Each month there is a new super-food, whether it be broccoli, blueberries, or now Tart Cherry Juice. Nutrition is certainly almost the entire answer to protecting and restoring health and each new super-food promotion adds to our total knowledge. I would not go so far as to say that Dr Oz is wrong to declare Tart Cherry Juice the “Ultimate Anti-oxidant”, because there is already too much closed mindedness in mainstream medicine. However, on present evidence it does, for instance, not begin to compete with co-ensyme Q10 as an anti-oxidant and general health giver.
If you want to ‘float like a butterfly and sting like a bee’ then the greatest, or ultimate, anti-oxidant is on the evidence (now about 200,000 published papers and a Nobel Prize) Arginine Derived Nitric Oxide. In one study just 2 grams of Arginine taken daily by mouth was found to reduce systolic blood pressure in borderline high blood pressure suffers by 20 points (Rosano et al, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Supplement A0, 31 (1998), 262A). Another study showed significant reduction of LDL cholesterol – low density lipoproteins - with no reduction of the good HDL cholesterol (Hurson et al, 19 (1995), 227-230). ADNO has been shown to be as effective as vitamin E at preventing oxidation , but at a much lower dose (Hogg et al., Journal of Lipid Research, 36 (1993), 1756 – 1762). In 1997 a test on rabbits compared L-Arginine with the statin, Lovastin. Lovastin functioned well to reduce plaque formation in brain and heart arteries and to reduce thickening and plaque formation, but Arginine was more effective in both cases. Also, Arginine, unlike Lovastin, also inhibited the dangerous oxygen free radicals (Boger et al, Circulation, 96 (1997), 1282-1290)
In terms of athletic performance too ADNO is the ultimate. In a study by the University of Exeter (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100826104137.htm) one brand of Arginine supplement was found to:
- improve severe-intensity exercise endurance by 20%
- significantly reduce systolic blood pressure
- reduce the oxygen cost of exercise