Antioxidants are a substance that inhibits oxidation in the body – examples include Vitamins A and E, Carotenoids, etc. There are many, many types of antioxidants. Oxidation is what happens to an apple when it is sitting in the air too long, or meat that goes bad. So, the effects of too much oxidation in the body can contribute to things like aging quickly and degenerative diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and even the more innocuous ailments, like a cold or flu.
Oxidation is caused by free radicals, which is a term used to describe damaged cells which are problematic to the body. They are “free” because they are missing a key molecule, and it makes them glom on to any other cell within site and wreak havoc. Free radicals are produced naturally, and our body is equipped to handle nominal free radical damage by producing its own antioxidants, and by refueling with antioxidants from a normal healthy diet.
However, free radicals are also produced environmentally, and that has never been more true than today. Poor diet, lack of physical activity, excessive stress, cigarette smoke, toxins in our food and water, exhaust fumes…our environment is inundated with toxins that produce massive amounts of free radicals, and our normal antioxidant production is totally unequipped to handle it.
So what’s the solution? Most health and wellness experts agree that a supplement regimen to boost your antioxidant levels, combined with exercise and a healthy diet, is key to combating free radical damage and thus, disease.
But is it working? Until recent technological developments, we’ve all been operating on faith that whatever brand of supplements we take is doing the job. That’s what we were doing anyway: until we discovered the BioPhotonic scanner.
The BioPhotonic scanner is a non-invasive tool that measures your carotenoid levels by scanning the skin on the palm of your hand using low-energy blue light (the process takes about 30 seconds). This is a technology known as Resonance Raman Spectroscopy. The results give us your carotenoid levels, which in turn give us a snapshot of your overall antioxidant health.
Carotenoids are a group of antioxidants, which include beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, to name a few. They are also responsible for the really pretty colors in our food, like orange, red and yellow. So, if we know your carotenoid score, we have a really good indication of your overall health. This technology takes the guesswork out of your diet, exercise, and supplement regimen, and gives you a real foundation to build from. If you actively participate in your health and wellness, this is a crucial tool for you.
The BioPhotonic Scanner test is not yet covered by insurance, but in an effort to enable as many people as possible to understand their overall health, we keep the cost to a minimum. At the Hikari Ryuza Center, we charge $20 per scan, and it is recommended you scan monthly, so you can validate that your health and wellness plan is working. If you sign up for one of our membership packages, this monthly fee is waved.
Studies on Resonance Raman Technology (used in the BioPhotonic Scanner)
1. Bernstein PS, Zhao DY, Sharifzadeh M, Ermakov IV, Gellermann W. Resonance Raman measurement of macular carotenoids in the living human eye. Arch Biochem Biophys 2004;15;430(2):163-9.
2. Bernstein PS, Zhao DY, Wintch SW, Ermakov IV, McClane RW, Gellermann W. Resonance Raman measurement of macular carotenoids in normal subjects and in age-related macular degeneration patients. Ophthalmology 2002;109(10):1780-7.
3. Bernstein, P.S. and Gellermann, W. Measurement of carotenoids in the living primate eye using resonance Raman spectroscopy. In: Oxidants and Antioxidants: Ultrastructure and Molecular Biology Protocols, edited by D. Armstrong, Totowa:Humana Press, Inc., 2002;321-329.
4. Bernstein, P.S. New insights into the role of the macular carotenoids in age-related macular degeneration. Resonance Raman studies. Pure and Applied Chemistry 2002;74(8):1419-1425.
5. Bernstein PS, Yoshida MD, Katz NB, McClane RW, Gellermann W. Raman detection of macular carotenoid pigments in intact human retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1998;39(11):2003-11.
6. Ermakov IV, Ermakova MR, Gellermann W. Simple Raman instrument for in vivo detection of macular pigments. Appl Spectrosc 2005;59(7):861-7.
7. Ermakov I, Ermakova M, Gellermann W, Bernstein PS. Macular pigment Raman detector for clinical applications. J Biomed Opt 2004; 9(1):139–48.
8. Ermakov IG, McClane RW, Gellermann W. Resonant Raman detection of macular pigments in the living human retina. Optics Letters 2001;26(4):202–204.
9. Gellermann W, Bernstein PS. Noninvasive detection of macular pigments in the human eye. J Biomed Opt. 2004;9(1):75-85.
