Here are some explanations of what NRF2 is and does…
Nrf2 is a powerful protein that is latent within each cell in the body, unable to move or operate until it is released by an Nrf2 activator. Once released it migrates into the cell nucleus and bonds to the DNA at the location of the Antioxidant Response Element (ARE) or also called hARE (Human Antioxidant Response Element) which is the master regulator of the total antioxidant system that is available in ALL human cells.
“High levels of free radicals turn on a specific protein in the cell’s nucleus called Nrf2. Activation of Nrf2 essentially opens the door for the production a vast array our body’s most important antioxidants. It is clear that excessive free radicals induce better antioxidant production through this pathway, but the obvious question is, what else activates Nrf2?
It turns out that a variety of foods are powerful activators of the Nrf2 pathway. While not necessarily rich in antioxidants, they directly and dramatically amplify our innate ability to produce vast antioxidant protection by signaling our DNA. In this way, specific molecules from Nrf2 activating foods can trigger the production of thousands of antioxidant molecules, providing far better protection against the brain-damaging effects of free radicals compared to standard antioxidant supplements.” Dr. David Perlmutter M.D Huffington Post 1/25/11