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De-Oxidize with Coffee-Berry
by Natalie Shamitko

As science continues to uncover connections between the diseases of aging and free-radical damage, antioxidants remain a vital safeguard against the internal siege. Diets high in antioxidants, as well as supplementation with antioxidants, have been shown effective in reducing oxidizing cellular damage.

Free radicals are unstable chemicals formed in the body during metabolism and from exposure to environmental sources, such as pollution and cigarette smoke. Free radicals are necessary for energy metabolism and immune function. However, when an excessive number of free radicals are formed, they can attack healthy cells, especially their membrane lipids and proteins. This, in turn, is thought to contribute to a number of degenerative diseases, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and immune dysfunction.

Recent science has focused on the antioxidant and cardio-protective aspects of pomegranate. These brightly colored fruits contain numerous compounds known for their antioxidant capabilities, including anthocyanidins, catechins, tannis, and gallic and ellagic acids.

While many pomegranate extracts are standardized to ellagic acid, increasing research indicates that the active ingredients of pomegranate lie in its quantities of ellagitannins, specifically punicalagins. Research shows punicalagins to be especially important for supporting healthy cell growth, immune function, and cardiovascular health.

Research on mice shows that supplementation with pomegranate juice can decrease macrophage lipid accumulation and cellular cholesterol accumulation—generally indications of the presence of atherosclerosis. Recently, research in humans has confirmed a beneficial effect of consuming pomegranate juice on parameters, such as LDL oxidation, blood pressure, and blood vessel health.

Though the coffee bean is well known as a source of antioxidants and the source of a common drink, the bright red fruit surrounding the bean is becoming increasingly popular due to its antioxidant roles. The whole coffee fruit contains significantly higher levels of antioxidants than brewed coffee, as modern coffee harvesting and roasting practices discard much of the antioxidants found in the fruit and bean. One way to determine the antioxidant capacity of a product is by measuring its oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay or its ORAC activity. This is a method for quantifying the antioxidant strength of substance (i.e., its ability to fight free radicals). One gram of coffee fruit extract provides 15 times more of the ORAC activity as compared to green tea, thus demonstrating its powerful antioxidant capacity.

Research indicates whole-coffee fruit is a rich source of polyphenols including caffeic, chlorogenic, ferulic, and quinic acids. These phenolic acids are known for their important roles in supporting healthy blood sugar metabolism and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, including the facilitation of normal blood pressure.

As a traditional food of native peoples, coffee fruit has a history of being used as a tea, wine, medicine, and energy-providing food. Until recently, coffee fruit was unavailable to those outside of the coffee harvesting countries, as it was too perishable. Modern patent-pending technology now allows the fruit to be harvested and used in supplements and other foodstuffs.

It is increasingly thought that the continual intake of antioxidants through a healthy diet and supplementation may play a vital role in supporting the body's defenses. Including potent antioxidant ingredients such as pomegranate and coffee fruit as contained in Douglas Labs' Coffee Granate Forte, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle regimen, can help the body maintain optimum wellness throughout the normal aging process.

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