The Antioxidant Power of Jiaogulan for Your Body and Mind
Jun 9, 2023 | Read Time: 12 min.
You may have heard of antioxidants, the molecules that protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable and reactive atoms that can damage your DNA, proteins, and membranes, leading to aging, inflammation, and various diseases.
Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and prevent or repair their damage, thus enhancing your health and longevity.
When you think of antioxidants, you probably think of fruits and vegetables, which are indeed rich in antioxidants and very important to consume regularly for good health.
However, when it comes to protecting yourself from free radical damage, there may be a better option.
Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) is also known as the "immortality herb" because of its remarkable ability to promote longevity and vitality.
It has many health benefits that have been confirmed by modern scientific research, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, regulating blood sugar and insulin, protecting the liver and kidneys, enhancing immunity and preventing infections, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, improving memory and cognition, relieving stress and anxiety, and even fighting cancer.
But how does Jiaogulan achieve all these benefits? The answer lies at least in part in its antioxidant properties.
Jiaogulan contains a unique group of compounds called gypenosides (a type of saponins), which are similar to the ginsenosides found in ginseng.
These gypenosides have strong antioxidant activity and can modulate various biological pathways to stimulate the body's own production of endogenous antioxidants - the most potent oxidant scavengers in existence.
In this article, we will explore the antioxidant power of Jiaogulan for your body and mind.
We will explain how Jiaogulan protects your cells from oxidative damage and how it boosts your antioxidant levels and improves your quality of life.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants first became popular in the 1990's, when scientists began to understand free radicals and the impact they have on our bodies.
Any compound or substance that can donate electrons and counteract free radicals is considered an antioxidant.
Therefore, antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage caused by free radicals.
They are molecules that can safely interact with free radicals and neutralize them before they have the chance to damage vital cell parts.
Types of Antioxidants
There are two main types of antioxidants.
Those that are produced by the body itself are known as internal, or endogenous antioxidants.
The ones that come from outside sources like foods rich in antioxidant vitamins are know as external, or exogenous antioxidants.
Endogenous antioxidants are MUCH more powerful free radical fighters than exogenous ones.
Exogenous (External) Antioxidants
People in general are only aware of dietary antioxidants - the kind that can be found in foods like fruits and vegetables, drinks like green tea and coffee, and antioxidant supplements in the form of pills and capsules.
There are thousands of dietary antioxidants, but the most common ones are vitamins A, C, and E, lycopene, and beta-carotene.
Eating whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — all rich in networks of antioxidants and their helper molecules — protects against many diseases and premature aging.
And as we get older, it becomes more and more important to eat plenty of foods rich in antioxidants.
This is because our body's natural defenses against free radicals diminish as we age, and so increasingly we need outside help in our battle against oxidation - the primary cause of disease and aging.
When you factor in environmental pollution, toxins, stress, and bad habits like smoking, proper diet becomes doubly important.
However, proper diet alone will eventually be insufficient and sooner or later we are all destined to succumb to the onslaught of free radicals.
Unless... (Hint hint: This is where Jiaogulan comes in! 🙂 )
While antioxidants can also be produced artificially and consumed in supplement form, studies on the effectiveness of supplements have been inconclusive.
It seems like they only provide limited benefits, if any, and in some cases can even be potentially harmful! 1, 2
Endogenous (Internal) Antioxidants
Few people are even aware of them, but endogenous antioxidants are your body's natural and primary defense against free radicals.
There are 5 types of antioxidants produced by the body: superoxide dismatuse (SOD), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (Gpx).
Of these, the three most important ones are SOD, Gpx, and CAT, in that order.
Endogenous antioxidants are literally hundreds and thousands of times more powerful free radical scavengers than ANY dietary antioxidant out there.
These antioxidants are the reason why when we are younger, we can be healthy even if we don't know what a fruit or vegetable tastes like.
Unfortunately, our ability to produce them gradually decreases with age.
For years, scientists have sought ways to increase our levels of SOD and Gpx, since these are the most powerful antioxidants in existence.
While Gpx levels can be temporarily raised through special diet and exercise, the same cannot be said about SOD.
Clinical and Animal Studies
A number of clinical studies have now clearly demonstrated that Jiaogulan causes an increase of SOD, glutathione and catalase levels, and this has a number of beneficial and protective effects on our bodies.
These effects seem to become more important and pronounced as we get older.
Jiaogulan is One of The Best Antioxidant Supplements
Jiaogulan's remarkable ability to stimulate the body's own production of both SOD and glutathione may be at the heart of the reason why it has been consistently associated with anti-aging and longevity.
Science may have discovered the mechanism to explain why so many Jiaogulan users in China are reported to have been centenarians in good health, and why they called it the “herb of immortality”.
Jiaogulan is not like any other source of antioxidants, because it does not act in the same way as fruits, vegetables, and vitamins.
Instead, its many saponins (the main active chemical compounds, also called gypenosides) have the ability to stimulate our bodies to produce the most powerful and vital antioxidants of all - the endogenous antioxidants superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase.
This is extremely important because these endogenous antioxidants are either impossible (in the case of SOD), or difficult (in the case of Gpx and CAT) to obtain from our food.
Furthermore, since our ability to produce these endogenous antioxidants decreases dramatically with age, our bodies become increasingly defenseless against the onslaught of free radicals.
This eventually leads to age-related diseases and death.
There are very few substances if any, ever discovered that can effectively stimulate the production of all three of the most important and powerful free radical fighters.
Not only that but Jiaogulan has been reported to restore SOD levels in elderly people to their youthful levels!
It is therefore not a stretch to say that Jiaogulan is one of the best antioxidant supplements with many potential health benefits!
Adding Jiaogulan to Your Diet
For people who do not like tea or are constantly on the go, Jiaogulan capsules are an excellent alternative.
No matter how you choose to use Jiaogulan, you should consult with your doctor before taking it if you have any medical conditions or take any medications. Jiaogulan may interact with some drugs and cause some side effects.
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