Why you should be taking this amazing supplement for your body and skin
How do you like them apples
Supplements get a lot of backlash, and rightfully so. Many of the supplements we take can't actually be absorbed into our bodies and is literally flushed out of our systems. (Yes, it brings a new meaning to the idea of flushing your money down the toilet.) Even if they have a purported high potency, these will literally have no effect on you if your body is not processing them. Which is why, when Indonesia-born, Australia-based Dr Vincent Candrawinata decided to create Renovatio — antioxidant supplements based on the power of active phenolics and created using 100 per cent apples — he wanted to be certain that they would be readily bioavailable.
We've been trying Renovatio for about 10 days and have already noticed a change in our digestive systems after day three. These antioxidants work in different ways on different people. Some have noticed higher energy levels, or better immunity, while interestingly, many have seen improvements in their skin conditions — specifically in a reduction of pigmentation and eczema flare-ups. This is unsurprising as these supplements work on a cellular level, reducing inflammation in the body and therefore treating the skin as well. Available in powder form, as pills (which are ideal for travelling) as well as in a cream form, we spoke to Dr Candrawinata to understand the hows and whys of this powerful antioxidant.
What was the first thing that made you want to develop this antioxidant?
After I finished my Bachelor's degree, I was offered a job by the Australian government to help apple growers, and that was why I became involved with apples. At that time, I was part of the national initiative for the government to help apple growers be competitive with imported juice concentrate from China. My first research finding was that Australian apples are packed with good antioxidants, and then because I think I've always been a scientist at heart, I questioned it. Why don't people use this phenolic antioxidant from apples for human health? And the answer was because our bodies can't absorb it. So in 2011, I invented the earliest form of the technology.
I went back to see my family in Indonesia in 2012 and I saw that my grandma wasn't well because she was in pain and she couldn't move. That was very bad for her mentally because when she was young, she used to be a dancer and chemistry teacher. My grandma was a very active person, so to go from that, to being wheelchair bound, made her very sad. The recommendation from her doctor was knee replacement surgery, but she didn't want to do it.
I asked her if she wanted to try the substance I was working on and said, "It won't kill you — the worst thing that will happen is that it won't work." And then she tried it and after three months she came to Sydney to visit me and she was walking from Chinatown to Sydney Opera House — which was about four kilometres. She held my hand and said that I didn't have to give her money or any material things because I had given her her life back. That really moved me.
After my PhD, the option was to continue working as a lecturer, to sell the patent, or forget about this technology. I didn't really want to sell it because it sounded so commercial and materialistic. I've always felt that people should be able to access this. The thought that I gave my grandma's life back to her got stuck in my head, and that's the reason why the name of the company is Renovatio. Renovatio means ‘new life’ in Latin, and the moral value of our company is that we want to give people a new life in a way that makes them happier and healthier.
We have grown so much since the time we launched, but our core values remain the same. We manufacture and distribute our own product because we really want to make it available without costing people a lot of money, because I believe that people shouldn't need to be wealthy to be healthy. If we were doing it the traditional way — through distributors or middleman — it would place our product out of that affordable range. Making money is important because I still need to be able to expand the business and introduce this to more people, but at the same time, I really want to help people.
What was the breakthrough you had that made this such an effective antioxidant?
The breakthrough is not that we make supplements, because everyone makes them. A lot of people think we invented phenolic antioxidants, but we did not. What we invented was the technology to extract and activate phenolic antioxidants without the use of any chemical solvent and make it available to everybody. We increased the absorption rate of what used to be one to three percent, all the way up to 90 percent, and this is the reason why one teaspoon is equivalent to two kilograms of apples or 20 pieces of fruit. The difference between our product as compared to others is firstly, the absorption rate, because it doesn't matter whether or not the concentration is high or low, what matters is what your body can absorb. It's like if you count a lot of money — unless it's your money, it doesn't count!
Secondly, it's the source spectrum that makes it different. Every other supplement is either from one source, such as açai berries, pomegranates or goji berries, or they are a mixture of antioxidants, and they call it a broad spectrum antioxidant. Legally they can call it that, but biologically they can't, because once you put those cocktails into your body, your body cannot absorb it, and as a matter of fact they will compete with each other, and your body will then eventually has to work extra hard to flush them all out.
Our product is what we call a true broad-spectrum antioxidant, because from one single source, which is apples, we have eight different types of antioxidants from three different families and this ensures that our product can catch and neutralise a far broader range of phenolic antioxidants.
Third, it works in conjunction with our own body system and it doesn't try to change anything, that's why people who take our product report that they feel different within the first three to five days — which, for those who are familiar with health products, nobody has ever claimed before. That is why we coined the term, 'World's most potent dietary antioxidant', which is a claim that is obviously very bold, but it's also factually correct because all other antioxidants don't have the same potency. They may have a higher concentration and level, but again, unless it's absorbed by the body, it doesn't really mean anything for us.
Obviously you can't just put things on your product unless it's true. HACCP found it very hard to believe that it's only made from 100 per cent apples and kept asking us what else was inside. I think that has a lot to do with the technology, as for the very first time in over 80 years of supplements, there has never been something like this. This is the reason why we found it a bit hard to explain this product in the beginning because it really does do a lot of things for your health. At the very core, it helps to fix, manage and increase efficiency of cellular functions and people who understand biology will know that our entire body is made our of cells. If you take out the cells, you take out the whole body. What we are doing is good for your body on a cellular level.
