ORAC Scores

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) provides a useful way to measure and compare the overall antioxidant activities of complex foods like fruits, vegetables, and juices containing diverse and often poorly characterized mixtures of antioxidants. ORAC is not a particularly useful method for comparing the antioxidant activities of nutritional supplements in tablet and capsule form (products that are formulated with known amounts of known ingredients). In making these comparisons, it is more straightforward and accurate to compare the daily doses/label amounts of individual antioxidant ingredients.

Moreover, keep in mind that ORAC scores only pertain to antioxidant activity. They do not measure the value of vitamins and minerals. As such, using an ORAC score to evaluate a product like the USANA CellSentials would require overlooking the importance of its vitamin D, B vitamins, and mineral content, among others.

In our opinion, nutritional formulas such as the CellSentials are best evaluated on the basis of their nutritional content, ingredient by ingredient and dose by dose, not by a single test intended to measure only antioxidant activity.

The United States Department Of Agriculture recently removed their ORAC database from the USDA web site, stating that there is “mounting evidence that the values indicating antioxidant capacity have no relevance to the effects of specific bioactive compounds, including polyphenols on human health.”

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