In his post “ORAC started the snowball rolling recklessly downhill” Gross has opined that ORAC is a result marketing research, not medical research. I wonder how much validity there is to his ideas, but I will search to see if there are differing opinions to Gross. His comments are below:
The oxygen radical absorbance capacity, ORAC, is a test tube measure of a food’s antioxidant state before ingestion. The method has been widely (and wildly) misused to infer antioxidant health benefits from consuming foods high in ORAC.
ORAC may have utility to food scientists as an index of polyphenol content in plant foods.
However, upon ingestion and following exposure to the enzyme and acid environment of the stomach, the polyphenol chemicals responsible for ORAC are altered (usually broken apart into newer, smaller compounds) and no longer have significant antioxidant value.
Further, the body sees these compounds as foreign and actively tries to get rid of them, indicating that ORAC measured in a test tube has no physiological meaning