Antioxidants were once defined mostly by the ORAC scale, but the efficacy, bioavailability, and targeted bioactivity of antioxidants are coming to the fore, particularly as people understand more about the specific roles of certain antioxidants in health. Most know that antioxidants are thought to have the ability to neutralize free radicals and the oxidative process†, which contributes to aging and unhealth.
Antioxidants are already well known, though, and the numbers indicate their strength in the marketplace. In 2007, antioxidant sales grew by about 6 percent and reached more than $3 billion, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. In fact, the top-selling antioxidants in 2007 were the same as in 2006, but the antioxidant CoQ10 advanced to second place, passing up vitamin E.
In 2007, these were the antioxidants that topped the sales charts:
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin A/Beta carotene
Additionally, carotenoids have well established and strong positions as antioxidants.
Astaxanthin, in particular, has significant clinical evidence for its potential benefits for supporting cardiovascular, digestive, skin, and joint health.† Additionally, astaxanthin is thought to support a healthy immune system.†
Another strong antioxidant is Amla (Indian gooseberry), a superfruit from the Ayruvedic tradition. In fact, a recent article indicates that Amla or Indian gooseberry has an antioxidant capacity higher than other fruits such as blueberries and strawberries—so this could be one antioxidant to keep watching.
Then there’s CoQ10, a natural compound the body decreasingly produces as we age, but is critical to healthy cells. In order for CoQ10 to function, however, it must first be converted into ubiquinol, its active antioxidant form. Aging and unhealth decrease CoQ10 production and the body’s ability to convert it to ubiquinol. CoQ10 is one of the most popular and fastest-growing antioxidants in the U.S. and has great appeal to those over 40 and those wanting more stamina or energy. It doesn’t hurt that CoQ10 may also support cardiovascular health.†
These are just some of the antioxidants finding their way to the limelight as more and more people realize just what these powerful nutrients can do.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.