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Chaga and Antioxidants

Oxygen and Free Radicals Formation

Chaga antioxidant

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Every day we breathe polluted air, eat food with artificial additives, drink water, containing dozens of harmful substances, and lead a life full of stress. Scientists have found that under the influence of the above factors, formation of so-called "free radicals" takes place in the human body, which are responsible for the accelerated destruction and deformation of the body's cells. They can also damage DNA molecules, impairs memory and accelerates aging.

The problem lies with the structure of oxygen atoms. Normally, the nucleus of an atom of oxygen is surrounded by 8 electrons, which are combined in pairs to form a stable and safe molecule. But sometimes, under the influence of external factors, one electron is taken away from, or vice versa, is added to the molecule. Then, extremely active formations are born, known as free radicals. Free radicals "wander" the living cells of the body, plunging everything into chaos. In an effort to gain a normal amount of electrons, they are ready to "tear" the missing particle in any molecule they meet, causing a chain reaction of destruction. This process, known as "oxidative stress", is considered responsible for weakening a healthy person.

Free radicals can form when oxygen interacts with some types of molecules, in a process known as oxidation. Free radicals are single atoms or groups of atoms that are “unpaired,” meaning they are unstable and like to steal an electron from a nearby atom or groups of atoms to stabilize themselves. Unfortunately, losing an electron causes the other atom or atoms to become unstable free radicals, which then try to steal electrons from their neighbors.

Left unchecked, this can cause a chain reaction that causes widespread damage to cellular components, such as DNA and the cell membrane. Widespread damage can also result in premature cell aging.

How People Get Excessive Free Radicals

Chaga antioxidant

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Excess levels of free radicals may be the result of a variety of factors including:

  • Stress
  • Aging
  • Smoking
  • Pollution and other environmental factors
  • Weakened immune system
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light

It’s impossible to be fully protected against free radicals. But they may be neutralized. That's where chaga mushroom with its high ORAC levels can help.

Antioxidants Neutralize Free Radicals

Chaga antioxidant

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You know how dangerous free radicals can be to your health, but you may not know the best natural way to control free radicals. It is not easy to avoid the oxidative damage associated with free radicals, but it is possible.

Unfortunately, many consumers are not aware how the active ingredients of foods work to stop free radicals in their tracks. To prevent oxidation, the body absorbs anti-oxidative nutrients from some of the foods you eat. Foods with antioxidant properties neutralize free radicals by donating an electron, which effectively halts the chain reaction. Unlike other molecules, however, antioxidant molecules are stable even after donating an electron so these molecules never become free radicals. In fact, anti-oxidant molecules hunt down free radicals to help prevent cellular and molecular damage.

Scientists have assigned each food a ranking of its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC, based on its ability to stop a cascade of dangerous oxidation and free radicals before they can cause damage. Foods with high ORAC levels provide a great deal of anti-oxidants, while those with low ORAC levels have fewer antioxidants. In other words, substances with high ORAC levels provide the greatest protection against harmful free radicals.

Recent marketing has increased the popularity of certain foods – such as blueberries, pomegranates, and Açaí berries – among people who hope to reduce free radicals and control the damage they cause. Chaga mushroom is now taking center stage for its ability to control dangerous free radicals.

Chaga Seeks Out and Destroys Free Radical

Chaga antioxidant

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Studies have shown that Siberian chaga extract, with its high concentration of antioxidants, has great potential to find and destroy free radicals, thereby protecting cells from the oxidation process. There are tests that determine the content of antioxidants in any food product.

Sayan always looks for the most updated tests and laboratory analysis which could provide scientific prove about Siberian chaga health benefits. We work closely with one of the most respected laboratories in the world, Brunswick Lab, to determine the ability of our chaga extract to fight all known basic radicals that are present in our body. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) tests are among the most acknowledged methods to measure antioxidants in chaga extract. ORAC tests measure antioxidant scavenging activity against oxygen radicals that could affect our health.

In 2011 Sayan chaga extract powder sample was sent to Brunswick Lab be studied for ORAC Total - hydrophilic (H-ORAC) and lipophilic (L-ORAC) - Peroxyl Radical Absorbance Capacity, expressed as Trolox Equivalent. The result which we got was 1,532 µmol TE/gram. You can see the comparison table below:

Siberian chaga extract powder 1,532 µmol TE/gram
Acai Extract 1,027 µmol TE/gram
Blueberries 96.21 µmol TE/gram
Pomegranate 44.79 µmol TE/gram

Later, Brunswick lab developed a new method for ORAC testing – Total ORAC FN / ORAC 5.0, which consists of five types of assays that evaluate the antioxidant capacity of a material against five primary reactive oxygen species found in our body. These five predominant reactive species, commonly called "oxygen radicals", are: peroxil radicals, hydroxyl radicals, peroxynitrite , super oxide anion, and singlet oxygen. Total ORAC FN provides a measure of the total antioxidant power of a food/nutrition against the five predominant reactive species.

We submitted Sayan chaga extract powder sample for testing one more time, and below is the table with results (µmol TE/gram):

Antioxidant power against peroxyl radicals 1,584
Antioxidant power against hydroxyl radicals 29,300
Antioxidant power against peroxynitrite 107
Antioxidant power against super oxide anion 8,825
Antioxidant power against singlet oxygen 163

Total capacity of our chaga extract to destroy free radicals is 39,979 mole TE/gram. The result proved that Sayan Chaga extract powder is a dietary supplement with high ORAC content. This means that Sayan chaga extracts could improve your body ability to fight dangerous free radicals which could harm your cells.

Such high concentration of antioxidants is not found in any known natural plant product. For comparison, pomegranate has a value (µmol TE/gram) of 105, blueberries of 26, and chocolate of 40.2.

AOAC International, a global leader in the development and standardization of validated analytical methods has approved ORAC analysis, developed jointly by Brunswick Laboratories and the USDA.

We feel it is vital to accurately analyze, measure, and report the effectiveness of our Sayan Siberian Chaga products to help consumers who want to improve their health.

*All information contained on this website page is based on research and testing to date and is for informational and educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Only a licensed medical practitioner can offer medical advice.