The Antioxidant Conundrum


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Antioxidants are vital biological molecules that defend us against the many oxidative pathways. We need to be aware however that the oxidants also have some useful functions. They are messenger molecules that are at least in part identifying areas of potential damage. If we are forcefully suppressing oxidants, we may be disrupting physiological balance. In fact, clinical studies have failed to find much benefit of antioxidants for any of our major degenerative diseases.

The role of antioxidants in preventing excess damage is valuable, but loading too much defence may be similarly problematic. Christine Houghton has prepared a presentation for us that reviews the clinical role of antioxidants and she will likely change the way that you prescribe them. We need to be a lot more careful about which, how much and when we prescribe antioxidants.


  • What we mean by the terms ‘free radical’ and ‘oxidative stress’
  • What do we expect an ‘antioxidant’ to do?
  • How the ‘Free Radical Theory of Ageing’ has impacted our thinking on antioxidants
  • If a cell is responding to a stressor by up-regulating its internal defence mechanisms, what happens if a large quantity of antioxidant is added to the cell?
  • Review the meta-analyses looking at antioxidant supplements in disease prevention that have failed to show protection against cancer, CVD and Type2 diabetes. Why?
  • Challenge the outdated concept that ‘free radicals are bad’ and ‘antioxidants are good’
  • How do we classify the various types of antioxidants that impact human health?  Direct-acting antioxidants? Indirect-acting antioxidants?
  • Human cells up-regulate their defences as a response to a stressor. How does this work?
  • If a cell up-regulates its own defences by activating Nrf2, what is the most effective way to do this?
  • Address disease by accessing cellular upstream mechanisms vs working downstream with symptomatic therapies
  • What types of tests should a clinician order in order to determine the level of a patient’s redox balance?

This presentation will challenge your current concepts of oxidants and antioxidants and will lead to better patient care. There will be plenty of opportunity for you to ask questions. You are welcome to send any questions for Christine to and we will put these to her doing the live webinar.


  • Clear protocol explanations
  • Clinical pearls for practice results
  • Access to audio and video recordings
  • A PDF of the presenter’s slides
  • Links to all referenced research papers and useful clinical handouts
  • Your exclusive invitation to our alumni hub to ask questions


Dr Christine Houghton holds a PhD in Nutrigenomics and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Queensland and she has a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition from Deakin University.

Christine is a registered Nutritionist and Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Science at the University of Queensland. After practising Nutritional Medicine for 3 decades, Christine’s interests currently lie in researching nutrigenomically-active phytochemicals and in offering her knowledge and experience to other clinicians.



Research on natural medicine is increasing fast. You will get the very latest research and practical direction in assisting the large number of patients seeking natural health care. With every course, you receive the links to all papers referenced.


As a graduate of any of our Masterclass events, you will receive an exclusive invitation to our locked and highly valuable alumni hub where we share ideas, case studies, ask questions of fellow graduates and all keep in touch.


We present high-level, unbiased, post-graduate education. We have no financial connection to any suppliers of supplements or other goods to natural healthcare providers. All presentations are high level, unbiased, and noncommercial.


You will receive a personalized certificate for each course you do with us. For further information on CEs please refer to our Continuing Education page.


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