The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)

    ORAC is an acronym that stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. This laboratory test was developed by USDA researchers at Tufts University to rate the antioxidant levels of fruits and vegetables.

    ORAC measures the degree to which a sample inhibits the action of an oxidizing agent and how long it takes to do so. Then, it integrates the two measurements into a single value. ORAC provides an accurate and reproducible measurement for different types of antioxidants having different strengths.

    Natural fruits typically score between 500 and 900 ORAC units per 100 grams. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently suggested that Americans increase their consumption of antioxidants to 7000 ORAC units daily — 5 to 10 servings daily of colorful fruits and vegetables.

    Based on this laboratory test, the top 20 antioxidant-rich foods are listed here. Controversy exists over the importance of antioxidant supplementation in patients with cancer. However, one study of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia reported that total antioxidant capacity as measured by ORAC was inversely associated with treatment-related toxicity.

    7/5/06 20:37 JR

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