HEALTH BREAKTHROUGH By Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the biological system’s ability to readily neutralize the free radicals and repair the resulting damage. This oxidative damage has been implicated in many diseases including heart disease, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. Oxidative stress is known to damage DNA, proteins, LDL and other lipids critical to the cell. Oxidative stress is also connected to the aging process.
The production of free radicals is a normal consequence of metabolism. When we use oxygen in the process of producing energy, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are created. If not neutralized, they start a cascade of damage to other molecules which can ultimately result in the death of the cell. Fortunately our cells have the ability to make and use antioxidants to defend themselves against oxidative damage.
Things that create an imbalance favoring oxidation and oxidative stress are radiation, cigarette smoking, air pollution, toxins, inflammation, overeating, and poor nutrition where not enough anti-oxidants or antioxidant building blocks are consumed in the diet.
To protect themselves from oxidative stress and damage from the sun, plants contain high concentrations of polyphenols which serve as antioxidants. Some of these polyphenols are flavonoids, flavinols, anthocyanins and phenolic acids.
Populations of humans that regularly consume fruits and vegetables have been documented by large epidemiological studies to have less disease and oxidative stress than populations that do not. Oxidative stress reduction in humans by the dietary intake of polyphenols has been shown in experimental animal studies and cell culture experiments to reduce diseases associated with oxidative damage. However, supplementing the diet with specific vitamins or compounds derived from plants has so far been disappointing in dramatically reducing or preventing human disease. Experts believe that the absorption and metabolism of the complex polyphenols provides the body the opportunity to produce the amounts and kinds of antioxidants that it needs to avoid oxidative stress. The key then is not the antioxidant content of the food, but whether it is absorbed and metabolized to compounds that are effective in combating oxidative stress.
Coffee is rich in polyphenols and is consumed by a large majority of people on a regular basis. Therefore coffee is the largest single source of antioxidants in the American diet. The major antioxidant compounds in coffee is the polyphenol chlorogenic acid (CGA). It’s absorbed and metabolized in humans and demonstrates antioxidant activity in plasma.
Chlorogenic acid and its metabolites reduce the oxidation of LDL (so called bad cholesterol). Oxidized LDL plays a critical role in the formation and growth of atherosclerotic plaques which can lead to heart attacks and death. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2002,50,5735-5741, American Society for Nutritional Sciences 2001,66-71, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007;86:604-9)
Other proven and promising studies have shown the health benefits of coffee in combating disease, from Parkinson’s to type II diabetes, from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. To list just a few [Biochemistry 2004; 69:70-74, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2006; 83:1039-46, Annals Internal Medicine 2004; 140:1-8, FEBS Letters 368 (1995) 188-192, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 97, No. 4, 293-300, February 16, 2005, CANCER RESEARCH 49, 1049-1051, February 15. 1989, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 16, 2009]
ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbing Capacity) is a popular method to measure antioxidants in food, but it does not indicate whether the antioxidant is absorbed, metabolized or actually does anything beneficial in our body.
CGA is the major antioxidant in coffee and we know that it’s absorbed, metabolized, has potent antioxidant activity, and is incorporated into LDL to prevent its oxidation. Therefore, measuring the levels of CGA is a valid method of demonstrating the value of coffee to good health.
While coffee is rich in antioxidants, the roasting process which produces most of the taste and aroma of brewed coffee also destroys the majority of the antioxidant polyphenols. The darker the roast, the lower the antioxidant content.
The first advance in coffee in hundreds of years is the invention and patenting of the HealthyRoast® process. This process carefully extracts antioxidants from green (unroasted) coffee beans and infuses them into the beans at the end stages of the roasting process thus making it very rich in antioxidant polyphenols. Our Antioxidant Coffee has been produced with the exclusive rights to these patents for the HealthyRoast® process (US patent # 6723368).
Since CGA is the major polyphenol in coffee and is known to be absorbed, metabolized and is beneficial to the body, our scientists have chosen to measure CGA as a method for quality control and to compare Antioxidant Cafe™ coffee to other premium coffees. The measurement of CGA content was done by a technique called high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and was conducted by a third-party independent laboratory.
Antioxidant coffee is truly the first breakthrough in coffee industry in hundreds of years. Our Antioxidant Cafe™ coffee delivers up to six times more antioxidants than major retail premium coffee. Antioxidant Cafe™ HealthyRoast® brand multiplies the health benefits of consuming coffee making it unique and appealing to all those who are concerned about consuming more and more effective antioxidants from coffee. Because of this breakthrough our Antioxidant Coffee is poised to become a significant part of the $34 billion domestic coffee market.
Dr. Dwight Lundell is Chief Medical Officer of Asantae. He has performed more that 5,000 coronary bypass operations and is the author of The Cure for Heart Disease.