ORAC testing is fundamentally flawed and considered questionable within scientific circles. Most consumers don’t realize many of the values have never been published in scientific literature, so they are difficult to evaluate. It is not known whether such values are accurate or how absorbable and functional these concentrated antioxidants are in the human body – higher ORAC values do not necessarily mean higher value.  There also is nao one standard guiding ORAC testing, which means testing can be unreliable and easily misrepresented.

Research is widely considered by the scientific and medical community as a more valid way of determining and authenticating antioxidant value.  Science has shown that consuming mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) fruit in its whole fruit form – pulp and rind – as is found in the proprietary formula of XanGo® Juice, enables absorption of its numerous phytonutrients, allowing for optimization of its antioxidative properties.

Beyond the pure antioxidant value of the mangosteen that serves to neutralize free radicals*, the xanthones and flavonoids found in XanGo Juice also have health and chemical properties that may:
·         sustain a healthy cardiovascular*
·         support cartilage and joint function*
·         boost immune-system health*
·         maintain intestinal health*
·         promote a healthy seasonal respiratory system*

With scientific partners that include UCLA and the Mayo Clinic, XanGo, LLC is spearheading the scientific exploration of the whole mangosteen fruit. In a study published in the June 2007 issue of the Journal of Separation Science, researchers established a standard scientific method for testing and measuring the nutrient-rich xanthones found in the mangosteen. XanGo also released preliminary results from a separate bioavailability study of xanthones and XanGo Juice that indicated usage of the whole mangosteen fruit as a delivery vehicle leads to high xanthone absorption.

Following is key information and facts related to our research of ORAC testing and value.

Key Facts
The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) test and the associated, assigned value are fundamentally flawed and misleading in several ways as acknowledged by members of the scientific, medical, educational and wellness communities:
•The test does not differentiate the value of different types of antioxidants: Each category of antioxidants works best in different parts of cells that is not reflected by ORAC values.  For instance, while vitamin C generates a higher ORAC score than vitamin E, that does not mean vitamin E is less valuable; it just has a different kind of value and health benefit.
•ORAC value does not measure bioavailability: ORAC values are not indicators of how the antioxidant is used in the body. For instance the ORAC test would show flavonoids as they appear unaltered in the bloodstream but would not show – as an in vivo study would – “offspring” molecules created after absorption that also are highly bioavailable for antioxidant activity.
•Water content misleadingly skews the results: Though a raisin has no more antioxidant value than the grape from which it was dried, raisins will appear to have a much higher ORAC value per gram wet weight than grapes due to their reduced water content.
•ORAC claims often are not research-backed: Most of the values used by companies claiming high ORAC values have not been published in scientific literature, so there’s no way to know the validity of their claims.
•Absorbability is not factored in: High ORAC value is not an indication of whether all properties are being absorbed by the body or whether they will lead to general or specific health benefits.  In other words, there could be a lot of waste or a misleading sense of higher antioxidant value even though a product is not fully absorbed.
•ORAC analyses are not precise/lack a standard test: Different laboratories conduct ORAC testing in different ways and often produce very different results.  Results have been known to vary 10 percent to 15 percent from one sample to the next.
•There is no uniform standard of reporting: ORAC values can be reported as the grams of dry weight, grams of wet weight or even value per serving, all of which would skew the apparent value.

People want an easy answer to quantifying the value of different antioxidants, but the ORAC value is flawed at best and ends up being used as a misleading marketing device.  The best evaluation of a product’s antioxidant value is an actual study that measures a product’s effectiveness in promoting good health.

Statement
Note: XanGo’s past statements have said things to the effect of “in addition to antioxidants, XanGo Juice contains xanthones and flavonoids.” Given that xanthones and flavonoids are widely characterized as antioxidants (including in our own literature), more precise language we recommend would refer to having “other chemical and health properties” that also go beyond neutralizing free radicals (understanding that neutralizing free radicals also addresses other health issues supported by the mangosteen’s other properties).

ORAC testing is fundamentally flawed and considered questionable within scientific circles. Most consumers don’t realize many of the values have never been published in scientific literature, so they are difficult to evaluate. It is not known whether such values are accurate or how absorbable and functional these concentrated antioxidants are in the human body – higher ORAC values do not necessarily mean higher value.  There also is no one standard guiding ORAC testing, which means testing can be unreliable and easily misrepresented.

Research is widely considered by the scientific and medical community as a more valid way of determining and authenticating antioxidant value.  Science has shown that consuming mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) fruit in its whole fruit form – pulp and rind – as is found in the proprietary formula of XanGo® Juice, enables absorption of its numerous phytonutrients, allowing for optimization of its antioxidative properties.