10. Gellermann W, Ermakov IV, Ermakova MR, McClane RW, Zhao DY, Bernstein PS. In vivo resonant Raman measurement of macular carotenoid pigments in the young and the aging human retina. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2002;19(6):1172-86.
11. Gellermann, W., Ermakov, I,V., McClane, R.W. Raman imaging of human macular pigments. Optics Letters 2002; 27(1):833–835.
12. Neelam, K.; O’Gorman, N.; Nolan, J.; O’Donovan, O.; Wong, H.B.; Au Eong, K.G. and Beatty, S. Measurement of Macular Pigment: Raman Spectroscopy versus Heterochromatic Flicker Photometry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2005;46(3):1023-1032.
13. Zhao DY, Wintch SW, Ermakov IV, Gellermann W, Bernstein PS. Resonance Raman measurement of macular carotenoids in retinal, choroidal, and macular dystrophies. Arch Ophthalmol 2003;121(7):967-72.
1. Bhosale P, Ermakov IV, Ermakova MR, Gellermann W, Bernstein PS. Resonance Raman quantification of nutritionally important carotenoids in fruits, vegetables, and their juices in comparison to high-pressure liquid chromatography analysis. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52(11):3281–3285.
1. Darvin ME, Patzelt A, Knorr F, Blume-Peytavi U, Sterry W, Lademann J. One-year study on the variation of carotenoid antioxidant substances in living human skin: influence of dietary suplementation and stress factors. J. Biomed. Opt 2008;13(4)(EPub Ahead of Print Jul/Aug 2008; 044028).
2. Darwin M, Schanzer S, Teichmann A, Blume-Peytavi U, Sterry W, Lademann J. [Functional food and bioavailability in the target organ skin.] Hautarzt. 2006;57(4):286-90. German.
3. Ermakov IV, Ermakova MR, Gellermann W, Lademann J. Noninvasive selective detection of lycopene and beta-carotene in human skin using Raman spectroscopy. J Biomed Opt 2004;9(2):332–8.
4. Ermakov et al. Resonance Raman detection of carotenoid antioxidants in living human tissues. Optics Letters 2001;26(15):1179–1181.
5. Gellermann, W., Ermakov, I.V., Scholz, T.A. and Bernstein, P. S. Noninvasive laser Raman detection of carotenoid antioxidants in skin. Cosmetic Dermatology 2002;15(9):65-68.
6. Hata TR, Scholz TA, Ermakov IV, McClane RW, Khachik F, Gellermann W, Pershing LK. Non-invasive Raman spectroscopic detection of carotenoids in human skin. J Invest Dermatology 2000;115:441-448.
Studies Utilizing the Pharmanex Biophotonic Scanner
1. Bi, S.X., Li, C.L., Guo, H.W., Poole, S., Zhu, J. S. The effects of life styles and LifePak on human skin carotenoids scores measured by resonance Raman spectroscopy BioPhotonic Scanner. FASEB Journal 2007;21(4):A709.
2. Changling Li, Hongwei Guo, Senxu Bi, Zhu, Z.G., Zhu, J. S. Skin Carotenoids Measured by Resonance Raman Spectroscopy BioPhotonic Scanner and the Effects of Life Styles and LifePak on Human Carotenoids Nutritional Status and Skin Scores. Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006;15(Suppl.):S79.
3. Carlson, J., Stavens, S., Holubkav, R., Zidichouski, J., Mastaloudis, A., Smidt, C.R. and Askew, E. Associations of Antioxidant Status, Oxidative Stress, with Skin Carotenoids Assessed by Raman Spectroscopy (RS). Experimental Biology meeting abstracts [on CD-ROM]. FASEB Journal 2006;20:A824.3.
4. Stavens, S., Carlson, J., Holubkav, R., Zidichouski, J., Mastaloudis, A., Smidt, C.R. and Askew, E. Associations of Fruit and Vegetable Intake with Serum Carotenoids and Skin Carotenoids Measured with Raman Spectroscopy (RS). Experimental Biology meeting abstracts [on CD-ROM]. FASEB Journal 2006;20:A669.4.
5. Zukley, LM., Nguyen,V, Lowndes, J., Smidt, C., Angelopoulos, TJ., Rippe, JM., Effects of antioxidant supplementation on skin and serum carotenoids, FASEB Journal 2006;20:A145.
