Antioxidant Test Review for Autoimmune

When dealing with an autoimmune disease, you need to take many tests.  One of them that helps your overall system are antioxidants.  On a molecular level, they rid your body of free-radicals which promotes oxidative damage which leads to the deterioration of your body.  But how can you measure your antioxidant levels?  An increasingly popular scanner within the medical community measures this through the  Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner.  Listed below are my various antioxidant test results:

 Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner Results

Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner Results from 2008 – 2013

Antioxidant Health History

The average score is around 20,000 which is considered a low antioxidant level.

2/2/08 – On Enbrel (Autoimmune suppressor but relieved most of my symptoms before I started getting infections) with moderate diet. My score was 41,000.

10/6/2011 – On Enbrel but learned how to eat healthier and supplemented.  At this point I was about to get off Enbrel as I was developing infections.  My score was 65,000.

5/28/2013 – Off Enbrel for over a year, but still battling my Crohn’s Disease which leads to my autoimmune disorder.  At this point I am eating very healthy without supplements that would affect my antioxidant levels.  My score was 47,000.

Test Review Conclusion

Even with moderate diet & supplementation, you can have an above average antioxidant score while on Enbrel (since you’re not battling symptoms everyday).  When you are off Enbrel and other medications while battling the root cause (Crohn’s / IBS / UC), absorption plays a huge role in your antioxidant levels.  With Crohn’s, you can eat the best foods available but they don’t fully absorb within your system.  Along with my other history of tests, these tests confirm that the body is healing itself, but there are components missing from getting back to the levels I want to be at.  Until those are met, I will have poor absorption as this is the best I can do without supplementation.

What’s Next?

I admit it, I’ve plateaued and know it’s time to start doing some serious testing again.  In the next couple of months, I will be taking a lot of tests to determine the root problems I cannot currently see.  From there, I will have a program of supplementation that will boost the levels I am lacking right now.  It is my hope that this will be my last major push to get me to full remission.


Antioxidant Foods and Importance of Color

Ranked by WebMD, here are the 20 common foods with the most antioxidants:

Rank Food item Serving size Total antioxidant capacity
per serving size
1 Small Red Bean (dried) Half cup 13,727
2 Wild blueberry 1 cup 13,427
3 Red kidney bean (dried) Half cup 13,259
4 Pinto bean Half cup 11,864
5 Blueberry (cultivated) 1 cup 9,019
6 Cranberry 1 cup (whole) 8,983
7 Artichoke (cooked) 1 cup (hearts) 7,904
8 Blackberry 1 cup 7,701
9 Prune Half cup 7,291
10 Raspberry 1 cup 6,058
11 Strawberry 1 cup 5,938
12 Red Delicious apple 1 whole 5,900
13 Granny Smith apple 1 whole 5,381
14 Pecan 1 ounce 5,095
15 Sweet cherry 1 cup 4,873
16 Black plum 1 whole 4,844
17 Russet potato (cooked) 1 whole 4,649
18 Black bean (dried) Half cup 4,181
19 Plum 1 whole 4,118
20 Gala apple 1 whole 3,903


  • Yellow & Orange Antioxidants – Contains lots of vitamin A that boosts our immunity from bacteria.  Cook carrots whole so nutrients cannot escape.  Bananas ripened bring out more antioxidants.
  • Green Antioxidants contain Isothiocyanates – act like soldiers and take away the free radicals.  Prep broccoli by cutting them & waiting 5 minutes before lightly steaming them.  Buy fresh parsley & when eating cabbage, enhance the iron in it by combining with Vitamin C products like OJ or strawberries.
  • Purple Antioxidants contain Anthocyanins – prevent damage & heal the damage already done by the cells.  The more deep the purple hue, the better.  Cabernet wine (1/day women, 2/day men max), prunes, plums, and berries are all deep hues.
  • Most important Antioxidant – Green Antioxidant – studies from cultures who use vegetables mainly in their diet were less likely to get cancer and have a healthier & longer life.

Autoimmune Detox – The Benefits and Side Effects

The essence of detoxification is to rid the body of poisonous substances.  From chelation to dietary detox, there are many ways to detoxify your body and in Ayurvedic tradition, spring time is one of the best times to do this.  My choice of autoimmune detox was to minimize any strenuous exercise and rely only on the essential supplements / medications for a month.  Items crossed out below were removed during detox:


  • Swimming exercises 2-3X per week
  • Wii Fit+ Yoga & strength exercises



One Month Autoimmune Detox History

As of 3/17 I stopped exercising & at 3/20 I’ve removed all supplements from my diet.  3/20-3/22 visited Sarasota (2 hours North of where I live) & had the longest sustainable day since I began the diet on 3/21 from 8:30am to 11:30pm.  Back in Naples on 3/23 & crashed – 13 hours of sleep on 3/23 & 12 hours on 3/24.  This confirms I am still anemic & am back on my iron supplement.  Started feeling better and then had something that did not agree with me at Whole Foods on 3/30 (may have been tomato paste hidden) and flared up for the next 2-3 days.  Normally this would only take 1 day, but detoxing makes me more susceptible to flare-ups and I got a cold (1st time since I started the diet) that everyone around me was getting (lethargic, scratch throat) from 4/1 – 4/14.  Worst days were 4/5 & 4/6 as coughing prevented me from sleeping.  On 4/5 at 2am and 4/6 10pm felt a chocking feeling and violent cough to remedy which made me sore all over from shoulders to bottom of ribs.  Using an elevated pillow, Mucinex (Fast-Max severe congestion & cough), a sore throat spray, lots of chicken soup, and menthol cough drop while going to sleep improved my condition and allowed me to sleep.  Cold started to go away on 4/8 but is still lingering around and did not leave the house for a week.  The detox reduced weight slightly but the cold took my weight from 130 to 127lbs – my lowest since starting the diet.  Average weight in so far in 2013 is 131 lbs. and fluctuates from 127 to 134lbs.  Most days I average 8 hours of interrupted sleep (get up 2-3 times per night) and add 1 1/2 – 4 hours of sleep in the daytime.

Benefits and Side Effects of My Autoimmune Detox


  • Helps identify which supplements are working and which are not.
  • Allows the body to heal on it’s own terms.
  • Lack of rigorous exercise made my body less sore in some areas, but exercise back in the pool will help other areas.  Finding a balance of exercise intensity is key and may need to work with a rehab facility with a pool to find out.
  • Less pills to take!  Much less side effects from the medicine.

Side Effects

  • Longer lasting and more susceptible to flare-ups
  • More susceptible to colds / flu
  • Weight loss since I’m underweight
  • Less physical strength and endurance along with soreness in areas which may prevent from longer periods of sleep throughout the night
  • Need to sleep more (but this might be the best thing for me)


While detoxing has it’s risks, you get to know the truth on what your body really needs and not what you think it needs.  Now that the detox is almost over, I can introduce one supplement at a time to see if it’s helping along with slowly starting my swimming regimen again.   In the next few months, I will start blood tests again to see how I’ve progressed without these supplements.