In the ABC Primetime investigative report on Protandim, a series of blood tests were conducted on John Quiñones. Specifically the tests were to measure levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Plasma concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) are an index of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. In the medical community this is also referred to as a Lipid Peroxidases test.
Lipid peroxides are the products of chemical damage done by oxygen free radicals to the polyunsaturated fatty acids of cell membranes. Oxidative stress is a biological imbalance between the body’s available antioxidants, and the production of peroxides and free radicals which damage cells. There are a numerous foods that provide the body with antioxidants, and the body has the ability to produce its own antioxidants. With aging, however, the body’s production of these substances is dramatically reduced. Hence, the body’s ability to detoxify itself and repair cell damage diminishes as we get older. Free radicals damage several components of the cell, including proteins, lipids, and DNA. Oxidative stress can also cause disruptions in normal mechanisms of cellular signaling, interfering with the cells’ ability to perform the functions for which they are intended. This can result in disease.
Oxidative stress is thought to be involved in the development of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, heart failure, myocardial infarction, fragile X syndrome, Sickle Cell Disease, lichen planus, vitiligo, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, and possibly many other disorders.
The TBARS test is intended to measure the amount of oxidative stress to which the body is subjected, and hence the body’s ability to overcome the negative effects of free radicals.
In the case of ABC’s John Quiñones, just two weeks after starting to take Protandim, his TBARS levels declined by 45%. Further studies of the effectiveness of Protandim suggest that this simple nutritional supplement has the ability to reduce oxidative stress in adults to levels found in very young children.
The relevance of the serum TBARS test, as a measure of lipid peroxidation of free fatty acids, to coronary risk profile has been demonstrated in the Prospective Randomized Evaluation of the Vascular Effects of Norvasc Trial (PREVENT). This study was published by the National Institutes of Health on PubMed. See the following PubMed publications for more information:
- Serum levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances predict cardiovascular events in patients with stable coronary artery disease: a longitudinal analysis of the PREVENT study.
The objective of this study was to test the predictive value of an oxidative stress biomarker in 634 patients from the Prospective Randomized Evaluation of the Vascular Effects of Norvasc Trial (PREVENT).
- Circulating lipid hydroperoxides predict cardiovascular events in patients with stable coronary artery disease: the PREVENT study.
This study was designed to determine the predictive value of lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) levels for adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD).
TBARS, perhaps more commonly known as the Lipid Peroxidases test, is somewhat specialized and primarily used in scientific research. Nevertheless, this test is offered by a number of national lab services across the country. Fasting for at least 8 to 10 hours before blood is drawn is required.
Accesa Labs / Metametrix offers the Lipid Peroxidases (TBARS) test at a cost of $249, including the doctor’s lab order, the lab kit, all lab fees, shipping charges and taxes, with a copy of the results sent to you or your physician.
Direct Labs offers the Lipid Peroxides (TBARS)-METAMETRIX KIT test for $179. Local lab fees for drawing the specimen are included up to $25. In this case the kit is mailed to you, which you take to a local lab, such as LabCorp or another facility, to have your blood drawn. The specimen must be forwarded to Direct Labs within 48 hours. It is best to schedule the blood draw on a Monday, as Direct Labs must receive the specimen by Thursday. Test results are returned within 7 to 10 business days. The test measures total serum lipid peroxidation, an indicator of whole body free radical activity. High levels of lipid peroxides are associated with cancer, heart disease, stroke, and aging.
Your Medical Doctor or Naturopathic Doctor can also order this test, quite possibly at a lower cost.
Read More »