Learning About ORAC
The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test is used to determine the amount of antioxidants in a food. Many different fruits, vegetables, and spices have been given a ORAC number. The USDA even published a table of these values up until 2012. This test was created by Dr. Guohua Cao, a physician and chemist who worked for the National Institute on Aging.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are powerful vitamins and minerals found in certain foods and in red wine that help combat free radicals. Free radicals are groups of atoms that have an unpaired number of electrons. This makes them very reactive towards other molecules and can start off chain reactions that damage cells. These reactions can even destroy or damage DNA and make cells malfunction or die completely.
Testing for Protection
Dr. Cao’s test used a fluorometer to determine how well antioxidants could protect fluorescent molecules from oxidative degeneration. This degeneration was caused when free radicals came into contact with a body’s cell. When the cells lost fluorescence due to the damage done to their fluorescent molecules, they began to no longer function correctly, and they eventually died.
There are several other alternate tests that have been developed, including the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity test and the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent test. However, the ORAC method has several advantages going for it, such as the ability to study different phases of antioxidants, which make it a better option.
The USDA’s table showed that a cup of prunes offered the highest number of ORAC units (14,582), but this chart doesn’t include the acai berry. When it’s added to the list, there’s no comparison: the acai has by far the most ORAC units out of any fruit. In fact, with something like the acai berry, you can consume as much as 20,000 ORAC units in a single fluid ounce. That’s a much better concentration than a cup of prunes.
Antioxidants are essential for protecting the body from the damage done by free radicals, but very few people get the recommended daily amount. Who eats a cup of prunes every day? That’s why many people have turned to the acai berry to get these essentials. In addition to providing a huge amount of antioxidants, the acai also provides many different vitamins and minerals, too. It’s the perfect way to stay healthy in today’s world.
You may also want to start taking an acai berry supplement. Research has shown that a supplement such as the acai berry may be able to provide you with a number of benefits.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.