The graying of America-the aging of the baby boomers-who knew birthdays could cause such concern? The aging of Americans is of great concern because it will transform politics, retirement systems, health care systems, welfare systems, labor markets, banking, and stock markets. It’s incredible to think that at one second after midnight on January 1, 1946, when Kathleen Casey Wilkins was born in a Philadelphia hospital, the baby boom generation began-the period between 1946 and 1964 that experienced an all-time record number of births. In all, 76 million Americans were born, and thousands of these baby boomers are celebrating their 50th birthdays every day.
As we grow older and desire to live younger longer, we begin to wonder what it is that makes many people suffer from ailments due to aging, while others enjoy their longevity. An American scientist did some wondering of his own and managed to figure out the science behind the process of aging. Dr. Denham Harman read a 1945 Russian study that purported to show that cells are immortal. Thinking it was nonsense, he asked himself, “What kills us?” Using his research skills (he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and a medical degree from Stanford University), he began to look for the single cause responsible for aging. Why just a single cause? “I knew that when Mother Nature finds something that works, she uses it over and over,” Dr. Harman said.
As a result, Dr. Harman began to study free radicals, atoms or molecules that contain one or more unpaired electrons. These unpaired or “free” electrons are compelled to steal an electron from the nearest cell. This act, much like a “smash and grab” robbery at a jewelry store, causes damage to the cell.
The Groundbreaking Anti-Aging Theory
In his “aha!” moment, Dr. Harman suddenly understood that free radical reactions caused the deterioration of cells and accelerated aging with all its attendant ills. Can stopping free-radical damage make one immortal? Unfortunately not. But the body can remain healthy far longer if these electron-grabbing atoms are contained or neutralized.
Do we really need to worry about free radical attacks? Dr. Bruce Ames at the University of California, Berkeley, thinks so. He estimates that each cell in the body suffers 100,000 “hits” from free radicals every day.3
Lucky for us, there is natural protection from free radicals: antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that protect body cells from these damaging effects. Dr. Harman studied how antioxidants impacted average life expectancy at birth and the maximum life span. In these studies, Dr. Harman found that through antioxidant supplementation, average life expectancy at birth could be increased. But strangely enough, the maximum life span was not impacted at all.
Were free radicals more dangerous in some cells than others? Thinking through this question, Dr. Harman modified his theory. In a 1998 interview, he explained his revised belief that life span is “determined by the rate of free radical damage to the mitochondria, where mammals use 90 percent of their oxygen.”4
Mitochondria are often described as cellular power plants because they manufacture a source of energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). And here at the power source of cells it is crucial for free radicals to be neutralized-especially the free radical superoxide.
The Complexity of Free Radicals
Free radicals are a very complex subject. There are four different oxygen free radicals (superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl, and singlet oxygen), and two nitrogen free radicals (peroxynitrite and nitric oxide), as well as lipid peroxide free radicals.
Superoxide is the most abundant and damaging free radical found in the human body. Simply breathing will generate this free radical. To complicate our lives even more, superoxide can be chemically converted into other forms of free radicals.
Antioxidants to the Rescue
The test that allows scientists to discover the antioxidant strength of substances is called ORAC: Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. The USDA researchers at Tufts University have refined and individualized this test so that they can now check for specific antioxidant capacity. There is the H-ORAC test for hydroxyl free radical absorbance, the N-ORAC test for peroxynitrite absorbance, and most important of all, the S-ORAC test, which is for superoxide absorbance capacity.
By understanding that 1 to 3 percent of the body’s total oxygen intake will be converted to superoxide in the mitochondria every day, the importance of protective antioxidants becomes very clear! Vitamins A, C, and E are known as excellent antioxidants. But there is a specific antioxidant that neutralizes dangerous superoxide free radical. The enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD) neutralizes superoxide. Scientists look for any antioxidant that has SOD-like activity against the superoxide free radical.
Berry Young Juice™ Aces S-ORAC Test!
Testing has confirmed astounding superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in Young Living’s Berry Young Juice™. This nutrient-filled juice possesses SOD activity in seeking out and neutralizing the free radical known to cause the most damage in the body-superoxide.
In S-ORAC tests performed at an independent laboratory, Brunswick Laboratories, Berry Young Juice™ was found to have not just great, but exceptional protection against superoxide (see the accompanying chart below.)
Unlike cod liver oil (you know it is good for you but YUCK! It’s so distasteful!), Berry Young juice is good for you and your taste buds! There are no sugary “junk” juices (like pear, apple, and grape, which are high in “sweetness” but low in nutrients) in BYJ. Only juices known for their high antioxidant and synergistic power are in BYJ: wolfberry, blueberry, raspberry, pomegranate, and apricot juice. And they taste great! The delectable flavor and additional limonene antioxidant power of lemon and orange essential oils make important contributions to this flavorful juice.
Berry Young Juice™ celebrates the power of pure and powerful fruit juices. Rachel Galli, Ph.D., of Tufts University said, “Increasing dietary intake of fruits and vegetables can retard, and even reverse age-related declines in brain function.”5 It just doesn’t work to isolate compounds and attempt to recreate them synthetically. Cornell University researchers emphasize the power of nutrients found in whole foods: “We propose that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities.”6
The scientifically documented antioxidant protection of Berry Young Juice™ is not the only benefit found-additionally there are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids in BYJ.
Dr. Harman concluded his remarks about the free radical theory with this thought: “Mother Nature did not mean for us to live forever, but that doesn’t mean we should not try to increase our functional life span.” Adding Berry Young juice to your daily regimen is the key to increased health and longevity![toggle title=”Notes”]1. Paul McFedries, Word Spy. (New York: Broadway, 2004), 239.
2. Interview by Franklin Cameron, September 1998, Healthwell.
3. Saul RL, Ames BN, “Background levels of DNA damage in the population,” Basic Life Sci. 1986;38:529-35.
4. Interview by Franklin Cameron, September 1998, Healthwell.
5. Galli R, et al., “Fruit polyphenolics and brain aging: nutritional interventions targeting age-related neuronal and behavioral deficits,” Ann NY Acad Sci. 2002 Apr;959:128-32.
6. Liu RH, “Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals,” Am J Clin Ntrl. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):517S-520S.[/toggle] Reprinted with permission of Young Living, Lehi, UT 84043