News tagged with antioxidants

Related topics: heart disease

Copper on the brain

(Medical Xpress)—The value of copper has risen dramatically in the 21st century as many a thief can tell you, but in addition to the thermal and electrical properties that make it such a hot commodity metal, ...

May 27, 2013
popularity 5 / 5 (4) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Coffee buzz: Study finds java drinkers live longer

One of life's simple pleasures just got a little sweeter. After years of waffling research on coffee and health, even some fear that java might raise the risk of heart disease, a big study finds the opposite: ...

May 17, 2012
popularity 4.9 / 5 (7) | comments 4

Can eating tomatoes lower the risk of stroke?

Eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods is associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to new research published in the October 9, 2012, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academ ...

Oct 08, 2012
popularity 5 / 5 (4) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Strawberries protect the stomach from alcohol

In an experiment on rats, European researchers have proved that eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane. Published in the open access journal Plos One, the st ...

Oct 25, 2011
popularity 4.4 / 5 (21) | comments 2

Antioxidant

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves. As a result, antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols, ascorbic acid or polyphenols.

Although oxidation reactions are crucial for life, they can also be damaging; hence, plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants, such as glutathione, vitamin C, and vitamin E as well as enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and various peroxidases. Low levels of antioxidants, or inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes, causes oxidative stress and may damage or kill cells.

As oxidative stress might be an important part of many human diseases, the use of antioxidants in pharmacology is intensively studied, particularly as treatments for stroke and neurodegenerative diseases. However, it is unknown whether oxidative stress is the cause or the consequence of disease. Antioxidants are also widely used as ingredients in dietary supplements in the hope of maintaining health and preventing diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease. Although initial studies suggested that antioxidant supplements might promote health, later large clinical trials did not detect any benefit and suggested instead that excess supplementation may be harmful. In addition to these uses of natural antioxidants in medicine, these compounds have many industrial uses, such as preservatives in food and cosmetics and preventing the degradation of rubber and gasoline.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA