What Is Protandim®?

Marlene Garcia

Protandim® is a patented herbal supplement marketed as an anti-aging product. It contains five herbs that might signal the human body to produce more of two enzymes that produce antioxidants naturally found in humans. These antioxidants fight oxidative stress, or damage to cell structures from free radicals. Research on Protandim® showed oxidative stress in study participants fell 40 percent after 30 days, and 70 percent after four months.

Turmeric is an ingredient in Protandim®.
Turmeric is an ingredient in Protandim®.

Green tea, milk thistle, and turmeric are all part of the supplement, as well as two lesser known herbs: bacopa and ashwagandha, also called Indian winter cherry. Bacopa is popular in Indian medicine to improve memory. Ashwagandha represents the root of a shrub grown in India and North America. All the natural substances included in this product have been deemed safe by health experts.

Protandim contains milk thistle, known for repairing oxidative damage to the liver.
Protandim contains milk thistle, known for repairing oxidative damage to the liver.

Oxidative stress leading to cell damage stems from several sources. Toxins in the air might be inhaled into the lungs and spread throughout the body. Sun exposure, along with smoking, alcohol use, and some medications, may also contribute to the aging process. Even healthy food might release free radicals, as cells use it for energy. The body fights free radicals by producing antioxidant enzymes, but levels of these enzymes decline with age.

Scientists studied Protandim® using 29 volunteers who took 675 milligrams of the supplement a day for 120 days. They found the level of oxidative stress declined as the levels of protective enzymes rose. Tests on mice showed similar results, with increased enzyme production to fight free radicals. Oxidative stress is linked to more than 200 diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

The researchers did not claim Protandim® prolonged life, prevented disease, or cured disease, but agreed the results showed promise and warranted additional study. They concluded Protandim® might provide more antioxidant benefits than supplements of vitamin C or vitamin E. None of the study participants reported adverse side effects during the research.

Sales of the supplement increased dramatically after publication of research results. LifeVantage Corporation brought Protandim® to the market and has manufactured and sold the supplement via the Internet. It also has marketed a topical skin formula.

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