T Nation

Antioxidant Scanner


Hello all,

 I had a question and was hoping that I could pull down some help from a broad based fitness and health community. I am curious about peoples' thought on the prospect of a scanner that can determine antioxidant levels. Would this be something you'd be interested in? Do you even care about your antioxident levels? Any help would be appreciated, especially from some of the contributeing authors.

Thanks in advance,
Jim D.


I have encountered these things before. They were being touted by people trying to sell multi-vitamins to increase antioxidant levels. To be honest I don't know much about antioxidants, but I was not sold on either the scanner or the vitamins.

First, how exactly does this thing measure your antioxidant level? Second at what point does an increase in antioxidants cease to have health benefits? What I mean is, is there a threshold beyond which additional antioxidants will be useless or of only marginal benefit to you? The person promoting this stuff to me was unable/unwilling to clearly answer these questions for me.


So far, there is no consensus based on numerous clinical trials on what "healty" levels of anti-oxidants are or what they should be. If a milligram is good, is a kilogram better? Unknown.

The Pharmanex company has a "BioPhotonic" Scanner that measures carotenoid levels(beta-carotine)by placing your hand on the device. They also promote a line of anti-oxidant products to take to "improve" your health, no matter what your levels are.

My opinion? The scanners are too expensive and are unnecessary. Keep on eating your fruits and vegetables, supplement with Vitamin C and E.


Very cool stuff:



Thanks for the posts. And opinions.

Jim D.