Matcha, Antioxidants, Bioavailability and CAP-e Test

April 17th, 2013


You may have read last weeks post on Matcha and L-Theanine. This week we are going to focus on Matcha and its antioxidants, but more importantly the bioavailability of antioxidants in Matcha. First off Matcha is known to contain one of the most highest amounts of antioxidants when compared with other superfoods. This is all based on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) test which is a chemical test to measure the amount of antioxidants a product contains. However, a recent issue that has been emerging is the bioavailabilty of nutrients not just antioxidants. You might be asking, “what does bioavailability mean?” Bioavailability refers to the ability for your body to absorbed the nutrients once you ingest food or any supplements. For example taking a multivitamin that contains 1000% of your daily recommended value of vitamin C  isn’t helpful if your body only absorbs a small percentage of the vitamin C. The ORAC test unfortunately cannot tell whether the antioxidants in a product get absorbed by the body, let alone whether the antioxidants in a product have true bioavailability. A new test called cellular antioxidant protection in erythrocytes (CAP-e) assay which actually measures the bioavailabilty of antioxidants in a product.

The CAP-e test is a test developed by NIS Labs. The test is performed by mixing the test subject in either water or a solvent and then added to aged red blood cells. After that they add a free radical to start the oxidation process and they measure the oxidation damage done to the red blood cell.

We had our Ceremonial Matcha tested using the CAP-e method. We are happy to say that first off our Ceremonial Matcha has true bioavailabilty which means that the body does actually absorb the antioxidants found in Matcha. The results show that our Ceremonial Matcha has 24 CAP-e units per gram. Now by itself that number sounds arbitrary, but to give you more context blueberries which is also known to be high in antioxidants only scored 0.35 CAP-e units per gram. On a per gram basis our Ceremonial Matcha has over 68 times more effective antioxidants.
Even a standard serving of Matcha has more antioxidants than blueberries. A standard serving of Ceremonial Matcha is 2 grams which would equal to 48 CAP-e units whereas according to NIS Labs a serving size of blueberries is 120 grams (4.23 oz) and based on that one serving of blueberries would only yield 42 CAP-e units which is still below our Ceremonial Matcha. (Below is a graph illistrating the CAP-e units per gram and the CAP-e units per serving for comparison.)

Two tests (ORAC and CAP-e) have proven to show Matcha is high in antioxidants and has true bioavailability. This reconfirms that Matcha is not just a great tasting tea but it has earned the title of being a true superfood.

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