6. Zidichouski, J.A., Poole S.J., Gellermann W., Smidt C.R. Clinical Validation of a Novel Raman Spectroscopic Technology to Non-Invasively Assess Carotenoid Status in Humans. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2004;23(5):A468.
7. Fiutem J, Zukley L, Geise T, Legowski P, Nguyen V, Dube T, Yount B, Smidt C, Angelopoulos T, Rippe J. Adiposity Negatively Influences Carotenoids and Antioxidant Status in Overweight Individuals. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Suppl 2004;36(5):A302.
8. Smidt, C. R.; W. R. Gellermann and J. R. Zidichouski. Noninvasive Raman spectroscopy measurement of human carotenoid status. FASEB Journal 2004;18(4):A480.
9. Smidt, C.R., Shieh, D. Non-invasive, biophotonic assessment of skin carotenoids as a biomarker of human antioxidant status. FASEB Journal 2003;17(5):A1115.
10. Zukley L, Legowski P, Nguyen V, Geise T, Lowndes J, Melanson K, Angelopoulos T, Rippe J. The Effect of Weight Loss on Dietary Carotenoid and Skin Carotenoid Levels in Subjects Participating in a Weight Loss Study. Obesity Research Suppl 2004;12:A57.
11. Li CL, Guo H, Bi SX, Zhu ZG, Zhu JS. Skin Carotenoids Measured by Resonance Raman Spectroscopy BioPhotonic Scanner and the Effects of Life Styles and LifePak on Human Carotenoids Nutritional Status and Skin Scores. Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition Suppl 2006;15:S79.
12. Bi SX, Li CL, Guo HW, Poole S, Zhu JS. The effects of life styles and LifePak on human skin carotenoids scores measured by resonance Raman spectroscopy BioPhotonic Scanner. FASEB Journal 2007;21(4):A709.
Full-Length Articles Published in Peer Reviewed Journals
1. Zidichouski, J.A.; Mastaloudis, A.; Poole, S.J.; Reading, J.C.; Smidt, C.R. Clinical validation of a non-invasive, Raman spectroscopic method to assess carotenoid nutritional status in humans. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2009;28(6):687-93.
2. Bergeson SD, Peatross JB, Eyring NJ, Fralick JF, Stevenson DN, Ferguson SB. Resonance Raman measurements of carotenoids using light-emitting diodes. J. Biomed. Opt 2008;13(EPub Ahead of Print Jul. 15, 2008; 044026).
3. Rerksuppaphol S, Rerksuppaphol L. Effect of fruit and vegetable intake on skin carotenoid detected by non-invasive Raman spectroscopy. J Med Assoc Thai 2006;89(8):1206-12.
4. Li CL, Bi SX, Zhu JS, Zhu ZG. New functions of carotenoids and clinical assessments. Shanghai Journal of Preventive Medicine 2006;6:261-264.
5. Guo HW, Li H, Huang ZY, Xue K, Zhou X, Ma YY, Liu M, Zhu ZG, Li CL, Zhu JS. Examination of Carotenoids in Human Skin by Biophotonic Raman Spectroscopy Scanner. Journal of Environmental and Occupational Medicine 2006;23(3):204-206.
6. Li CL, Bi SX, Poole S, Smidt C, Zhu JS. Human Skin Carotenoids in 88,611 subjects measured by Biophotonic Scanner. Chinese Journal of Clinical Pharmacy 2006;15(2):124-125.
7. Smidt, C.R. Non-invasive Raman spectroscopic detection of carotenoids in human skin as a biomarker of antioxidant status. J. Korean Acad Fam Med 2005;26(4):S398-408.
8. Smidt, C.R., Burke, D.S. Nutritional significance and measurement of carotenoids. Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research 2004;2(2):79-91.
Book Chapters/Book Segments
1. Gellermann W, Zidichouski JA, Smidt CR, Bernstein PS. Raman Detection of Carotenoids in Human Tissue. In: Packer L, Obermueller Jevic U, Kraemer K, and Sies H, eds. Carotenoids and Retinoids – Molecular Aspects and Health Issues. Champaign, IL: AOCS Press, 2005; Ch. 6, 86 114.
2. Mahan LK and Escott-Stump S. (Eds.). Krause’s Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy, 12th Ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders 2007; Ch. 15, 427-428.