Oxidative Stress and Free Radical Damage


We’ve known for more than 50 years that the cellular basis of “aging” is directly linked to highly reactive molecules called “free radicals” or “reactive oxygen species” (ROS). These ROS can react with and cause damage to cellular structures throughout the body, especially to cell membranes, DNA (genetic material), and mitochondria (where cells generate energy). It can be scary to think that our own body is producing these damaging molecules (also known as “free radicals” or ROS) as a normal part of living and breathing, but it’s even scarier when you realize that ROS are all around us in the environment in the form of sunlight, car exhaust, air pollution, cigarette smoke, poor diet, and many other sources. Our bodies are constantly being bombarded by free radicals, and constantly under threat of cellular damage and dysfunction. As this cellular damage accumulates, our cells cannot function properly, and we recognize the common symptoms of “aging,” such as reduced energy levels, creaky joints, wrinkled skin, and many others that make us feel and look older and worn out. Too many people think that these age-related changes are “inevitable,” but LifeVantage has a mission to utilize the science of managing oxidative stress to help people not only reduce the signs of aging, but to actively help people around the world feel better, look better, and perform better.


Products Rooted in Science

Protandim, has been the subject of more than a dozen peer–reviewed studies at universities around the country, which have been published in some of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world. These studies show how the unique, patented blend of natural ingredients in Protandim helps to activate the body’s own protective mechanisms, resulting in an average reduction in oxidative stress of 40% within 30 days. At the heart of this cellular protective pathway is a protein called “Nrf2” that serves as a “master regulator” of the body’s antioxidant response. You might think of Nrf2 as a “thermostat” within our cells that senses the level of oxidative stress and other stressors and turns on internal protective mechanisms. Our cells possess all the genetic resources required to maintain proper oxidative balance, promote health, and slow the aging process by naturally activating the Nrf2 pathway.



The Past

In the late 1960s, Dr. Joe McCord (then a graduate student at Duke University) discovered that the body produces its own protective enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD) that is able to counteract the cellular damage caused by free radicals. In the middle and late 1990s, researchers in Japan and around the world discovered that our cells possess an entire system of protective mechanisms that counteract oxidative stress and slow the aging process.


The Present

At the very center of this cellular protective pathway is a protein called Nrf2 that serves as a “master regulator” of the body’s antioxidant response. Soon after Nrf2 was identified, a flurry of scientific discoveries began to show how Nrf2 also regulated genes involved in the production of not only a wide range of antioxidant enzymes (including SOD, glutathione, and catalase), but also important proteins, and detoxification or ‘‘stress-response’’ genes. They all share in common the Nrf2 “switch” that enables cells to protect themselves from both internal and external environmental challenges. In effect, Nrf2

activation enables our cells to make their own “medicines” to help us survive and thrive in stressful situations.


The Future

Many scientists believe that Nrf2 activation is the “future” of cellular protection and health promotion, and, in this regard, LifeVantage is clearly leading the way. This foundation of naturally activating Nrf2 to “solve” the problem of oxidative stress is a fundamentally different way of restoring balance in the body, one that enables LifeVantage to effectively move into related areas of healthy living, specifically those that help people to feel better, to look better, and to perform better.



Oxidative stress, generated through the process of living life (eating, sleeping, breathing, exercising), is inevitable for everyone. But LifeVantage has the solution: Protandim, the Nrf2 Synergizer®, the most important dietary supplement of our time. Comprised of natural plant ingredients, Protandim is a patented, science-based formula that has been researched, tested, and validated by renowned universities and institutions. It is the only supplement proven in a clinical study to reduce oxidative stress in humans by an average of 40 percent in 30 days. Protandim activates Nrf2, which communicates with cells, instructing them to do what they’re already designed to do: up-regulate “survival genes,” genes that enable cells to survive in the face of stress from free radicals and other oxidants, and down-regulate other genes to help the body function at an optimal level.



Science not only supports our claims, but scientific research has identified oxidative stress as a link with health and wellbeing. Thousands of articles, peer-reviewed and published in respected medical journals around the world, such as The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Volume 39, Issue 1, 2007, document the effects of “free radicals and antioxidants in normal physiological functions and human disease.”



Superoxide dismutase, better known as SOD, is an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen. This enzyme was co-discovered by Dr. Joe McCord, the scientist behind Protandim. Nrf2 turns on the production of SOD, which detoxifies the free radical superoxide.




Protected by Six U.S. patents, Protandim is made of five potent botanicals:


Ashwagandha (root) – Ashwagandha grows as a short shrub with a central stem from which branches extend radially in a star pattern and covered with a dense matte of wooly hairs. The flowers are small and green, while the ripe fruit is orange red and has milk-coagulating properties.

Traditionally, this herb was used as a tonic to raise energy levels and improve general health and longevity. More recently, ashwagandha has generated interest in the study of its antistress and antioxidant properties.


Bacopa extract (aerial part) – Bacopa extract is taken from the succulent leaves of a small creeping plant commonly found growing throughout damp and marshy wetlands of India. This herb, with its small white flowers, is often mistaken for a water lily, although the two are unrelated.

Recent research has focused on the plant’s effects on memory, learning, and concentration.

Green Tea extract (leaf) – Green tea comes from a tea plant native to Asia called Camellia Sinensis, the same plant that is the source of black tea. What makes green tea different (and green) is not the plant used, but rather how it is processed. This much-studied extract, produced from Camellia Sinensis leaves in China, is used as a source of antioxidants for the preservation of good health. It is also used as an aid to promote weight management.


Milk Thistle extract (seed) – The milk thistle is a tall, flowering plant with spiny stems and toothed, thorny leaves. Native to the Mediterranean, this plant can now be found throughout the world.

It has been used for hundreds of years as a liver protectant and to support liver function and relieve digestive disturbances. Studies have been conducted since the 1970s on the plant’s medicinal properties, and increasing research continues today on milk thistle’s physiological effects and therapeutic properties.


Turmeric extract (Rhizome) – Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Native to tropical South Asia, it needs temperatures between 20 degrees C and 30 degrees C, as well as a considerable amount of annual rainfall, to thrive. Traditionally, it has been used for flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, hemorrhage, and colic. Research is also underway to examine its ability as an antioxidant.


Rooted in Research

Science Is the Basis of Everything We Do

We say it over and over again: LifeVantage is a different kind of company. It’s evident in

our people, our products, and especially in our science. Our science is our foundation.

Our science is one of the things that sets us apart from all the rest.


True Science is a Priority

We’re proud of the scientific studies that back our claims. We’re also proud that our

scientific studies are peer-reviewed and published. And we’re pleased to hold

patents on Protandim, the most powerful Nrf2 synergizing supplement on the market.


Tested, Tried, Confirmed

Protandim has been validated by numerous peer-reviewed studies.


These studies have been conducted at some of the following respected institutions:

  • Ohio State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Colorado State University
  • Texas Tech University


The following peer-reviewed scientific journals have published the results of these studies:

  • Free Radical Biology & Medicine
  • Enzyme Research
  • Circulation – the Scientific Journal of the American Heart Association
  • American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
  • PLoS One
  • Journal of Dietary Supplements
  • Molecular Aspects of Medicine
  • Enzyme Research
  • Oxidative Medicine and Cell Longevity
  • Exercise & Sports Science Reviews
  • Clinical Pharmacology

To learn more please watch ABC news primetime investigative report:



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