Antioxidants and free radicals – the protective unit of measurement ORAC

Everyone is talking about antioxidants and free radicals – and therefore also about the so-called ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity). But what exactly is the ORAC value and what does it mean in relation to our food?

In recent decades, oxidative stress (exposure to free radicals) has been recognized as a factor in the development of a number of chronic diseases. Antioxidants, which are able to neutralize or quench oxygen radicals, quickly came into the focus of research. In the course of the research, the need arose for a technique capable of measuring the antioxidant capacity of a food. This is how the original ORAC was created. Brunswick Laboratories has become the only laboratory in the world that can perform such a standardized ORAC test, thanks to which the ORAC value of the most diverse products becomes comparable. Since its inception, the ORAC test has enjoyed great popularity in the food and dietary supplement industry. Recently, Dr. Ronald Prior, former USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) scientist and pioneer in antioxidant research, noted in an article the link between antioxidants, oxidative stress and health. The article presented a review of several studies showing that consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables leads to an increase in antioxidant capacity in the body. Included were several studies that showed an association between increased intake of antioxidants from food and reduced risk for some common diseases. Based on previous study results, the authors estimated the average oral intake of ORAC for a person eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to be 4360 ORAC units and 8600 ORAC units for those consuming 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. Finally, they held that ORAC intakes of at least 12,000 units or more are needed for lower risk of various diseases. This means that a person would need to consume about 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables to reach the necessary ORAC level. By the way, 1-serving of VABO-N ESSENTIALS has an ORAC value (6.0) of 43,000 (serving = 33ml) and FIERCE has a value of 48,000 per serving (250ml).