An apple a day – we all remember this phrase from our parents “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” to encourage us to eat more fruit. It is well known that eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides the proper nutrition to support a healthy lifestyle. But what is “nutrition” and how does it impact us?
Webster defines nutrition as “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth”. The food we eat every day affects how our bodies work, how we heal and grow, and how we maintain energy and strength for years to come.
Most of us know what healthy eating is about: less fried food, minimal amounts of sugar, and more vegetables and fruits. When it comes to good nutrition, however, many of us don’t know the full details of the benefits and importance of good nutrition and the best way to achieve it.
Nutrition is an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle and the importance of getting it right cannot be overstated – let’s start by going into the benefits of having a nutritious diet.
How Important Is Nutrition to Our Health?
Unfortunately, a lot of us associate weight loss with fad diets, but eating a nutritious diet is really the best way to maintain a healthy weight and at the same time attaining the necessary nutrients for healthy body function. Nutritious food is the first step to keeping your weight within a healthy range relative to your body composition, without the need to participate in some type of fad-diet.
Protecting you from chronic diseases
Many chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease are caused by poor nutrition and obesity. With approximately 1 in 10 people (https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html) in the US suffering from diabetes, the emphasis on good nutrition is even more important. Taking a preventive approach with a whole food-based nutrition plan also reduces the risk of developing other related diseases.
Strengthening your immune system
Our immune system has to have essential vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, etc., in order to function optimally. Eating a wholesome and varied diet ensures your immune system functions at peak performance and guards against illnesses and immunodeficiency problems.
Certain fruits (berries, papayas, nuts) and vegetables (tomatoes, broccoli, spinach) can increase vigor and improve cognitive performance, all the while boosting your immune system and helping your body fight against the effects of ageing.
Supporting Your Mental Health
Eating the right foods can actually make you happier – nutrients such as iron and omega-3 fatty acids found in protein-rich food can boost your mood. This contributes to better overall mental well-being and protects you against mental health issues. So, how does one build a sensible nutrition plan then? Healthy eating is all about eating balanced proportions of nutrient-rich foods from the various food groups, as well as adopting several healthy eating habits.
Pharmanex and Nutrition
Understanding the importance of certain biological markers in your body and the missing nutrients can have a dramatic impact on how efficient and well-nourished you are. Once aspect that has been well researched and implemented are Carotinoids. Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for bright red, yellow and orange hues in many fruits and vegetables. These pigments play an important role in plant health. People who eat foods containing carotenoids get protective health benefits due to their antioxidant properties including decreasing the risk of various diseases, including certain cancers and eye diseases (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S009829970500066X?via%3Dihub). According to the CDC, only 1 in 10 adults are eating enough fruits and vegetables (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html). One way of measuring your carotenoid level is by the use of a Resonance Raman Spectroscopy. The Resonance Raman Spectroscopy scanner, or simply called Raman Spectroscopy, is a measurement of carotenoid antioxidant nutrients in living tissue for the improvement of nutrition. The use of biophotonics to assess biological molecules in living tissue is a distinct scientific discipline. The use of Raman Spectroscopy for the assessment of human tissue carotenoids has been validated by at least eight peer-reviewed studies conducted by third party entities. (Bernstein, 1998, 2002; Ermakov, 2004a, 2004b; Gellermann, 2004, 2002; Hata, 2000; Zhao, 2003.)
Research also shows that the use of Raman Spectroscopy for the measurement of carotenoids in several studies including a large-scale clinical HPLC method). A fifth study was presented by Dr. James Rippe at the National Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in June, 2004 (Indianapolis, IN). This study confirmed that in overweight and obese individuals, the level of adipose tissue accumulation negatively influenced skin carotenoid levels, and thus antioxidant status. A sixth study established skin carotenoid levels as an indicator of overall antioxidant status. The researchers investigated correlations between skin carotenoid levels and blood serum antioxidants (vitamins C and E, and carotenoids by HPLC) as well as urinary iso-prostanes, which are widely regarded as the best measure of oxidative stress in the body. Together, these results confirmed that the Raman Spectroscopy is a very good non-invasive indicator of overall antioxidant status in the body and of overall oxidative stress.
How do skin carotenoids correlate to overall antioxidant status? A study conducted by Svilaas et al. established carotenoids as a reliable indicator of other dietary antioxidants. Svilaas and his colleagues assessed antioxidant intake from diets of more than 2,670 adults and evaluated blood serum antioxidants of 61 individuals for seven consecutive days. Svilaas et al. reported that carotenoids are a better predictor of serum antioxidant concentrations than alpha, beta, delta, and gamma-toccopherols or glutathione (Svilaas, 2004). In agreement with Svilaas’ findings, Pharmanex research shows a highly significant inverse correlation between skin carot-enoids and oxidative stress (urinary isoprostanes as a measure of actual free radical damage).
Two studies conducted by Pharmanex showed a highly significant correlation between serum total carotenoids and skin carotenoids as assessed by Raman Spectroscopy. The first of these two studies (n=104) showed a correlation of r=0.78 (p < 0.001), and the second (n=372) produced three separate correlation plots (range 0.78 – 0.82, p < 0.0001), all highly significant (Smidt 2004; Zidichouski 2004). This data bridges the findings of Svilaas to validate Raman Spectroscopy as a method to assess skin carotenoid status and provide an indication of broad spectrum antioxidant status, without the inconvenience of skin and blood samples.