Beyond the pure antioxidant value of the mangosteen that serves to neutralize free radicals*, the xanthones and flavonoids found in XanGo Juice also have health and chemical properties that may:
•sustain a healthy cardiovascular*
•support cartilage and joint function*
•boost immune-system health*
•maintain intestinal health*
•promote a healthy seasonal respiratory system*

With scientific partners that include UCLA and the Mayo Clinic, XanGo, LLC is spearheading the scientific exploration of the whole mangosteen fruit. In a study published in the June 2007 issue of the Journal of Separation Science, researchers established a standard scientific method for testing and measuring the nutrient-rich xanthones found in the mangosteen. XanGo also released preliminary results from a separate bioavailability study of xanthones and XanGo Juice that indicated usage of the whole mangosteen fruit as a delivery vehicle leads to high xanthone absorption.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Key Q&A
•Why won’t XanGo release the ORAC value of XanGo Juice?  ORAC testing is fundamentally flawed and considered questionable within scientific circles.  Research is widely considered by scientists and researchers as a more valid way of determining and authenticating antioxidant value.  Science has shown that consuming mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) fruit in its whole fruit form – pulp and rind – as is found in the proprietary formula of XanGo® Juice, enables absorption of its numerous phytonutrients, allowing for optimization of its antioxidative properties.

•Why not do product comparisons based on ORAC value?  It is not known whether such values are accurate or how absorbable and functional these concentrated antioxidants are in the human body – higher ORAC values do not necessarily mean higher value.  There also is no one standard guiding ORAC testing, which means testing can be unreliable and easily misrepresented.  Research is widely considered by the scientific and medical community as a more valid way of determining and authenticating antioxidant value, and the mangosteen has that.

•Isn’t it just companies with self-interest and low ORAC value-products that make negative ORAC test claims?  No.  The ORAC test and the associated, assigned value are fundamentally flawed and misleading in several ways as acknowledged by members of the scientific, medical, educational and wellness communities:
•The test does not differentiate the value of different types of antioxidants.
•ORAC value does not measure bioavailability.
•Water content misleadingly skews the results.
•ORAC claims often are not research-backed.
•Absorbability is not factored in.
•ORAC analyses are not precise and lack a standard test.
•There is no uniform standard of reporting.

•With the mangosteen containing such strong antioxidants, stronger than green tea, vitamin C and E, why would it not do well when measuring ORAC value?  ORAC testing is fundamentally flawed.  For instance, while vitamin C generates a higher ORAC score than vitamin E, that does not mean vitamin E is less valuable; it just has a different kind of value and health benefit.  In another example, though a raisin has no more antioxidant value than the grape from which it was dried, raisins will appear to have a much higher ORAC value per gram wet weight than grapes due to their reduced water content.

•Does the ORAC test debunk the health benefits of the mangosteen?  No.  ORAC testing is fundamentally flawed and considered questionable within scientific circles. Research is widely considered by the scientific and medical community as a more valid way of determining and authenticating antioxidant value, and the mangosteen has that.

•If there is so much wrong with the ORAC value, why are so many people using it?   People want an easy answer to quantifying the value of different antioxidants, but the ORAC value is flawed at best and ends up being used as a misleading marketing device.  The best evaluation of a product’s antioxidant value is an actual study that measures a product’s effectiveness in promoting good health.

Third Parties:
In our research of independent research professionals, there are those who still largely acknowledge the benefits of the ORAC test but recognize the limitations, with the following to say:
•“The simplest ones [tests] are purely chemical in vitro reactions or tests in cell cultures.  They can yield useful information about mechanisms of action, but extrapolation to effects of dietary antioxidants in vivo is dangerous, because uptake from the gastrointestinal tract and metabolism are not considered.” – Andrew Collins, a nutrition professor in the School of Medicine at University of Oslo, Norway

•“While chemists and manufacturers wrestle with the validation and value of the ORAC assay in product development, the use and influence of the assay in biological research is expanding. After all, knowing the ORAC value of a compound is only part of the puzzle. Linking consumption of products with high ORAC scores to a corresponding value in human health is another story…ORAC is becoming one industry standard for measuring antioxidants. However, due to the complexity of the factors involved, no single assay will be sufficient for assessing the power of these compounds.” – Richard Crowley, editor of the Covance Food Science newsletter

•“A major drawback of the ORAC test is that many chemicals behave entirely differently in our bodies compared to their behavior in a test tube. A high ORAC number (in a test tube) does not guarantee that your body can absorb and utilize the antioxidants that produce the high ORAC score.” –  James Heffley, Ph.D., CCN, DANLA (editor of the Journal of Applied Nutrition)

•“The scientific field determining health benefits of antioxidant foods is far behind in determining efficacy and dosing recommendations for antioxidant foods in promotion of health and wellness.” – Susanne Mertens-Talcott, Ph.D., a researcher in the Nutrition and Food Science Dept., Texas A&M University, College Station, agreeing there is still ground to gain in evaluating antioxidants

•“Foods which are high in vitamin C tend to have high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC, another test which measures the ability of foods and other compounds to subdue oxygen free radicals). A U.S. government study which compared the in vivo effects of a high vitamin C food (containing 80 mg of vitamin C) compared to about 15.6 times as much isolated ascorbic acid (1250 mg) found that the vitamin C-containing food produced the greatest increase in blood antioxidant levels (it is believed that bioflavonoids and other food factors are responsible). – Robert Thiel, Ph.D., N.H.D., (researcher, scientist, and naturopath)

