How To Check Your Antioxidant Levels

Are You Getting Enough Antioxidants? How To Check Your Antioxidant Levels

Check Your Antioxidant Levels


Why is knowing Your Antioxidant Level Important?

According to Dr. Richard Cutler, Director of Anti-Aging Research, National Institute of Health

“The amount of antioxidants that you maintain in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.”

Also, the Journal of American Medical Association, reported in their June 19th, 2002 publication that “Low levels of antioxidant vitamins may increase the risk of several chronic diseases.”


How Can People Check Their Antioxidant Level Affordably, Safely and Accurately?

Using the Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner, anyone can get an immediate indication of their overall antioxidant levels.

The BioPhotonic Scanner is based on Nobel Prize winning science and is the only patented instrument that conducts a live, non-invasive, carotenoid level measurement in living tissue and provides an immediate personal antioxidant assessment in 30 seconds.


What Do You Do Once You Know Your Score?

Once your know your antioxidant level you can make informed decisions on any improvements in your diet and lifestyle.  Knowing your score can also help you make educated decisions on which supplements might be recommended that can improve your antioxidant levels.


How does the Scanner Measure Antioxidant Levels?

The Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner is the world’s first measuring tool that gives you a Skin Carotenoid Score (SCS)—immediate evidence of carotenoid antioxidant activity in your body. When you place the palm of your hand in front of the scanner’s safe, low-energy, blue light, you will obtain a reading within seconds,  of your skin’s carotenoid antioxidant levels. This gives you your Skin Carotenoid Scores (SCS).  This SCS score has been scientifically correlated to one’s overall antioxidant status.

Accordingly, the technology behind of the Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner,  is based on an optical method known as the Resonant Raman Spectroscopy, which has been used for many years in research laboratories.

Using optical signals at the skin surface, the Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner measures carotenoid levels in human tissue. These signals identify the unique molecular structure of carotenoids, allowing their measurement without interference by other molecular substances and providing the person being measured with their own score (SCS).


Got a Minute?

In less than a minute you can find out if your lifestyle, diet and any supplements you are taking provide you the antioxidant protection you need for maintaining good health.


What Does The Scanning Process Look Like?

Administering the scanning process involves having you simply place the palm of your hand in front of the Scanner’s safe, low-energy blue light. You will then obtain an immediate reading of the carotenoid antioxidant levels in your skin. This is your Skin Carotenoid Score.


Why Is It Important For Everyone To Have Their Carotenoid Levels Scanned?

By measuring the stable level of carotenoid antioxidants in your skin and generating your Skin Carotenoid Score, the Scanner provides a more accurate and reliable biomarker of your overall antioxidant health status than other methods of measuring antioxidants. Getting your Skin Carotenoid Score makes you aware of the antioxidant levels in your body. Knowing this score gives you important information which can motivate you to improve your overall antioxidant health.

If you are interested in getting your carotenoid levels scanned just ask one of our staff and we can refer you to a registered scanner or simply search by your zip code here


This content is not produced, approved, endorsed, offered or recommended by NSE, Inc or its affiliates. Contributors and participants on this website may be Independent Distributors who may profit from the sales of the products recommended by us.  Pharmanex products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Also, note that these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

How Do Stress, Emotion, and Diet Affect the Gut?

Stress, Emotion, Diet and the Gut


photo by Shira Gal

The Gut – Brain Connection

It has becoming more accepted in the psychiatric literature as well as in the functional medicine that there is a bidirectional connection between the brain (central nervous system) and the gut (the gastrointestinal tract) through endocrine pathways.

Stress Affects The Gut

Stressors of various nature, either psychological or physiological, can alter the gut microbiota’s composition and the changes in the microbiota, represented through metabolic activities can influence the brain response.1

Emotion and the Limbic System

The limbic system plays a central role in regulating emotion and also is the center of the gut control.2 The generation of emotions and attached physiological reactions are most likely generated at this brain level (a very primitive part of the brain).

Depression and The Gut

In more recent scientific communications it has been suggested that depression can promote intestinal permeability as a result of chronic inflammation leading to a condition known as ‘leaky gut’. Leaky gut is another name for intestinal hyper-permeability that allows different substances (such as toxins, microbes and undigested food particles) to pass into the blood stream.

Diet and the Gut

Diet plays an important role in addressing the condition, such as ingestion of probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are beneficial forms of gut bacteria that helps the intestine to function properly. Examples of probiotic foods include: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, microalgae, miso soup, pickles, tempeh (made from soy, a great source of vitamin B12 too), kimchi (an Asian form of pickled sauerkraut), Kombucha (fermented tea). For those who don’t find any of these appealing, tablets of probiotics are also good.