How many different kinds of apples are in it?
We have six different types of apples from three families — green, red and yellow apples. That is to make sure that the end product has the broadest range of antioxidants because different types of apples have different levels of antioxidants. In Australia we're approved for children over 12 months. In Singapore it's for children aged two years and over. This is something that I am very confident is safe for everyone. If you can eat apples, then you can take our product.
We know that Renovatio helps on a cellular level on the overall rejuvenation of the body. Have you ever heard of any anecdotal evidence on improvements to the skin?
Yes, there are two groups of people who have reported changes. The first group is from the beauty perspective, so they feel their skin is more supple and that the texture is better and they are less likely to break out. They also feel the skin is tighter, which is a very good benefit. But what pleases me the most is feedback from the second group, which is people who are suffering from eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis or hives.
A lot of people, especially those who are chronic sufferers of these skin conditions, have to use creams on a long-term basis. Now that people know more about their health and how pharmaceutical products can actually affect it, they tend not to want to use those, so a lot of people who use our products do so for this specific purpose because it really does help reduce cellular inflammation.
What is the recommended dosage?
I recommend one teaspoon a day, but obviously people who want more energy or people who are battling any form of inflammation can take more. I personally take one tablespoon in the morning and I know some people take more or less, and this is something that we are not really bothered by in terms of dosage because this is not drugs of medicine and it's personal to each person. We are also very comfortable with the fact that it's safe. Even if you take five tablespoons in one go, you will still be fine.
We want this to be a part of people's lives. Although it works if you just take it if you're falling sick or you just need some energy, for short periods of time, what we really want is for people to incorporate this into their daily lives because it really does help people from the inside out.
People have been saying they feel an immediate effect, even after just three to five days of taking this. From a scientific perspective, how is it able to work so quickly?
This is how health supplements actually should work as our body operates in an immediate way. Our product works almost immediately. It's just take everybody else is selling less-than-truthful supplements, to the point where you are throwing your money down the drain. I'm sure a lot of us have taken multi-vitamins, and when you go to the toilet, it changes the colour of your urine, and that's because your body is rejecting it. Not only are you literally flushing your money down the drain, you're basically putting your kidney and liver under stress and over time, you'll hurt it.
Can you tell us about the face cream in your range AP Skin? Why did you say it was an accidental discovery?
I called the product AP Skin, because it stands for Active Phenolic Skin. We always know that active phenolics could be developed into skincare, but we sort of kept that on the backburner because we were concentrating on the powder and tablets first. But then Andrew, a customer of ours, sort of became our inspiration to accelerate the process. He has been using the powder and at that time he was suffering from really bad, third-degree sunburn and he tried everything but nothing worked.
What he did was that he mixed the Renovatio powder with water and made it into a paste and put it all over his body. After that he emailed us and asked us if we had a cream version. He sent us a picture and I wanted to help him, so I went to the lab and made the cream and sent it to him. It was the most expensive shipping cost that I have ever paid because it had to be delivered within the hour so that he could use it immediately!
On the second day, his skin healed, and on the third day, his skin was much better than before and three months later, we released the cream and it quickly became something that has been really loved by our Australian customers and now in Singapore as well, because it really is one cream for everyone. The reason behind its success is another technology we invented called smart sense technology. This tracks the moisture level and the type of skin you have, so it releases moisture as your skin needs it.
People with dry skin can use it as well as people with combination or oily skin. This is really good because I am from Indonesia, and the climate there is very different from Australia. However, people can still use it in both countries. It's hydrating, but not sticky at all. When we first launched it, we passed it to a group of makeup artists in Singapore and they were so impressed because there has never been a product that basically combines the benefits of a serum and moisturising cream into one, in a way that you can just use it without anything else and it still delivers the result of several products.
Do you see it more as a treatment or a daily moisturiser?
Although it is created more as a treatment, eventually we decided that it should be something that people can use every day because your skin is the biggest organ in the body and it's the first barrier to a lot of stuff. So it's working really hard to protect our body from pollutants, smoke, dust and even free radicals.
I think it's important to take care of our body and our skin specifically from the inside out. It is called a face cream, but you can use it anywhere. We could release three different packagings with the same formula but we don't because we are an honest company! What if someone actually buys all three: The 'body cream', 'face cream' and a 'treatment' not realising it's the same product. We can't do that to people. Renovatio will never release products that will not work just for the sake of the product, so that's why we only have three items at the moment.
What are the ingredients in the cream?
The cream contains the same activated phenolic, we put a bit of aloe vera because we need to make it a bit thicker — we use the aloe vera extract to achieve the consistency that we need. Our marketing consultant wanted us to sell it at $100 but we said no to that, because you're limiting its reach.
I know some people who can afford to buy more expensive stuff, but they still buy our $49 cream and they use it every day. I don't want to limit people. I believe people shouldn't have to be wealthy to be healthy and pretty.
From $42-$72. Available online at Biovida, Supernature and That Health Shop