With the importance of understanding the Carotenoids in the skin and how nutrients can play a major effect on the body, incorporating the two concepts is vital to overall health and wellbeing. By identifying the carotenoid level in the skin through specific biomarkers, this can give an overall idea of the need to reduce the overall oxidative stress on the body and improve the antioxidative status, ultimately aide in slowing down the process or even prevention of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and diseases such as autoimmune, pulmonary and neurological.
KEY SCIENTIFIC STUDIES
1. Bernstien, P.S. Raman detection of macular carotenoid pigments in intact human retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1998 Oct;39(11):2003–11.
2. Bernstein, P.S., et al. Ophthalmology 2002. 109(10):1780–7. Pharmanex® BioPhotonic Scanner S3
3. Bernstein, P.S., Gellermann, W. Measurement of carotenoids in the living primate eye using resonance Raman spectroscopy. Methods Mol Biol. 2002; 196: 321–9.
4. Carlson, J., Stavens, S., Holubkav, R., Zidichouski, J., Mastaloudis, A., Smidt, C., Askew E. Associations of antioxidant status, oxidative stress, with skin carotenoids assessed by Raman spectroscopy (RS); FASEB J (2006;20:A824.3).
5. Ermakov, I.V., et al. Noninvasive selective detection of lycopene and beta-carotene in human skin using Raman spectroscopy. J Biomed Opt. 2004. 9(2):332–8.
6. Ermakov, I.V., et al. Macular pigment Raman detector for clinical applications. J Biomed Opt.
7. Gellerman, W., Bernstein, P.S. Noninvasive detection of macular pigments in the human eye. J Biomed Opt. 2004. 9(1):75–85.
8. Gellermann, W., et al. In vivo resonant Raman measurement of macular carotenoid pigments in the young and aging human retina. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2002. 19(6):1172–86.
9. Gellermann, W., Zidichouski, J.A., Smidt, C.R., Bernstein, P.S. Raman detection of carotenoids in human tissue. In: Packer, L., Obermueller-Jevic, U., Kraemer, K., and Sies, H. eds. Carotenoids and Retinoids—Molecular Aspects and Health Issues. Champaign, IL: AOCS Press, 2005: Ch. 6, 86–114.
10. Hata, T.R., et al. Noninvasive raman spectroscopic detection of carotenoids in human skin. J Invest Dermatol. 2000 Sep;115(3):441–8.
11. Mayne, S.T., NIH funded study in progress: Novel, Noninvasive Biomarker of Fruit & Vegetable intake, Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects. Grand Number 1R01CA096838–01A1.
12. Smidt, C.R., Burke, D.S. Nutritional Significance and measurement of Carotenoids. Curr Topics Ntraceut. Res. 2(2):79–91,2004.
13. Smidt, C.R., Clinical Screening Study: Use of the Pharamnex BioPhotonic Scanner to assess skin carotenoids as a marker of antioxidant status. Pharmanex Internal Study Report, 2003.
14. Smidt, C.R., Gellermann, W.R., Zidichouski, J.A. Noninvasive Raman spectroscopy measurement of human carotenoid status; FASEB J. 2004 18(4): A480. http://www.faseb.org/eb2004 cite/
15. Smidt, C.R. Effect of LifePak Supplemenation on Antioxidant Status Using BioPhotonic Raman Spectroscopy. Pharmanex in-house study, 2002.
16. Stavens, S., Carlson, J., Holubkav, R., Zidichouski, J., Mastaloudis, A., Smidt, C., Askew, E. Associations of Fruit and Vegetable Intake with Serum Carotenoids and Skin Carotenoids Measured with Raman Spectroscopy (RS); FASEB J (submitted 2005).
17. Svilaas, A., Sakhi, A.K., Andersen, L.F., Svilaas, T., Strom, E.C., Jacobs, D.R. Jr., Ose, L., Blomhoff, R. Intakes of antioxidants in coffee, wine, and vegetables are correlated with plasma carotenoids in humans. J Nutr. 2004 Mar; 134(3):562–7.
18. Zidichouski, J.A., Poole, S.J., Gellermann, W., and Smidt, C.R. Clinical Validation of a Novel Raman Spectroscopic Technology to Noninvasively Assess Carotenoid Status in Humans. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 23(5): 468, 2004.
19. Zukley, L.M., Nguyen, V., Lowndes, J., Smidt ,C.R., Angelopoulos, T.J., Rippe, J.M. Effects of Antioxidant Supplementation on Skin and Serum Antioxidants; FASEB J. (submitted 2005).
Antioxidants fuel the body’s response to damaging oxidative stress, protecting and enhancing our overall well-being. One of the most powerful preventers of cellular damage is called glutathione, the “master antioxidant.” Unfortunately, our glutathione levels can decrease due to aging, stress, environmental toxins, and poor nutrition, weakening our immune systems and compromising the greatest asset we have—our health.
Specially-formulated powder delivers higher absorption and effectiveness, unlike pills and supplements that supports glutathione production for increased:
- Skin health
- Cognitive function
- Immune support
- Reproductive health
- Athletic recovery
- and more.