Antioxidants: High levels in barley grass

Functional Foods for Disease Prevention – Medicinal Plants and Other Foods

Shibamoto, T., Terao, J., Osawa, T., (eds), ACS Symposium Series, 1997.

Background: Flavinoids are a group of chemicals found in many different plants which are known to have a number of properties, including potent anti-oxidative properties.  Oxidation of LDL (sometimes called “bad cholesterol”) has been correlated with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), peripheral vein disease, heart disease and stroke. 1-4  In addition, the build-up of highly reactive and damaging free radicals in mitochondria is decreased by antioxidant flavenoids, reducing the likelihood of tissue damage due to oxidative stress, linked to cancer, heart disease and a number of chronic diseases.

Studies: This study was done in vitro, or entirely in the lab and looked at the ability of 2″-O-glycosylisovitexin (2″-O-GIV), derived from young barley plants to inhibit the oxidation of LDL.  This study also looked at the possible potentiation of the anti-oxidant activity of 2″-O-GIV by Vitamin C.

Conclusions: 2″-O-GIV was very effective as an anti-oxidant both on the oxidation of purified LDL and LDL in blood plasma.  The addition of Vitamin C along with 2″-O-GIV, increased the anti-oxidative potency even more.  This effect was synergistic, meaning that it was greater than simply additive.

1 Steinberg, D. Low Density Lipoprotein Oxidation and Its Pathobiological Significance. J BiolChem 272, 20963-20966. (1997).
2 Masley, S. C., Weaver, W., Peri, G. & Phillips, S. E. Efficacy of lifestyle changes in modifying practical markers of wellness and aging. ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES IN HEALTH AND MEDICINE 14, 24-29 (2008).
3 Frassetto, L. A., Schloetter, M., Mietus-Synder, M., Morris, R. C., Jr. & Sebastian, A. Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 63, 947-955 (2009).
4 Wijnstok, N. J. et al. Inflammation Markers are Associated with Cardiovascular Diseases Risk in Adolescents: The Young Hearts Project 2000. Journal of Adolescent Health 47, 346-351, doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.07.026 (2010).