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Protandim

Protandim : A Free Radical Fighter or Popular and Potent Placebo?

Protandim has become the most popular anti-aging nutritional supplement in North America, if not, the world. Some may argue or find this statement resentful, but one cannot ignore the staggering amount of attention Protandim has received since its release. ABC's popular late night television show "Prime Time Live", NBC's "Today Show", PBS' "Healing Quest", and countless scientific/peer-reviewed journals have reviewed Protandim in detail. What did all of these media sources find about the claims made by Protandim's manufacturers?

Well, before answering such a difficult question, one must first take a look at the supplement through an independent lens. That is - without any claims or independent trials in mind, let us look at what ingredients make Protandim so effective. There are five key herbs that lend their significant antioxidant properties to Protandim. They include:

  1. Ashwaghanda - The "do it all" herb, Ashwaghanda is not only a potent antioxidant, but a whole body herb. From reducing inflammation to boosting the immune system, its rejuvenating properties seem endless. Ashwaghanda is also included in many herbal concoctions that are supposed aphrodisiacs.
  2. Bacopa - This Ayurvedic herb is a brain booster and potent antioxidant. It has been used in India and surrounding areas for centuries. Bacopa's strong antioxidant properties and cognitive functioning benefits have been the subject of interest in countless clinical trials.
  3. Curcumin (Tumeric) - Curcumin is a curry compound that is thought to possess potent antioxidant activity. However, its effects on other physiological processes within the human body are still of great debate. Clinical trials have used Curcumin/Turmeric to enhance cardiovascular health and to treat a multitude of diseases ranging from cancer to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
  4. Green Tea - Green Tea is among the most popular ingredients in Protandim's unique herbal make-up. Various types of Green Teas have proven antioxidant activity and have been used for millennia by many Far East cultures. A specific compound found in green tea (EGCG) is the chemical constituent responsible for providing the majority of Green Tea's health benefits. This drinkable plant is also thought to provide physical aid and emotional (e.g., stress) relief.
  5. Milk Thistle - Milk Thistle is a plant that grows wildly in many areas of the world. Its active ingredient silymarin is a potent antioxidant and liver protector. Today, Milk Thistle is primarily used to detoxify and aid liver function.

These herbs work synergistically to protect the body from free radical damage, either from the environment or from the foods we eat. Protandim's website claims that your body, over time, essentially "rusts" from the inside out, much like a piece of metal exposed to the earth's elements. The process is called oxidation. Protandim's premise is to stop this oxidation and to (hopefully) reverse the aging process and prevent future disease.

Does Protandim's combination of herbs really work?

In essence, yes. Like many antioxidant supplement available on the market today, Protandim has taken a multitude of herbs that provide outstanding antioxidant activity and protection and put them into one simple serving. Additionally, Protandim has gone to great lengths to show its effectiveness in several clinical settings. In fact one study found that, "Protandim consistently and significantly boosted the body's own production of two crucial protective antioxidant enzymes, SOD (superoxide dismutase) and CAT (catalase)." (http://www.protandim.com/pdf/ProtandimFRBMpaperJan152006.pdf)

Such discovery was profound because these two antioxidant enzymes play a major role in neutralizing the cell-damaging free radicals associated with aging and a variety of health conditions and disease.

The Bottom Line?

You may not see or feel results from taking Protandim for a day or even week. However, the potential health benefits and protection it provides your body could ultimately last a life time. And, if their research is correct, Protandim may even live up to its rock star-like status and prevent certain diseases from occurring years down the road. It may not be the pill form of the fountain of youth, but its purported health benefits are clear.

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