Prebiotics and the Gut

The prebiotics are enzymes that help the good bacteria to grow in the intestine. They are found in asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, garlic, onions, oatmeal and legumes. They are also available in forms of supplements.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Another source of interest in affective disorders as well as in autism, and schizophrenia has been the Non-Celiac Gluten sensitivity (NCGS). The literature and studies are limited on the subject but it has been suggested that there is a relationship between the NCGS and neuropsychiatric disorders. Some studies point at the inflammation triggered by the gliadin in people sensitive to it and the ‘leaky gut syndrome’ associated with it.  The IgA detected in affected individuals suggest an inflammatory response to the gliadin that is found in wheat, barley, rice, and an exclusion of these products could reduce the neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with the “leaky gut” (migraines, Irritable Bowel syndrome, tiredness, chronic fatigue, etc).3

Listen To Your Body

Because research on diet and gut is still in it’s infancy it is important that you monitor how you feel after you eat certain foods. Obviously, if a food makes you feel bad you can reduce or eliminate it and see how you feel.

Integrative Treatment in Psychiatry

We take an integrative treatment approach with all our clients because we believe that any treatment that we recommend should be based on a very thorough history, questionnaires, targeted laboratory testing, and results from a physical exam.

Examples of core imbalances we assess for include:

  • Structural, boundary, and membrane imbalances
  • Genetic Mutations
  • Psychological and Spiritual
  • Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances
  • Oxidation-reduction imbalances and mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Detoxification, neurotoxicity, and biotransformation imbalances
  • Immune imbalances (Cytokine hypothesis)
  • Inflammatory imbalances
  • Digestive, absorptive, and microbiological imbalances

If you like this article on How Do Stress, Emotion, and Diet Affect the Gut, or have questions, schedule your first session by calling us at 713.426.3100



1 Inflammation:Depression Fans and Flames and Feasts on the Heat: Kiecolt-Glase PhD, and colab, Am J Psychiatry, 172:11, November 2015, pg 1075-1091

2 Brain–gut connections in functional GI disorders: anatomic and physiologic relationships: Jones, MD and colab, Neurogastrointestinal Motil, 2006, 18, 91-103.

3 Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: The New Frontier of Gluten Related Disorders,  Catassi and colab, Nutrients 2013, 5, 3839-3853.

Can Chromium Help Reduce Depression Symptoms?

Chromium and Depression

For several years now Chromium has been known to reduce the eating related symptoms of atypical depression that is characterized by increased need for sleep, increased appetite, in particular increased craving for carbohydrates, and marked decreased energy. The literature suggests that it could also be a valuable agent in treating seasonal depression that shares few of the same symptoms with the atypical depression.

Micronutrient Testing for Depression and Anxiety

I became recently more interested in the subject given the fact that I started doing micronutrient testing for the patients I treat for depression and anxiety. I noticed after doing the testing, that a few of them, who struggled with weight issues associated with their depression, also had lower levels of intracellular chromium. The use of chromium in depression was first reported in 1999, by McLeod et Al, when five refractory to treatment patients with dysthymia achieved full remission after adding chromium picolinate to their regimen of antidepressants.

How Does It Work?

The mechanism of the antidepressant effect is not totally understood, but it appears to be related to the fact that chromium, by enhancing the insulin sensitivity, may increase insulin mediated transport of tryptophan across the brain barrier. The tryptophan is the dietary precursor for the synthesis of serotonin, and its presence is necessary in the production of serotonin. When approaching the treatment of mental illness in an integrative manner, supplementation with tryptophan could also help the serotonin deficient state present in depression and anxiety.

More About Chromium


Trivalent chromium is an essential microelement of living organisms, involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. It acts by increasing the efficiency of insulin action and utilization. It is well known that people suffering from mental illness have higher incidence of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Some studies shows that people with Type 2 diabetes have lower levels of chromium. Insulin resistance is the common denominator in a cluster of cardiovascular disorders, especially when associated with metabolic syndrome.

Treatment for Refractory Depression

One of the common augmentation techniques in the treatment of refractory (Treatment Resistant) depression is the utilization of atypical antipsychotics (Seroquel, Abilify, Zyprexa) on top of the antidepressants that had limited results. The atypical antipsychotics are known to increase appetite and enhance craving for carbohydrates. Some researchers suggest adding Chromium when the atypicals are used. If chromium is added, they assert, the side effect will be reduced. This will increase the likelihood that the patient will continue the treatment. Therefore, Chromium could improve depression by not only improving the rate at which the tryptophan ( the precursor of serotonin) reaches the brain cells, but also could decrease the carbohydrate cravings and appetite caused by some of the treatments.

When Treating Depression and Anxiety-A Holistic Approach Can Maximize Results and Reduce Symptoms

This research highlights the importance in taking a holistic and comprehensive approach to assessment and treatment of depression and anxiety. Micronutrient testing is just one of the ways we can identify some underlying causes of symptoms. This approach may help us reduce related symptoms such as increased need for sleep, increased appetite, and decreased energy, thus helping to maintain both physical and mental health.

If you like this article on can chromium reduce depression symptoms, or have questions, schedule your first session by calling us at 713.426.3100.