(Note: Nu Skin Enterprises sent out a reminder today about the scientific research being done on the all-Sherpa team that recently reached the summit of Mount Everest - below is a summary of their press release.)
A five-pound piece of equipment among the hundreds of pounds of gear used by the SuperSherpas Expedition may soon give the scientific world a glimpse into why a small group of climbers from Nepal can handle physical stress at high altitudes so much better than experienced mountaineers from all over the world.
The so-called Pharmanex Biophotonic Scanner was used during the SuperSherpas recent successful summit of Mount Everest. The intent was to study cellular damage from "oxidative stress" experienced during high-altitude climbing by members of the all-Sherpa team, including two Sherpas who now live in Utah.
On May 16 at around 9 a.m. in Nepal, a SuperSherpas summit team, led by Utahns Apa Sherpa and Lhakpa Sherpa, reached the summit of Everest. Along the way, a team of Utah researchers used the scanner as a non-invasive means of measuring antioxidant levels in the Sherpas.
"By using the scanner on their expedition, the SuperSherpas team members and researchers may gain a greater understanding of how antioxidants work and what role they play in the unique physiology of Sherpas versus other high-altitude climbers," said Dr. Joe Chang, chief scientific officer of Nu Skin Enterprises.
The scanner is described as a "cutting-edge testing tool that safely and non-invasively measures carotenoid levels in living tissue, providing an indication correlated with a person's overall antioxidant levels. Antioxidants help neutralize damage from free radicals within living tissue," according to the Nu Skin release.
For more information about the scanner, visit the Web site, www.pharmanex.com.