What’s an ORAC — why neem antioxidants make a difference!
ORAC is an easy way of saying Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and we’ve run proprietary tests that measure neem antioxidants.
The tests measure the antioxidant capacity of a food or supplement. A material (like food or a supplement) is placed in a test tube with molecules that generate free radicals. Molecules that are vulnerable to free radical damage also are placed in the test tube.
At the end of the test, the less free radical damage there is, the higher the antioxidant capacity of the tested substance. While there are several tests that measure antioxidants, ORAC is probably the best because it measures the activity of the substance, not just the level of specific nutrients.
So why does it make a difference? Short and easy answer – because free radicals are associated with many chronic diseases typically related to aging. They range from cancer and arthritis to heart disease, emphysema and even wrinkles.
The slightly longer response: free radicals are formed when an electron is “stolen” from another molecule. That molecule, in turn, steals an electron from the molecule next to it. That creates a vicious cycle of damaged cells.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their electrons, thus halting the damage.
Because free radicals are naturally formed during metabolism, it’s impossible to avoid them. However, many other factors contribute to free radical creation, including pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and toxic agricultural chemicals.
So why this long and relatively complicated article posted on a neem site? Turns out that extraordinarily high levels of antioxidants are probably one of the reasons neem is known as the “village pharmacy.” Multiple international research studies – more than 50 at last count – look at the use of neem antioxidants in treating or preventing diseases.* (Check out https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed for the latest international research on neem antioxidant activity.)
Most of the clinical work on neem antioxidants has been done using internal supplementation, but we’re strong believers that neem antioxidants also are critical in skincare and oral care. Skincare products from Neem Tree Farms have higher levels of neem — and antioxidants from other botanical products — than any other major manufacturer.
In fact, the concentration is so high that we get an occasional complaint about the neem smell. (The answer is simple, just dilute the All-Natural Facial Serum or Anti-Itch Formula with olive or coconut oil and they will smell less neemy.) Our lotion, cream and shampoo also have high levels of neem antioxidants but not as high as the serum and they smell wonderful!
Neem antioxidants are most highly concentrated in neem bark so it’s the first ingredient in our toothpowder. Cinnamon and cloves — which also have extraordinarily high levels of antioxidants – make our toothpowder the most effective neem oral care product in the U.S. If you haven’t tried it yet, we still have free samples available. (Neem antioxidants are particularly important in your mouth because oral health is so important to your overall health.)