News tagged with antioxidants

Related topics: heart disease

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

Antioxidants—too much of a good thing?

In older men, a natural antioxidant compound found in red grapes and other plants—called resveratrol—blocks many of the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, according to research published in The Journal of Physiology.

Jul 22, 2013
popularity 4.2 / 5 (13) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Tomatoes may help ward off heart disease

(Medical Xpress) -- A University of Adelaide study has shown that tomatoes may be an effective alternative to medication in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, thus preventing cardiovascular disease.

May 18, 2011
popularity 4.8 / 5 (8) | comments 1 | with audio podcast

Grapes may help prevent age-related blindness

Can eating grapes slow or help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a debilitating condition affecting millions of elderly people worldwide? Results from a new study published in Free Radical Biology an ...

Jan 12, 2012
popularity 4.3 / 5 (8) | comments 1 | 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

Olive oil is good for you—in more ways than one

Olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet and is considered by many to be a natural health-food product. Until recently, the known protective effects of olive oil against oxidative stress-associated ...

Aug 28, 2013
popularity 4.7 / 5 (7) | comments 0

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.

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