibited significant immunomodulatory effects, particularly; in modulating the innate immune response of monocytes.

Antioxidant Capacity

A 2020 research study examined the antioxidant activity and polyphenol composition of sugarcane molasses extract (ME). The study specifically examined the ethanol extract of sugarcane molasses and its fraction (ME-RBF) to gauge their antioxidant potential. The results showed ME-RBF exhibited significantly higher levels of total polyphenols and flavonoids compared to the original sugarcane molasses extract.  This suggests that the fractionation process not only concentrated the polyphenol content but also enhanced the antioxidant activity.

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[1] Nimse S.B, Pal D. , Free Radicals, Natural Antioxidants, and Their Reaction Mechanism. RSC Advances, 2015

[2] Rudrapal M., Khairnar S., Khan J., et al. Dietary Polyphenols and their Role in Oxidative Stress-Induced Human Diseases: Insights into Protective Effects, Antioxidant Potentials and Mechanism (s) of Action. Front Pharmacology. 2022.

[3] Pandey K., and Rizvi S. Plant Polyphenols as Dietary Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease. Oxid. Med Cell Longevity. 2009.

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