This episode of Natura EDU’s webinar series reframes our understanding of polyphenols as “anti-oxidants” and examines their role as multi-faceted enhancers of mitochondrial adaptation.
Watch to learn how:
- Oxidative stress drives a multitude of processes that regulate health, life span, and physiological function.
- The “anti-oxidant” action of polyphenols accounts for only a small fraction of their well-known protective effect against oxidative damage.
- The molecular mechanisms behind the free radical damage reducing effects of polyphenols is primarily due to their ability to enhance mitochondrial function and to induce mitochondrial biogenesis while acting as mild inducers of oxidative stress.
- Polyphenols favorably alter mitochondrial kinetics, contributing to enhanced generation of oxidant quenching mechanisms.
- A large body of evidence has now been accumulated to support the concept that polyphenols are primarily adaptogens rather than radical-scavenging anti-oxidants.
- Bathing the body in polyphenol-rich foods and plants medicines has been shown to provide significant protection against the development of several chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, infections, aging, auto-immune disease, and asthma.
“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”
~ Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.)
At the foundation of Natura’s healing philosophy is the application of adaptogenic substances that normalize physiological function, aid the stress response, and protect the body from the damaging effects of toxins. Adaptogenic plant medicines are rich in polyphenols, which are responsible for many of the adaptogenic properties that these normalizing, non-specific and non-toxic plant medicines exhibit. Based on their role as mild inducers of oxidative stress and enhancers of the body’s ability to quench pro-oxidants, the modern scientific literature has begun to more accurately describe polyphenols as adaptogens, rather than “anti-oxidants.”
During energy manufacture in the mitochondria, free radicals are produced as byproducts. Fortunately, the body has developed elegant and effective solutions to handle these endogenous toxins. However, when the toxic load overwhelms the body’s capacity to neutralize them, damage occurs.
Recently, a number of interventions have been recognized as being able to enhance the body’s free radical quenching capacity, thereby protecting it from oxidative damage. Exercise and fasting are two of the most well-researched interventions to date, along with the intake of plant-based polyphenols.
What is fascinating about all three of these health-promoting and longevity-enhancing approaches is that they are all actually mild inducers of oxidative stress. By expanding the dynamic, adaptive capacity of the mitochondria to withstand oxidative stress, while simultaneously inducing a mild oxidative state, these health-promoting approaches not only help to neutralize free radicals, but improve the body’s innate capacity to protect itself from oxidative damage. This is the basic principle of hormesis: an adaptive response to a toxin that strengthens the organism rather than damaging it.
Combining polyphenol-rich botanical medicines in complex formulas provides a diverse range of polyphenolic molecules that work together synergistically to provide a stabilizing platform for the body’s metabolic processes.
Bathing the body in polyphenol-rich foods and plant medicines is a foundational strategy for promoting health, preventing disease, and increasing longevity.
In this webinar, we explore some of our most treasured polyphenols, the plants that make them, and how to apply them in medicine.
- Turmeric – curcuminoids
- Green Tea – catechins
- Green Coffee – chlorogenic acid
- Grape Seed and Skin – resveratrol, anthocyanidins
- Polygonum cuspidatum – resveratrol
- Pterocarpus marsupium – pterostilbene
- Holy Basil – ursolic acid
- Ginger – gingerols
- Sophora japonica – quercetin
- Rosemary – carnosic acid
- Chaga – betulinic acid
- Ganoderma lucidum – rich in polyphenolic compounds
- Hawthorn – flavonoids
- Passionflower – chrysin
- Magnolia – magnolol, honokiol
- Pomegranate – ellagic acid
- Terminalia arjuna – arjunolic acid
Note: This webinar is intended for healthcare practitioners.