• “Recently, a number of health food companies have capitalized on the ORAC rating, with dozens selling concentrated supplements that they claim to be ‘the number one ORAC product.’ Most of these values have never been published in the scientific literature, so are difficult to evaluate. It is not known whether such values are accurate or how absorbable and functional these concentrated antioxidants are in the human body.” – Wikipedia

In addition to the independent resources there are those who have a vested interest in making note of the limitations of the ORAC test. The following is a sample of those people and what they had to say:

•“It would be a stretch to suggest any relevance [of the ORAC test] on the function of antioxidants in the body.  It’s a test tube – it’s looking at how much oxygen is absorbed by a particular compound. What does that have to do with the function of the antioxidant in the human system? It’s a number that allows marketers to say they have this capacity in a test tube in a fixed environment.  If you can’t demonstrate with clinical studies the benefits of an antioxidant for a specific user need, then I don’t think you have gone far enough down the road in terms of substantiating that product’s efficacy.” – Eric Anderson, P.L. Thomas Co. (botanical extract ingredient supplier)

•“We need to start talking more about clinical effectiveness of antioxidants, rather than their wished-or efficacy based on in vitro established antioxidant potency.” – Vladimir Badmaev, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of scientific and medical affairs at Sabinsa (manufactures and markets herbal extracts)

• “The problem with that is there has to be proof that the solvent they are using doesn’t artificially inflate the ORAC value. The method that was developed by the USDA was very particular in choosing a solvent that doesn’t artificially inflate the ORAC value. So anyone who is using a different solvent really needs to show proof of any artificial inflation.”  – Ginny Bank, vice president of R&D, RFI Ingredients (manufacturer of natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, teas and herbs) referring to companies using alternative extraction methods to extract the ingredients prior to the ORAC test

•“A high ORAC value, by itself, only indicates part of the protection; Unfortunately, ORAC, from a marketing view, tends to simplify the otherwise complex biological antioxidant system needed for good human health.” – Charles DePrince, president of Fuji Health Sciences (manufacturer of Vitamin E, cartenoid and other products)

•“Dried fruits will always score higher than the same fresh fruit-the more water removed the higher ORAC score.  ORAC inflation can result from removing water from the sample.” – Wayne G. Geilman, Ph.D., senior research scientist for Pure Fruit Technologies (e.g. MangoXan, Goji-Zen, GacChi and Seabuck7)

•“There needs to be some sort of standardization or measure, preferably by serving or by grams to help build confidence that this ORAC measure is something of value to the consumer and that products are comparable with each other.” – Kenn Israel, director of marketing, Soft Gel Technologies Inc. (manufacturer of soft gelatin capsule delivery system)

•“Consumers are not fully aware of the existence of both water-soluble antioxidants (vitamin C) and fat-soluble antioxidants (vitamin E).  Each category of antioxidants works best in different parts of cells, and they work synergistically to confer the optimum antioxidant protection.” – W.H. Leong, vice president of Carotech Inc., (Malaysian vitamin E product producer), referring to how vitamin C could have a higher ORAC value than vitamin E because it’s more water-soluble

“What is important to understand is that each antioxidant has its own unique properties and works best in different parts of cells. Vitamin C may be most effective in the cytosol of a cell (aqueous part), whereas vitamin E is most effective in the membrane bilayer and mitochondria (fat part) of a cell.” – Leong

•“However, there has been a great deal of misunderstanding because an ORAC value does not in any way indicate the metabolic or biological value of antioxidants when they are consumed. In other words, will those antioxidants that are indicated as ORAC values be active in a living organism?” – Mitchell May, PhD, CEO and founder, Synergy Production Laboratories (supplies organic and kosher raw materials),

•“Although ORAC value is a standard industry method for measuring antioxidant capacity, the best evaluations should look at studies that actually measure a product’s effectiveness in promoting good health.” – Massood Moshrefi, Ph.D., vice president of operations and technical services for InterHealth Nutraceuticals (e.g. weight management, berry extract and herbal extract products)

•“[ORAC scores] are a function of the antioxidants present in the food and the form of the food (as water content is important), and we know that different antioxidants do different things in the body.” He concluded while ORAC scores indicate potential, they are not absolute predictors of in vivo activity. – Manuel Pavon, general manager of Chrysantis (manufacturer of eye health supplements)

•“This may sound trivial, but the absorption, particularly of plant material and their extracts, is everything else than trivial.” – Frank Schönlau, Ph.D., director of scientific communication for Natural Health Science (French maritime pine bark company), noting that ORAC testing only reflects parent flavonoids and not metabolites created after absorption that have high antioxidant properties

•“Without having a uniform standard, ORAC values can be reported as the grams (or units) of dry weight, grams of wet weight, or even the value per serving.  Harvest times and growing conditions – season, temperature, soil conditions, ripeness, etc. -dramatically affect the antioxidant capacity of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.” – Ron Udell, president of Soft Gel Technologies, (manufacturer of soft gelatin capsule delivery system)

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