Reduction of Oxidative Stress (Os): Successful Measurement using the Akers Biosciences
Breathscan Oxichek™ after use of the Lifevantage Nrf2 Synergizer: Protandim™
Dr. Larry G. Martin
CEO, Nutrigenomic Health, INC, USA.
Free Radical Or Oxidative Stress, Disease, And Aging
Nearly 200,000 peer-reviewed research studies on oxidative stress
can be found on www.pubmed.gov, covering nearly every major
disease process our body can develop. In light of this evidence, it
can no longer be argued whether Oxidative Stress is considered a
major-medical concern in our society. It has clearly been demonstrated
when a critical amount of oxidative stress occurs, “diseases
of aging” can manifest in our bodies as diabetes, atherosclerosis,
neurodegenerative diseases, strokes, arthritis, cancer, and many
more. It is suspected the number of diseases associated with OS
may exceed 300.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has reported as many as
30 different theories of the causation of aging. The most widely
accepted of these is the Free Radical Theory, now recognized as
Oxidative Stress. Dr. Denham Harman first proposed this free radical
theory of aging in 1954. Harman tested this theory by administering
dietary antioxidants to various strains of mice. By 1957, he
had shown that radio-protective compounds prolonged the median
life span of mice. Thus, was born the first dietary antioxidant study
and the topic has continued to be discussed for more than 60 years.
We now understand that higher levels of free radicals occur more
rapidly in our bodies than can be neutralized by our cellular defenses.
This results in a state referred to as “Oxidative Stress”. We
live in a world of commonly occurring conditions that overwhelm
the body’s natural defenses against free radical damage and contribute
to OS on a daily basis. A few of the conditions leading to
Oxidative Stress are:
•Exposure to air we inhale can have chemicals and toxins within it
•Consumption of daily food products that no longer contain the
level of nutritional support required by our finely tuned
•Stressful environments in the home or at work
•Free radicals arise from external and internal sources. Eg. the
products we put on our skin may contain harmful chemicals, polluted
air and water, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun cause
free radicals. Internal sources which can cause OS are:
mitochondria (which produce 90% of the cell’s production of free
radicals) as well as other by-products of the normal cellular
processes (chemical reactions, DNA mutations, etc.).
These contribute to higher levels of oxidative stress and directly
relates to an increased rate of aging and eventual illness. Other
biologic mechanisms such as inflammation and DNA damage also
play significant roles in the process of aging and are also attributed
to higher levels of OS.
NRF2 Activation And Protandim
Nrf2 is a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) protein transcription factor
responsible for regulating the expression of antioxidant proteins
that protect against oxidative damage at the cellular level. Nrf2 is
credited with protecting the body against cellular malfunction resulting
in the disease process and aging. It has also been referred to
as the “guardian of lifespan.” and is considered the gate keeper of
the Antioxidant Response Element (ARE). Once the Nrf2 pathway
is activated, NRf2 and KEAP-1 proteins separate, Nrf2 then translocates
into the cell nucleus and activates the survival genes at the
Antioxidant Response Element (ARE) site. This process upregulates
the good genes as well as down-regulates harmful genes. Upregulation
of the good genes causes production of antioxidant
enzymes which neutralize free radicals. By down-regulating bad
pro-inflammatory genes, Nrf2 effectively decreases inflammatory
molecules (NF-kappa B and other cytokines), thereby reducing inflammation
in the cell and body.
Once, Nrf2 has performed its function, it returns to combine with
Keap-1 (a process called “ubiquination”) where it’s held in sequestration
until it needed again. This process provides for better cellular
protection from OS in conjunction with prevention of damage
to the mitochondria, genes, and various cellular functions.
In a recent analysis of the literature, Pall and Levine (2015) reviewed
over 100 studies focusing on Nrf2. This analysis concluded
Nrf2 is a well-documented master regulator of the ARE. The
authors went on to state:
“We may be on the verge of a new literature on health
effects of Nrf2 which may well become the most extraordinary
therapeutic and most extraordinary preventive breakthrough in the
history of medicine. It is our opinion that raising Nrf2 is likely to
be the most important health promoting approach into the foreseeable
future.” (p. 11)
Protandim™ is a nutraceutical supplement developed by LifeVantage
(LFVN), a Utah based science-based nutraceutical company
focused on developing products that work as nutragenomic
up-regulators at the cellular level. Protandim™ is composed
of five well-studied medicinal herbs that work synergistically to
up-regulate the cellular protein Nrf2. In 2006, McCord and others
investigated Nrf2 activation with the use of the Nrf2 synergizer
Protandim™. The authors reported an increase in the cell’s antioxidants,
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Glutathione and Catalase,
resulting in significant reduction of OS in healthy human subjects
ranging in age from 20 to 78 years. Each subject was tested using
Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS) assay just prior
to taking Protandim daily and again at 30 days. The follow up
TBARS results revealed an average drop of OS by 40%.
Breath Analysis Testing For Oxidative Stress
When measuring OS, the TBARS test is arguably the ‘Gold Standard’.
However, this requires a blood draw, a specialized laboratory
for analysis, and a significant fee to the patient. A TBAR
test then becomes an unreasonable consideration for standard OS
testing in a private clinical practice. Seeing a need for a low cost
and effective way for monitoring OS, Akers Biosciences, Inc. designed
and recently released an OS screening device called the
OxiChek™–Rapid Breath Test for Oxidative Stress (Oxichek™).
This device measures super oxides and hydrogen peroxides, which
are abundant free radicals.
In 2016, a clinical comparative study between the Oxichek™ and
the TBARS blood test was performed under the supervision of
Adam C. Sobel, M.D., Director, Medical of Akers Bio. The results
yielded a high correlation (99.5%) between OxiChek™ breath test
and the TBARS blood test. This study demonstrated a reproducibility
of 100%, suggesting a zero variation after multiple repeat
measures in a lung simulator. Additionally, an intra-subject variation
ranging from 1.61% to 14.87% was present, indicating a narrow
variation upon multiple repeat tests on the human subjects.
Results Of A Pilot Study Pre And Post Os Test :
A pilot study (2017) measuring the OS levels of pre and post usage
of LifeVantage’s Protandim™ Nrf2 product was completed using
the Akers Bio BreathScan Lync™ reader with the OxiChek™ –
Rapid Breath Test for Oxidative Stress device. Forty-five subjects
(23 males and 22 females) ranging from 15 to 98 years participated
in the study. Participants were offered free pre-Oxidative Stress
Test (prior to starting their Protandim Nrf2 activator) and agreed,
also, to complete a free post OS test in 30 days. Pre-test OS scores
Overall results of this pilot study clearly suggest the Akers Bio
BreathScan Lync Reader with the OxiChek™ – Rapid Breath Test
for Oxidative Stress device is a reliable tool to measure OS in clinical
and non-clinical environments when testing is conducted by
either medically trained or non-medically trained testers. These
results further supported Dr. McCord’s earlier study that demonstrated
the use of the LifeVantage dietary supplement product, Protandim™ effectively reduces Oxidative Stress.
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